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Architecture

The resemblance between the engineer who originally drew Fort Pocahontas in 1864, Major General Godfrey Weitzel (on the left), and his grand nephew, Joe Funk (on the right) in 1999 is amazing.

Joe Funk attends the reeactments each year as the Event Coordinator. When you look at a photograph of his great-uncle and then you look at Joe in full uniform, it will give you the goose bumps! You can email Joe Funk at gweitzel@fortpocahontas.org .


The accuracy of the map drawn by hand by Major General Godfrey Weitzel of the United States Army of the fortifications is still apparant today. The USGS has overlayed his hand drawing on top of a satelite created terrain map of the site and it fits almost exactly.

This map was drawn by Major General Godfrey Weitzel of the United States Army during the construction of the fort. The red line shows steep trenches and walls still in place today.

The cannon emplacements of each of the two bastions of the fort are remarkably well preserved.

The strength of the fortification was increased by the construction of protruding earthen bastions at the west and east corners. Artillery companies garrisoned at Fort Pocahontas maintained twelve to fifteen cannons. These cannons were probably deployed on the two bastions. Gun ramps and breastworks were also constructed as part of the fortification. The impressive architecture was described by Captain A. R. Arter, a soldier at Fort Pocahontas, as "one of the best arranged breastworks I have seen."

Similar construction techniques were used on Fort Pocahontas as were used in this photograph of a civil war fortification.

To close off the main entrance, or salle port, of the fort, a gated stockade would have been a typical construction. Drawing by Major Robert James, 1st New York Volunteer Engineers


The stockade salle port would be constructed of logs from ten to 18 inches in diameter. These would be flattened on two sides, sharpened at the top and, placed in a line side by side, buried about four feet into the ground. The smaller diameter logs might be placed behind and between the larger logs to reinforce the joints between them. Loopholes could be cut, as they are here, at a convenient height for soldiers to stand on the firing steps behind the stockade and fire their rifle muskets to the outside.

 

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