A new blog idea?  How about a new vocabulary word every now and then?

Well, I consider myself to be reasonably learned, but it never hurts to increase understanding (the hard part is to make sure that wisdom comes with knowledge…but that’s a different post).  So, while reading The American Civil War by John Keegan, I recently came across this word:

glacis

Here is the context:

A European fortress or an American fortress in the East would have had its surroundings altered to make “dead ground” and provide fields of fire across a smooth glacis which could be swept by artillery fire and musketry.  The nature of the ground and the abundance of vegetation at Vicksburg [Mississippi] made the construction of such a glacis impossible.

Here is the definition (from Dictionary.com):

1. a gentle slope.
2. Fortification . a bank of earth in front of the counterscarp or covered way of a fort, having an easy slope toward the field or open country.
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