Clearly one of the Fort's entrances, this "sally port" was probablyneeded here to rush men and perhaps cannons out to defendagainst an assault up the ravine behind you. This was the onlyplace a body of hostile infantry could gather for a close-quarters assault without first being subjected to heavy cannon fire. The ravine below this site was a natural path to the South Branch of the Potomac River. (Several miles west of the Fort, the NorthFork and the South Branch rivers meet.)
From the Diary of Joshua Winters, September 10-20, 1863. "Thur 10. clear today. tonite at 9 oclock thair was 100 of us went on a scout. We waded the South Branch, crost the mountain, got to the North Branch at daylite, very rough rode, steep and dark. Fri 11. went down the river and attacked the eneme. Drove them look sum prisners, then took the mountain. got to camp at sundown. all vary tiard. rough rodes and hard marchin. the 11 of September the rebels supprised Stevens at Moorefield and took 150 of our regement. Sat 12. Damp today. tonight at 9 oclock thair was 150 of us went scout, waded the river and traveld till 2 in the morning. stopt in the woods, side of the mountain. i am on pickit. dark. all tiard and sleepy. Sun 13. at daylite the 54th deploid and we moved on along the mountain for 2 miles. then we went to the top of it. the rebels had left. we com back on ther ode and got our breckfist. got in camp at 2 oclock, all tiard and sleepy. we went 25 miles. ... Wed 16. Clear today. i am on gard at Col Mulligans headqurters. ... Sat 19. the wind is cold today. i am working on the fort today. Sun 20. it is still cold. thair was preaching in camp today."