Wondrous Words Wednesday
Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by Bermudaonion’s Weblog. Kathy says: “Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.”
I didn’t expect to have words today, but I’m quickly reading a children’s book that is due back at the library and so I’m recording the words that I’m looking up in its convenient glossary. I love books with glossaries.
These are all from Vicksburg: The Battle that Won the Civil War by Mary Ann Fraser.
These words appear in diagrams of fortification and approach trenches.
parapet. Wall of earth and log to protect soldiers from enemy fire.
embrasure. Opening in parapet from which to fire cannon.
sap. A narrow trench dug for protection while approaching location under enemy fire.
Here’s a description by a soldier of what Grant’s troops saw as they approached Vicksburg (on page 55):
Lines of heavy rifle-pits, surmounted with head logs, ran along the bluffs, connecting fort with fort, and filled with veteran infantry.
head log. Protection for sharpshooters from enemy musket fire.
This is the first stanza of a song sung by Confederates in the fortifications, page 68:
A life on the Vicksburg bluff,
A home in the trenches deep,
Where we dodge Yank shells enough,
And our old pea bread won’t keep.
pea bread. A mixture of ground peas used in place of cornmeal.
Okay, pea bread sounds nasty to me. However, I am glad to finally know what an embrasure is, since I’ve come across the word before. Parapet has long been one of my favorite words, because I’m crazy about castles and the medieval world. I didn’t realize that it could also be used to describe earth works. As for head logs, I knew they existed, but I didn’t know they had a specific name.
I think I’ve heard parapet used in reference to a castle or fortress. I find it interesting to be used in the context of the Civil War. Great words this week!
I love learning words from kids books too. Glossaries can certainly come in handy at times. I’ve heard parapet in relation to castles before too. It makes me think of trapped princesses! You have a collection of interesting words this week.
A great set of new words. I like the peashot song. I can imagine the soldiers singing it as they march.