The manner of fortifying with earth
The 4. Chapter.
THere is another maner of fortifying which is with earth: in which, in stead of a face of bricke or stone, is a face of turffe vsed, and for the Counterforts, faggots: which man∣ner of building is of little charge in respect of the other, and yet is much more durable against a forceable batterie. The experience thereof hath been sufficiently seene in this late warres of ye Low Countries; but it is not so durable against the wether: but being of good earth and the faggots greene, it wil the longer continue: and although the face wast and moulder away with the wether, yet will the Fort continue defenceable. And the best is, the face may be repayred againe with little charge. With this manner of building were the townes in the Lowe countries reenforced, and also many small Forts made both by the Duke of Parma, wherewith hée kept the townes besieged: and also by the Pa∣triotes, wherewith they frontiered the Duke, impeaching the courses of his men: he pretending the assurance of his, through the Campe he had in the field to succour them: and they for the most part, placing theirs so well watered and hard to bee kept from reliefe, hauing for the most part so commodious situations for the purpose: as some of them haue giuen their enemies tra∣uell to get them, and others haue caused them to retire without thē, as Lyllo & others. Of which forts, some contained 160. pa∣ces square, some 100. some 80. others 60. 40. or lesse, & of these, diuers formes here following are shewed. But so small Forts may well serue to hinder the courses of a small number, but not to frontier a forcible enemie, except they stand well watered, and where they cannot be cut off from succour. And yet it were ne∣cessarie that they should be of that greatnes, that they might re∣ceiue and lodge foure or fiue hundred men at the least, leauing the rampiers, streetes and place of assemblie, or market place frée.
Page 33Besides these, there are diuers other irregular formes vsed, most of them carying a more shewe of strangenes then of de∣fence: but sith the defences in so small Forts as these procéede chiefly, either of bulwarks, halfe bulwarks, and tenailes, these may suffice: admonishing the Fortifier, if the place will permit, to vse as well in the delyning of these small Forts, as in those greater, the considerations before in them alleaged.
The manner of the worke is this: the turffe must be cut like a wedge, of 12. or 14. inches long, and 5. or 6. inches broade equidistant, the one ende 4. or 5. inches thicke, and the other sharpe, and these turffes would be taken in the best ground that lyeth néere about the Fort, and must be cut with a long sharpe Spade, of fiue or sixe inches broade, and 14. inches long, which must be well steeled, and kept very sharpe: and the turffe must be caryed and handled without breaking, and layde in the worke, the great ende outward, and the grassy side downe∣ward, and scarping, one in 5. or 6. foote, the rampire behinde the turffe rising with the earth that is throwne out of the ditch, as fast as the face of the worke riseth. (And when the face is raised the heigth of fiue turffes, and the earth behinde it layd euen, and spread almost as broade as the rampier is pretended (which may be 20. 30. or 40. foote, and more or lesse, as the earth that may be throwne out of the ditch will make it) or at the least so broade as it is thought that the wood will lye: for to say truth, to throwe downe the earth, or to spread it too broade before the wall be raysed, were a point of no great wisedome) stretch a lyne and pare the turffe euen with a sharpe Spade, but scar∣ping, according to the first scarpe you layde them at, and then lay a rowe of faggots, which faggots must be 8. or 9. foote long, and more or lesse as the wood will giue them, but not thicker then that you may almost gripe them betwixt your two hands, the great ende of the wood lying all one way in the fag∣got, which end must be stamped against the ground that it may lye euen in the wall, and must be bound with thrée bonds and layde in the worke the great ends outward, one inch ouer the turffe, and must be thrust vp fast and close the one to the other, but not layd thicker then one fagot at once. And vpon the small Page 34 ends of those first layd faggots, must other faggots be layde, whose small ends must ouerlappe the small ends of the said first faggots, some thrée foote and a halfe or thereabouts. And vp∣pon the great ends of these second faggots, must a third faggot be layde, whose small ends must likewise ouerlappe the great ends of the said second faggots, as the small ende of the second did the small ends of the first, (and where wood is plentie, ha∣uing haste to rayse the worke, lay a fourth faggot in like man∣ner,) which being done, rayse againe the face of the worke fiue turffes higher, paring them by a lyne as is aforesayde, and raysing the earth behinde them as before, and then lay ano∣ther rowe of faggots, and thus continue the worke, vntill it ri∣seth some twelue foote, aboue the foote it standeth vppon; which foote must be left sixe foote broade, vntill the Fort be full ended to receiue the earth which shall be throwne out of the bottome of the ditch, which from thence must be throwne into the Fort, and this foote must be afterward cut narrower flat off, but not so narrowe that it might put the rampire that standeth vppon it in danger of falling. Which done, raise a parapet of some fiue or sixe foote broade, more or lesse, according to the great∣nesse of the Fort, and largenesse of the rampier, and make the ditch if it be where water aboundeth the broader, but standing dry, the narrower and déeper. A great care must be had in ma∣king of the ditch, of the goodnesse of the ground, for feare of laying the worke vnder féete, to auoide which inconuenience, the best way is to leaue the wall a verie good foote, and not to sinke the ditch too déepe on that side next it, but rather to make a secret ditch in the midst, or to make that side next the counter∣scarpe very déepe, leauing the other side the showler. Where wood is scarce, there vse none but in the bulwarke only, and there as little as you may, but only to stay the face of the bul∣warke; and raise the face of the curtine with turffes only, giuing them somewhat the more scarpe, or for a neede vse no wood at all, and where turffe would fall out scant, so that the ditch would be well watered, vse none but in the bulwarks, and rayse the courtine with earth onely, making euery way a vertue of ne∣cessitie.