Taken from near where you are standing
Company M, 2nd New York Heavy Artillery, August 1865
The war ended in April 1865, but troops continued to occupy the fort temporarily. With their guns cleaned and polished, Company M would be mustered out in Washington, D.C., on September 29.
The photographer stood on top of the bombproof and looked toward the magazine that would have been directly in front of you.
1. Entrance to Powder Magazine/Filling Room
Ammunition was stored in magazines and filling rooms, underground chambers with aboveground entrances. Filling rooms sometimes stored armed shells, while magazines held black powder and projectiles.
2. Field Cannon and Limber
A field cannon hitched to a limber formed a four-wheeled vehicle moved by a team of six horses. Here, the company mascot stands on top of the cannon's wooden ammunition chest.
Horizontal wood boards helped support the fort's earthen walls. Vertical posts proved stronger protection against enemy fire but were time-consuming to install.
4. Folded Tarpaulin
Tarpaulins protected cannons from harsh weather. Here, one sits on a box designed to store a canister.
This soldier wears a tube pouch with "No. 23" stenciled on it. He was part of the artillery crew
assigned to gun platform 23 on the south face of the fort.
6. 30-pounder Parrott Rifles
Siege cannons usually remained in a fixed location, as they were more complicated to move than the 20-pounder field cannons in the foreground.
Large wicker containers filled with earth or rubble reinforced openings in the parapet by absorbing the shocks of artillery fire.
8. African American Freedman
The Union Army hired servants, often former slaves, for some officers, depending on their ranks. Servants received room, board, and clothing.
9. Sentry Box
The guard post mounted on the parapet has remains of the canvas that had enclosed it. The fabric walls could be quickly moved aside during an attack to give the guard a clear field of fire.
10. Ladder to the Parapet
Ladders provided quick access to the top of the parapet. Only an on-duty guard or an officer who needed a clearer view of a distant target was allowed on parapets.
11. Commanding Officer
Captain William Parrish stands to the right of a little girl, who is not his daughter but possibly a visiting relative. After the war, Parrish became sheriff of Genesee County, New York.
12. 10-inch Mortar
A model 1841 mortar. Mortars fired ammunition in a high arc that could reach targets shielded by elevated terrain.