"...as an additional security against assault, now that the enemy had approached so near, I had a number of 8, 10, and 13-inch shells planted in the scrap wall of ditches as "torpedoes" and connected them by means of wires, with the interior of the works..."
1st Lieutenant Fred Y. Dabney,
Port Hudson Garrison
Concerned that Union soldiers would invade by tunneling through the walls of Fort Desperate, Confederate engineers halted their plan. By planting 8, 10, and 13-inch cannon shells into the dirt walls surrounding the fort, the engineers ensured this would not happen. Wired with a friction primer detonators the shells could be exploded by Confederate sentinels inside Fort Desperate.