It was a trapezoidal earthwork with a perimeter of 190 yards, and places for 13 guns. There were also supporting rifle pits, and abatis in the Rock Creek streambed.
The French assault began at the same time, but they were halted by the abatis, which was undamaged by the artillery fire.
Edwards's men found that a moat guarded a three-gun battery past the abatis, but soldiers from the 5th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment and 37th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment scaled the earthworks.
During the battle, they were also a vanguard for a regiment commanded by Alexander Hamilton, clearing the field of sharpened logs called abatis so that Hamilton's regiment could capture Redoubt #10.
He completely redesigned the complex: two redoubts, an abatis to the left and right, the road, which was additionally guarded by a gate, leading through the works between the two redoubts.
The earliest reference to abatis fortifications appears to be in a Novgorod chronicle of 1137-1139.
Other defensive works such as "schanzen", abatis, ramparts and ditches were often built in the vicinity as additional protection against an enemy.
The bulwark consisted of a roughly 40-metre-wide "Verhack", an abatis of branches and logs that was followed by a roughly 2.5-metre-deep ditch.
Abatis are rarely seen nowadays, having been largely replaced by wire obstacles.
Just as modern military engineers enhance field fortifications with obstacles such as barbed wire, medieval engineers used a number of obstacle types including abatis, caltrops, cheval de frise, and trou de loup.
The formidable defense included several batteries partially connected by trenches, log and earth redoubts around the main fort, and a double abatis. It was called "Little Gibraltar".
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