Fort Sanders was the combined work of (first) Confederate engineer Danville Leadbetter and (second) Union engineer Orlando Poe, with impromptu assistance from Union artilleryman Samuel Nicoll Benjamin.
But the overall design, from the fort’s earthen ramparts to the dry ditch surrounding the decisive Northwest Bastion to the sloped glacis that made climbing the bastion’s embankment so difficult was thousands of years old. Not unlike, for instance, the fortress town of Megiddo on a hill overlooking the Jezreel Valley in Israel.
Like Fort Sanders, Megiddo’s original ramparts were embanked dirt but its glacis was plastered to make it smooth and slippery, something Benjamin accomplished on a temporary basis. He had Union troops pour boiling water down Sanders’ glacis on a night of freezing temperatures. At dawn, the attacking Rebels found the icy glacis almost impossible to ascend.