"My army is as much stronger for these new entrenchments as if I had received reinforcements of 20,000 men."
- R.E. Lee, Decenber 14, 1862
In December, 1862, the Confederates had no organized engineer corps. For construction of defenseive works they relied on pioneers, special detachments from each regiment.
At Fredericksburg, the pioneers formed the core of Confederate work parties, but everyone pitched in to entrench the 7-mile line. The troops made effective use of existing cover.
The men constructed additional protecting works. Lee's Hill was heavily wooded. The pioneers removed all trees in front of artillery positions.
Trenches Then and Now
Civil War earthworks were generally tall enough to protect infantrymen standing up. After the war, the trenches eroded several feet before becoming stabilized by nature.