Taking Cover

During the Civil War, soldiers often fought out in the open causing thousands of casualties. Because of this, the military decided to formally instruct and equip soldiers to entrench themselves. Soldiers and citizens here fully embraced this new strategy.

But in the mountainous terrain of "Lolo Canyon," holes in the ground had their limits of protection. One citizen volunteer "labored arduously" to prepare his pit. When he was finished...

trowels illustration

Brevet Lt. Col. Edmund Rice invented the trowel-bayonet, which was one tool the infantry used to dig the trench and at least three rifle pits. One of the plates from his instruction manual is shown. The Model 1875 Rice trowel-bayonet was designed to be a hand-shovel, a hatchet, and a bayonet. It was credited with helping save the Regiment twelve days later at the Battle of the Big Hole.

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