Around the outside of the central redoubt is the ditch, a significant obstacle attackers would have to climb through to assault the redoubt. At Fort Mill Ridge, the ditch also appears to have been used as a trench from which defending infantry could fire.
From the two southern corners of the redoubt, extensions, or covered ways, connect the ditch to the outer ring of entrenchments. The east-west line created by the covered ways and the ditch of the redoubt provided a second line of defense from attack down the ridge from the south.
At the corners of the redoubt are projecting earthen mounds, or traverses. These projections had several defensive purposes. They strengthened the corner by providing a location in the ditch for fire from the corner as well as a crossing fire along the face of the redoubt. The traverses provided protection for men in one segment of the ditch from explosions in an adjacent segment. They also helped prevent attackers from firing directly down the line of the ditch from the side. Additionally, the traverses could have been used as an additional earthwork from behind which to fire at attackers.
Tues 26. fair wether. I was wagon gard today. we went 8 mils after hay. thair was a drill this eaving. Wed 27. pleasant day. we had drill this eaving. Thur 28. pleasant day I was on furtigue today a diggin refell pits. thair was drill today. Fri 29. the wether is pleasnt we had dress parid today.
Diary of Joshua Winters, May, 1863.