Number 8. Reports of Major Nathaniel Michler, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army, Acting Chief Engineer, Army of the Potomac, of operations September 17-November 14

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 87)

Numbers 8. Reports of Major Nathaniel Michler, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army, Acting Chief Engineer, Army of the Potomac, of operations September 17-November 14.1

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, ENGINEER DEPT.,
September 24, 1864.

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit for the information of the lieutenant-general commanding the Armies of the United States the following report of the engineering operations under my charge since the date of previous report of the 17th instant:

At the commencement of the present week my attention was particularly directed, under instructions of the commanding general of this army, to the examination of the country from the Blackwater Swamp, near Prince George Court-House, north toward Bailey’s Creek, in reference to a defensive line. A strong position was found and suitable localities selected for field-works. In this reconnaissance I was accompanied by Captain Harwood and Lieutenant Lydecker; the former officer, assisted by the latter, was then directed to superintend the tracing and profiling of a redoubt and battery near Prince George Court-House and the line of infantry parapet connecting them. This work was performed by C Company, U. S. Engineer Battalion. The battery was finished and the redoubt fairly commenced, when, upon receipt of orders this evening to suspend work upon it for the present, the command was withdrawn. Upon a subsequent day I was directed to confer with General Benham, in command of the immediate defenses of City Point, in reference to lines selected by him, extending from Bailey’s Creek in a northerly direction to the Appomattox, to cover the latter place. The vicinity of the crossing of this creek, near the Old

Court-House, by the road leading down the James River, will not only be the terminus of the latter line, but also that from Prince George Court-House. Below this crossing the stream is represented to be impassable, no road crossing it, or at least can be made so by slashing the dense undergrowth which borders it. Lieutenant Lydecker accompanied me also in this reconnaissance, and, in order to be certain as to the selection of the most suitable site for a field-work to unite the lines above referred to, I directed him to superintend the felling of such timber in the neighborhood as might conceal from the same point of view the direction of the respective lines, and also ordered some detailed surveys to be made. These works were not quite completed to-day. When finished, Company B, U. S. Engineers, is already on the ground ready to commence the construction of the work determined upon. The two remaining officers of the U. S. Corps of engineers, with their respective companies, have been engaged as follows: Captain Gillespie, in immediate charge of the line on front of the Tenth Corps, extending from the Appomattox to the Norfolk railroad, reports the completion during the week of Fort McGilvery, and the partial construction of a new line of infantry parapet to the right and left of it. He has also partly inclosed Battery (lunette) Numbers 8 and Battery Numbers 14 by strong parapets.

In explanation, I would here beg leave to state that I have directed a few batteries along the line to be closed, so as to be at least partially self-protected in case the defense of the line should be left to the field-works and certain contiguous batteries. The service of the latter could not be judiciously dispensed with in connection with the proper defense of the former. In addition to the operations above referred to, Captain Gillespie has also had a fraise constructed above referred to, Captain Gillespie has also had a fraise constructed in front of the line from Fort Stedman to Battery Numbers 11, and one from Fort Haskell to Battery Numbers 13. One is also formed around Fort McGilvery. The revetment in Battery Numbers 5 has been replaced magazines for mortars built in Fort Haskell and Battery Numbers 11, and a large bomb-proof constructed in Fort Stedman. The battalion of First New York Volunteer Engineers directed the working details. Lieutenant W. H. H. Benyaurd has been during the week in the immediate charge of certain alterations, repairs, and additions along the Second Corps front, extending from the Norfolk railroad to Fort Alexander Hays. The terre-plain and ditches of Fort Davis have been drained, some of the old magazines filled, and new ones constructed; also new embrasures pierced and platforms laid for additional guns. This work is badly located in reference to the present line, and should have been farther advanced on higher ground. It was selected and planned, I believe, in reference to the refused line from the Jerusalem plank road back toward the Blackwater Swamp. A magazine and bomb-proof have also been completed in Fort Rice. Some of the embrasures and part of the parapet of Fort Sedgwick having been considerably damaged on the 22nd by some very excellent artillery practice on the part of the enemy’s batteries, Lieutenant Benyaurd was directed to superintend the repairs. The parapet is being newly rivetted and strengthened and will be finished to-morrow. The embrasures will be attended to to-morrow night. The present system of sharpshooting along that front prevents any work of that kind being done during the day. A new line has also been staked out by him, connecting Fort Sedgwick and Battery Numbers 22, and the latter with Fort Davis. A requisition for working details to construct it will be made to-morrow. Company A, U. S. Engineers, was detailed to report to Lieutenant Beyaurd. In compliance with my previous instructions,

certain works have completed during the week, and others are in the course of construction, by the officers and men of the Fiftieth New York Volunteer Engineers, attached to this army, under the immediate direction and supervision of Lieutenant-Colonel Spaulding, commanding the detachment. The following extracts from his weekly report of this date, set forth the nature and progress of the various duties intrusted to them:

Major Brainerd reports that from Sunday until Friday, both inclusive, parts of Companies D, F, G, and M, under the immediate supervision of Captain McGrath, were engaged in building corduroy roads in the covered ways in rear of the line of works from the left of Fort Sedgwick to the Norfolk railway. During the week there have been laid 3,000 feet of corduroy, properly secured with side rails, and covered with earth. Four hundred and ninety wagon-loads of corduroy material were used in this work. The worst parts of the roads in these covered ways are corduroyed, and the whole is now passable, yet a slight rain has demonstrated the necessity of continuing the work until the whole of these ways are floored with corduroy. Captain McGrath commenced this morning with his company cutting and hauling material for a fraise around Fort Sedgwick, in addition to the abatis and wire entanglement now in front of the fort. Captain Schenck has been engaged with his company during the week upon Fort Alexander Hays. Two traverses and the timber work of a magazine have been built and a bomb-proof partially framed. Sand-bags have also been put in position to protect the barbette guns. The remaining work on this fort will be completed early in the coming week. I directed Captain Schenck to proceed this morning to Fort Sedgwick and take charge of the detail of men for inclosing the work with an infantry parapet in the rear. Also to render Lieutenant Benyaurd any assistance he might require in repairing the fort. Captain Folwell, upon Fort Wadsworth, and Captain McDonald upon Fort Dushane, each with their respective companies, have been employed in completing these works. They report these forts complete, both in interior works and outer defenses, and they were this morning turned over to their respective garrisons. I directed Captain Folwell to proceed to Battery Numbers 26 this morning with his company and inclose the work with an infantry parapet in the rear, calling upon the corps garrisoning the fort for such assistance as he might require. Captain Hine has had charge of Forts McMahon and Blaidell, working his own company and details of infantry. Captain Hine reports the exterior of Fort McMahon complete, the platform ready for the guns, and the magazine nearly ready for use. A traverse of about 100 feet in length is being built, which will also be made a bomb-proof. The parapets of Fort Blaidell are nearly complete, but nothing has as yet been done in the interior. Captain Van Brocklin has been engaged in superintending the construction of Fort Stevenson, working his own company and an average detail of 1,400 infantry during each day and 500 each night; also ten teems hauling material for revetments. The embankment for the parapets is about half done, that of the front side being nearly completed, and the revetment has kept pace with the parapets. The subterranean drains are completed and covered and the three magazines and galleries finished. Three hundred gabions have also been delivered for reverting embrasures. This is a very heavy work and will be the last to be completed of the several works mentioned in this report. Captain Dexter had continued the work on Fort Patrick Kelly, working, besides his own company, a daily detail of about 600 men. The revetment is nearly completed and the parapets about two-thirds done. The platforms for the four guns in embrasure and for one of the guns en barbette are completed, as also the banquette on four of the faces. Captain Palmer has during the past week been engaged with his company upon Battery Numbers 40. The work is now prepared for one barbette gun and will be ready for the other barbette gun this evening. It is expected that the platforms and embrasures will be prepared for the other four guns by to-morrow evening.

In the topographical department I have the honor to report that during the week my principal assistant, Major Weyss, assisted by Mr. Theilkuhl, was directed to survey the line of the military railroad from its junction with the City Point and Petersburg road to that of the Weldon road; of the corduroy road between the Jerusalem plank road near Jones’ and the Globe Tavern, and of several shorter corduroy roads in the same neighborhood. These surveys, together with that of the new line between Forts Sedgwick and Haskell, have been plotted and added to the detailed map (scale eight inches to the mile), which has been for some time in course of preparation, showing the different lines occupied by the U. S. forces in front of Petersburg, together

with the general topographical features of the country. This map is now completed, with the exception of the lettering. It comprises the entire line from the Appomattox to the Weldon road, and thence back to the Blackwater Swamp. It is my intention to have it photographed for immediate distribution, and subsequently engraved, should my views be entertained by the commanding general. Drawings of the plans and profiles are now being made of Forts Sedgwick, Wadsworth, Rice, Alexander Hays, Dushane, Howard, Meikel, Morton, and Haskell, by four assistants detailed from the Engineer Battalion. When finished, copies will be respectfully submitted. The line from Fort Haskell to Fort McGilvery has been undergoing some alterations. As soon as it is definitely traced a survey will be made of it, and plans prepared of the latter fort and Fort Stedman. Several drawings of batteries are also being constructed. Captain Paine has continued during the week the reconnaissance of the roads toward the south, particularly of those along the line of cavalry pickets between the Blackwater and the James, and has obtained some additional information. Through the kindness of General Kautz several new roads have been laid down on the Petersburg sheet, one of the series of the campaign maps. This sheet has been partly finished from actual surveys as far as I have been able to extend them for the present, and the rest compiled from various authorities. Two photograph copies,* each united with one of the Dinwiddie Court-House sheets, are respectfully forwarded with this report. On one the present line is sketched and colored in blue. The Hanover Court-House has also just been completed. This is also one of the series of campaign maps. Together with the Culpeper, Spotsylvania Court-House, and Fredericksburg sheets, it has been forwarded to New York to be engraved. The only one of the series of campaign maps remaining incomplete is the Richmond sheet. With the exception of the lettering this is also ready to be engraved. The northern part of the “Copy of section of photograph map, captured from the enemy, &c.”, will be completed in one or two days and immediately forwarded to be photographed. The “Sketch showing the positions of the forts and batteries” has been photographed, and the “List of field-works, their armaments and garrisons,” prepared by this department and referred to in my last report, has been printed and copies furnished the adjutant-general at these headquarters for distribution. During the last two days the names and numbers of the forts and batteries have been designated by suitable signboards.

I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. MICHLER,

Major of Engineers, U. S. Army, Acting Chief Engineer.

Lieutenant Colonel T. S. BOWERS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Armies of the U. S., City Point, Va.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
OFFICE OF CHIEF ENGINEER,

October 8, 1864.

COLONEL: Since the date of previous report on the 24th ultimo, in regard to the engineering operations in this army, the following statement will set forth the nature and extent of the duties performed during the last two weeks by the officers and men of the engineer department, which I respectfully submit for the information of Lieutenant-General Grant.

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*To appear in the Atlas.

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In consequence of the movements which were taking place at the close of the last week, no favorable opportunity offered for making up the usual report for that period. The troops having been withdrawn from the neighborhood, the work on the redoubt and battery at Prince George Court-House was suspended on the evening of the 23rd ultimo, but the felling of timber and other preliminary arrangements continued at the Old Court-House. On the 26th I traced the line for the work at that point, and on the following day placed this and another redoubt, the latter located on a site nearly south of the former, in charge of Lieutenants Howell and Lydecker. Very little was accomplished, however, as operations were almost immediately suspended, a movement being in contemplation toward the left flank. Captain Gillespie during this time continued the superintendence of the new line extending from the City Point railroad to the Appomattox.

On the 28th, in company with General Hunt, chief of artillery, and Captain Gillespie, I made a thorough inspection of the line of intrenchments immediately in front of Petersburg from the Appomattox south, and suggested such additions and improvements as were needed. On the evening of the same day an order was published that “the whole army will be under arms, ready to move at 4 a.m. of the 29th”-the following morning. Instructions were immediately given to the officers commanding the Battalion of U. S. Engineers and the detachment of the Fiftieth New York Volunteer Engineers to suspend all operations on the different field-works in course of construction and to hold their commands and the pontoon trains in readiness to obey any further directions. During the active operations of the army to the west of the Weldon railroad on the 29th and 30th of September and 1st and 2nd of October, the officers of the U. S. Corps of Engineers, Captains Harwood and Gillespie, Lieutenant Benyaurd, Lydecker, and Phillips, the latter having but recently reported, and also Captain Paine, aide-de-camp, accompanied me on the staff of the commanding general, and were engaged under my directions in making different reconnaissances between the Halifax and Boydton roads in connection with the movement taking place. Lieutenant Howell, on the night of the 28th, had been ordered to report to General Gregg, commanding the cavalry division, and accompany him in his operations on the left flank of the army.

On the morning of the 2nd instant, immediately after, the enemy had been repulsed in his final attack made upon Ayres’ division, of the Fifth Corps, I examined a line to connect Fort Wadsworth, on the Weldon railroad, with the Pegram house, and selected sites for new works. Lieutenant Howell, assisted by Lieutenant Lydecker, was directed to trace and profile the one near the Pegram house, Lieutenant Benyaurd that in the rear of the Chappell house, and Captain Gillespie a third one between the last and Fort Wadsworth; details to aid them came from the Engineer Battalion. Subsequently, however, these officers were respectively relieved from the charge of the works, and their construction turned over to the officers and men of the Fiftieth New York Volunteer Engineers, as will be seen from the following extracts from the reports made me by Lieutenant-Colonel Spaulding, dated on the 1st and 8th of October. These reports give also in detail the operations of his command previous to and during the recent movements:

Captain Folwell was at work with two companies of this command from Sunday morning until Wednesday evening (when the work upon the several forts and batteries was suspended) upon Batteries Nos. 8,9, and 26, and upon Fort McGilvery.

The gorge of Battery Numbers 26 was closed by an infantry parapet. Platforms were laid in Fort McGilvery and the gorges of Batteries 8 and 9 partially closed. Major Brainerd reports that from the 25th of September to the 28th, inclusive. Captain McGrath was engaged with his own company and a daily detail of 100 infantry in getting out and preparing material for a fraise in front of Fort Sedgwick, and Captain Pettes, with parts of Companies D, G, and M, was engaged each nigh in putting this fraise in position. On the evening of the 28th 925 feet of this fraise had been built in front of the fort in addition to the old abatis and wire entanglement. Captain Schenck reports that on the evening of the 28th an infantry parapet had been built in the rear of Fort Sedgwick, but it had not been finished in the substantial manner that it would have been had a sufficient detail been furnished or more time given. The curtain across the Jerusalem plank road had been placed in condition for defense by infantry, and the platform for one gun in this curtain partially built, but the embrasure not opened. At Fort Alexander Hays the magazine was finished, all the timber work of the bomb-proof completed, and the whole nearly covered. The stockade at the entrance was about half done. Captain Hine had fully completed the exterior works of Fort McMahon, and the magazine and bomb-proof were finished ready for covering with earth. He reports that about two days’ work of 100 men would have finished this work. The parapets of Fort Blaisdell were rivetted of 100 men would have finished this work. The parapets of Fort Blaisdell were rivetted and nearly completed, and the internal works, except the magazine, were advanced.

Captain Van Brocklin reports the work at Fort Stevenson in the following condition: The front parapet nearly completed, with the exception of reverting the embrasures. The parapet on the flanks, about two feet below the proper height, and the rear about three-fourths complete. The banquette and ramps for the barbette platforms were in an unfinished state. The magazines were completed, with the exception of the entrances. Captain Dexter had nearly completed the parapets of Fort Kelly; the platforms for four guns in embrasure were finished, and the ramps and bank for two barbette guns made, but the platforms were not laid. The banquettes were completed, the magazines finished, except the lining, and partially covered. Captain Palmer reported Battery Numbers 40 as being nearly completed on Wednesday evening, requiring the labor of about 300 men for one day to complete a portion of the parapet and banquette. I neglected to mention in my report of last week that the corduroy road from the Jerusalem plank road was completed. Lieutenant Bacon reports it to be 1,400 feet in length. It has about 600 feet of side track and twenty-eight turn-outs. At about 10 o’clock on the evening of the 28th of September all the engineer officers and troops of this command were withdrawn from the several forts and batteries by your order and concentrated at my camp. During the several forts and batteries by your order and concentrated at my camp. During the night I sent five companies to take charge of the six pontoon trains which I had parked near City Point, with instructions to Captain McDonald to have the trains ready to move at a moment’s notice. About 11 a.m. on the 30th I received orders from General Williams to send one-half my command then in camp to occupy Fort Bross. I sent Major Brainerd with parts of three companies, in all about 280 men. One company was placed in the fort and one company deployed as skirmishers on each side of the fort. Pickets were also sent out in front and on the left toward the Blackwater Swamp.

On Sunday morning I received orders from General Williams to withdraw the detachment from Fort Bross, and your order to bring up the pontoon trains to the Jones house, on Jerusalem plank road,and concentrate my command at that point. At 5 p.m. the troops were in camp and all the trains but one in park. About dark I received your order to proceed immediately with the whole of my command to the Weldon railroad, near the Yellow House, and to send the pontoon trains back to their old camps near City Point. The trains were returned to their old camp during the night and the troops were marched to the Yellow House. On arriving there I sent Captain Hine during the night with two companies to the Pegram house to build a pentagonal fort for nine guns, five in barbette and four in embrasure. He reported the work ready for the guns on Wednesday morning, and they were placed in batttery. The entire work, except the magazine, was completed on Friday and surrounded by a double row of abatis. At daylight on Monday morning I send Captain Pettes with his company to report to Captain Gillespie for the purpose of building a pentagonal fort on the front line of the left of Fort Wadsworth. He reports the parapet nearly completed and the embrasures cut, in two of which the guns are in position and platforms for five barbette guns completed and two barbette guns mounted. Lieutenant Van Rensselaer has had charge of a fort near the Chappell house, on the Squirrel Level road. This fort is arranged for six guns en barbette. It is nearly completed, except the parapet on the rear face and the platforms in the rear angles, which are one-half done.

By direction of the commanding general, I made a reconnaissance on the morning of the 4th from the Pegram house to the Clements, and

then by the junction of the Vaughan and Church roads to Fort Dushane, for the purpose of selecting a line to be refused from the left flank toward the rear. The officers of the Engineer Corps accompanied me, and sites were selected for new works at the Clements house, near Widow Smith’s, at the junction of the Vaughan and Church roads, and near Forey’s, the latter west of Fort Dushane. The whole of the available force of both the regular Engineer Battalion and the Fiftieth New York Volunteer Engineers were ordered at the same time to be in readiness to commence these works-part to report at the Peebles house and part near Forey’s. Lieutenant Howell laid out and constructed one at Clements’ house. This commands the Squirrel Level road, and also the one leading to Hawks’ on the Duncan road. It was very nearly completed to-day. He also traced a small redoubt about the center line between this latter work and that near the Pegram house, which will be commenced to-morrow. Captain Gillespie, assisted by Lieutenant Benyaurd planned the one at Forey’s, and, subsequently, turned it over to Captain McDonald. The other two were traced by Captain Harwood, assisted by Lieutenant Phillips. These were afterward placed under the charge of Captains Van Brocklin and Folwell. Lieutenant Phillips was at that time temporarily detached and ordered to report to General Benham, to assist in the construction of the works in front of City Point. In consequence of Captain Gillespie’s sickness, and the necessity also of completing the works in the vicinity of the Appomattox, Lieutenant Benyaurd was detached from the work at Forey’s and directed to take charge of the operations along the line in front of the Second Corps. He is now engaged in repairs at Forts Sedgwick, Davis, and McGilvery, and in the construction of the line between the latter and Fort Stedman. The following extracts from Colonel Spaulding’s report will give in detail the progress of the new line of works between Fort Dushane and the Clements house:

On the morning of the 4th, by your order, one-half of my available command reported at Fort Dushane under the command of Major Brainerd, and the other half under Major Beers reported at the Peebles house. During the day several additional forts were laid out on the rear line and the work commenced. In the evening, by your direction and upon consultation with Captain Harwood, it was agreed that the latter, with the regular Engineer Battalion, should retain charge of the fort at the Clements house and the other three on this line should be turned over to officers and men of my command. I accordingly assigned Captain Van Brocklin with two companies to the charge of the square redoubt near the Smith house; Captain Folwell with two companies to the pentagonal fort on the left of the Smith house (junction of the Vaughan and Church roads), and Captain McDonald with two companies to the fort on the right of Fort Dushane. Captain Van Brocklin reports the front of the fort nearly completed, two barbette and two embrasure platforms ready for armament, and the work upon the flanks and rear half done. Captain Folwell reports his fort in defensible condition, but it will require two of three days to complete the work. Captain McDonald reports his fort three-fourths completed and platforms ready for three guns.

In the topographical department, I have to report the completion of the “Map of the environs of Petersburg, from the Appomattox River to the Weldon road, showing the position of the intrenched lines occupied by the U. S. forces during the siege,” and that the original has been sent to Washington to be photographed. The northern part of “Copy of section of photograph map captured from the enemy, showing country adjacent to Richmond and lines of defensive works surrounding the city,” has also been completed and forwarded to be photographed. Other sections of the same map are now being copied. All the campaign sheets, except the Richmond one, are finished and photographed, and already two of them are in the hands of the engraver

That one is also complete, with the exception of the lettering, and in the latter work considerable progress has been made. The measurements of the plans and profiles of the different field-works and batteries already constructed have been made, and the drawings are in course of construction. Some eight or mine are finished, but not yet copied. Accurate surveys of the lines recently taken up to the west of the Weldon railroad, together with the general features of the neighboring country, are being carried on as rapidly as possible. A rough sketch* is herewith respectfully submitted.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. MICHLER,

Major of Engineers, U. S. Army, Acting Chief Engineer.

Lieutenant Colonel T. S. BOWERS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Armies of the U. S., City Point, Va.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
OFFICE OF CHIEF ENGINEER,

October 15, 1864.

COLONEL: For the information of Lieutenant-General Grant I have the honor to submit the following report of the engineering operations of this army, carried on under my direction, during the week ending to-day:

In addition to field-works mentioned in my last to be in course of construction, the site for a small redoubt was selected about the center of the line between those at the Clements and Pegram houses, and also the positions of two new batteries located in proximity to them. These, together with the redoubt at Clements’ house, are being constructed under the immediate charge of Lieutenant Howell, assisted by the troops of the U. S. Engineer Battalion, with details from the Ninth Corps. The latter work has been completed, and in the former two faces are finished and the other two very nearly so. I subsequently directed that officer to inclose the two batteries, and they have been raised as high as the barbettes. The completion of the line between the Appomattox and Fort Davis has been personally superintended by Lieutenant Benyaurd. That part between Forts Stedman and McGilvery is very nearly finished, and the fraise in its front is being rapidly pushed forward each night. The section between Forts Sedgwick and Davis is about two-thirds advanced. Owing to the extended line occupied by the Second Corps, but small working details can be obtained from it. A deserter having reported that the enemy were driving a gallery for the purpose of mining one of our works, and from his information inferring that it might be Battery 21, adjoining Fort Sedgwick, I made an inspection of the ground to ascertain the practicability of any such effort. From the great distance between the two lines at the point indicated, over 1,800 feet, the intervening space being perfectly level and our picket-line being advanced about 600 feet in the direction of the entrance of the supposed gallery, and no indication of its existence being observed, such as the presence of air shafts, or fires, or other mechanical means to produce ventilation, I was not disposed to credit the story. As a precautionary measure, however, Lieutenant Benyaurd was directed to sink shafts within the battery and run out listening galleries for fifty or sixty feet. Fort Sedgwick had been

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*To appear in the Atlas.

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previously encircled by several wells, connected by galleries, which had become filled by the late rains. These would necessarily be drained by the construction of any galleries in their immediate neighborhood. At the request of Major-General Barnard, I accompanied him on the 13th along certain parts of the line, visiting Forts Rice, Sedgwick, and Davis.

In addition to the general superintendence of two or three works with which he was charged, Captain Gillespie was directed to make a reconnaissance on our left flank and ascertain, if possible, the position and direction of the enemy’s line of works. He was subsequently charged with the direction of some surveys in that locality. Lieutenant Phillips is still temporarily detached on duty with General Benham, assisting in the construction of the line of works in front of City Point. Captain Harwood, in addition to the necessary details connected with the command of the Battalion of Engineers, aided me in some examination of the line between Fort Alexander Hays and the Pegram house, to ascertain whether or not it could be materially advanced and shortened, so as to be held by a less number of men, and should such prove to be the case, would there be any particular advantage gained proportionate to the amount of labor to be exposed in intrenching a new line and constructing a new series of field-works. A report, in answer to these questions, was submitted on the 12th to the commanding general of this army. The following extracts from Lieutenant-Colonel Spaulding’s weekly report of the operations of the detachment of the Fiftieth New York Volunteer Engineers will furnish a statement of the condition and progress of the works located by me on the 2nd and 4th instant, those under the special charge of Lieutenant Howell having been already noticed, and of the advanced stage of the others, Forts Stevenson, Blaisdell, and McMahon, near the Jerusalem plank road. Work upon these had been temporarily suspended during the late movement of the Army of the Potomac, but was resumed by my direction as soon as the officers and men previously engaged in in their construction could be spared from the new line west of the Weldon railroad. The length of that line is over six miles, and the greater part has already been strongly intrenched, and either a strong abatis or fraise, together with heavy slashing, forms a serious obstacle in its front. Eleven redoubts have also been located at different points along it [which] for perfection and beauty of finish few field-works can surpass, especially when the short period of time to construct them is taken into consideration. The following form parts of Colonel Spaulding’s report:

Captain Pettes has completed the redoubt on the front line at the left of Fort Wadsworth, and it is now occupied by the garrison. At the date of my last weekly report, Lieutenant Van Rensselaer was engaged on the redoubt near the Chappell house, on the Squirrel Level road. This fort was completed on the evening of the 11th instant. On Wednesday I sent Lieutenant Van Rensselaer to report to General Parke for temporary duty on his lines. Since that time he has been engaged with a small detail from the command in cutting roads from General Ayres’ headquarters east through the woods, and also in charge of details from the Ninth Corps in making infantry and artillery roads in rear of the lines of that corps. Captain Hine completed the redoubt near the Pegram house on Sunday last, and during Monday forenoon was engaged with two companies of this command in slashing in front of the Ninth Corps. On Monday afternoon I directed him to proceed to Fort Blaisdell and complete the work upon that fort, and also upon Fort McMaHonorable Fort Blaisdell was completed on Friday evening with a double line of abatis in front. This morning the work was resumed on Fort McMaHonorable The parapets of this work are complete and the work ready for the guns, but several days will be required to finish the bomb-proof and other interior works. Captain Van Brocklin remained in charge of the redoubt near the Smith house until Monday morning, 10th instant, with two companies of this command and details of infantry.

On the evening of the 9th Captain Van Brocklin reported this work as very nearly completed; the embrasures and gun platforms-eight in number-finished except covering with corduroy; the infantry banquettes nearly finished. The parapet was also nearly completed, but no abatis had been built.

On the morning of the 10th instant I directed Captain Van Brocklin to return with his company to Fort Stevenson, which had been left unfinished at the time of the late move of the army, leaving Captain Schenck to complete the work near the Smith house. Since that time Captain Schenck has completed the work, including a substantial abatis. At noon on Wednesday Captain Folwell reported his redoubt on the Vaughan road complete and ready for artillery and garrison. He had had also the timber in front and on the flanks of the work extensively slashed.

On the evening of the 11th Captain McDonald reported his redoubt on the rear line south of Fort Dushane, complete except the abatis. This work has five guns en barbette and two in embrasure. A strong abatis has since been placed around the work by Captain McDonald, the woods in front slashed, good arrangements made for drainage, an arrangement of sand-bags made for the protection of the gunners of one barbette gun, and sand-bag protection placed on the parapets with loop-holes for sharpshooters. Since the 10th instant Captain Van Brocklin has been engaged with one company of this command upon Fort Stevenson, but had no infantry detail until this afternoon, when one regiment reported for work upon this fort. Three barbette platforms will be completed this evening and ready for use. Sixteen embrasures are also finished, but the platforms are not finished. In his report of last evening, Captain Van Brocklin stated that it would require a daily detail of 800 men for five days to complete this work. On the 10th I sent Captain Palmer with one company of this command to complete the work on Battery Numbers 40. This work was completed on the evening of the 12th. No abatis was placed in front of the work, but the slashing in front and for a considerable distance upon each flank present great obstructions to the movement of troops. On Friday I directed Captain Schenck to proceed to Fort Sedgwick with his company for the purpose of completing the unfinished work on that fort, and on his way to report to you for instructions. This work was commenced this morning, but I have not yet received a report of the progress made during the day. On Wednesday of this week I directed Major Beers to proceed to the right of the line near Fort McGilvery, taking with him one company of this command, Lieutenant Taylor commanding, and make arrangements for constructing a fraise in front of the new line. He selected the position for the fraise, made arrangements with the assistant adjutant-general Second Corps for teams and details of infantry, and left Lieutenant Taylor in charge. Lieutenant Taylor reports 850 feet of this fraise constructed, and that he will be able to get in about 500 feet each night.

In addition to the operations already enumerated, I have the honor to report that Captain Paine, aide-de-camp, and Lieutenant Lydecker, U. S. Engineers, were directed to make certain examinations and reconnaissances of the present line, and to locate as near as possible that of the enemy’s works. The latter officer was also called upon to make an inspection and ascertain the position and space occupied by the different brigades and divisions of the Fifth and Ninth Corps. In the topographical department the assistants have been engaged in making accurate surveys of the country west of the Weldon railroad as far out as the cavalry picket-line and of the newly intrenched lines. Measurements were also made of the different new redoubts. The former are being plotted, and drawings made of the latter. The ground has also been examined between the present terminus of the military railroad, near the Yellow Tavern, and the Pegram house for the purpose of extending that road. Surveys have been made of the proposed route. A base has been cut in front of Fort Howard along the line of infantry pickets and a triangulation made to locate the position of some points of the main works of the enemy in front of Petersburg. A map of these different surveys is in course of compilation. Tracings are also being made of the detailed drawings of the different field-works recently constructed, and also of those along the first and main line occupied by the enemy in front of Petersburg upon the advance of the army in June, for the purpose of photographing them. The lettering on the Richmond sheet, one of the series of campaign maps, is still progress-

ing, but owing to other miscellaneous business requiring the attention of the assistant engaged upon it, will not be completed until the end of the week. The “Copy of section of photograph map captured from the enemy, showing country adjacent to Richmond and lines of defensive works surrounding the city” has been photographed and copies sent during the week for the use of the lieutenant-general. Other sections are being copied, but have been delayed in consequence of the many calls made at different times for the original. Inspections of the different works were frequently made during the week, and it is with great satisfaction that I have to report that all have been constructed in the most satisfactory manner and with great rapidity.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. MICHLER,

Major of Engineers, U. S. Army, Acting Chief Engineer.

Lieutenant Colonel T. S. BOWERS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Armies of the U. S., City Point, Va.
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, ENGINEER DEPT.,
October 22, 1864.

COLONEL: The following report of the engineering operations of this army during the week ending to-day is respectfully submitted for the information of Lieutenant-General Grant:

On the 16th, accompanied by Captain Gillespie and Lieutenant Benyaurd,, U. S. Engineers, I passed over the ground between Fort McGilvery and the Rushmore house for the purpose of making a critical examination of the enemy’s line, to ascertain whether he had lately constructed any new works between Petersburg and Fort Clifton, and also to select sites for any additional works that might be needed between the Avery house and Point of Rocks to strengthen our line. The latter duty was performed and several localities were designated as important points along a second or rear line, namely, in close proximity to the Avery, Dunn, and Jordan houses, and one also near Battery Numbers 3, and another between Batteries Nos. 1 and 2. In regard to the enemy’s works, although repairs had apparently been made to some of them, small details being observed at work, still but one new one was in course of construction. The one referred to is in front of Fort McGilvery and on the banks of the Appomattox, apparently a small redoubt forming part of his line around Petersburg. During the week inspections were frequently made of the progress of the works to the west of the Weldon railroad; on the 21st accompanying Generals Grant and Meade along the whole line. On the 20th, by direction of the commanding general, I visited City Point with the medical director of the army for the purpose of choosing the ground for a general field hospital, upon which the necessary winter barracks are to be built. A beautiful place was found between the railroad and Bailey’s Creek, on the bluff overlooking the James River. Besides the convenience of the locality to the river, it possesses the advantages of retirement and security as well as those of health. Fine springs here and there burst forth from the banks, sufficient to supply every want. The officers attached to the Engineer Battalion, in addition to their company duties, have continued their labors of last week. Lieutenant Howell has had charge of Forts Cummings, Sampson, Gregg, and Conahey, all of which are occupied by the required garrisons with the necessary armament, except the last; this, too, is now very nearly completed. Lieutenant Ben-

yaurd, in addition to superintending the construction of the infantry parapet between Forts Stedman and McGilvery, and on the right of the latter, has also continued to drive the listening gallery and its branches in front of Fort Sedgwick. These works are very nearly completed. Captain Gillespie has made several inspections, and attended to the closing of the gorge of Battery Numbers 5. Lieutenant Phillips is still engaged in assisting General Benham in the construction of the line in front of City Point.

The following extracts from the weekly report made by Lieutenant-Colonel Spaulding, commanding detachment Fiftieth New York Volunteer Engineers, will furnish the nature and extent of the duties which he was directed to perform during that time:

During the past week Lieutenant Taylor, with one company of this command and details of infantry, has built 3,100 feet additional fraise in front of the new line from Fort McGilvery to Fort Stedman, making 3,950 feet of fraise built on that line at this time. By your direction I sent Major Beers this morning with two additional companies of my command to increase the force on this work, with directions to push it as rapidly as possible. If I am correctly informed as to the extent of fraise required on this line, I should say that it might be completed on the left of Fort Stedman and on the right of Fort McGilvery by Monday morning next, provided sufficient details of infantry and teams are furnished to get out the material in the daytime, the work of the engineer troops in placing it being necessarily performed at night. Captain Schenck reported the infantry parapet in rear of Fort Sedgwick and the curtain across the Jerusalem plank road complete last evening. I inclose a rough sketch of this work. I this morning sent Major and Captain McDonald to examine the front line from Fort Wadsworth to Fort Sedgwick to ascertain if there were any weak places in the abatis on this line, and if so, to have it strengthened at these points. Captain Pettes commenced work this morning with one company of this command to extend the abatis around the fort on the left of Fort Wadsworth, so as to inclose the fort. Lieutenant Van Rensselaer is doing the same at the fort on the Squirrel Level road, and Captain McGrath the same at the fort on the Squirrel Level road, and Captain McGrath the same at the fort near the Pegram house. The artillery and infantry roads in rear of the Ninth Corps lines, upon which Lieutenant Van Rensselaer was engaged at the date of my last report, were completed on the 18th instant. On the 19th he was engaged with a small detachment of this command in building a corduroy bridge near headquarters Second Brigade, Third Division, Ninth Army Corps, and to-day he has been occupied with one company of this command in constructing an abatis around the fort built by him on the Squirrel Level road. Captain Hine reports Fort McMahon complete, including bomb-proof and magazine. The only detail employed on this work during the past week was one company of this command. Additional abatis will be placed around this fort on Monday, and roads and bridges built in its vicinity. Captain Van Brocklin estimates at date of last report that the force necessary to complete Fort Stevenson was 800 men for five days, or 4,000 days’ work. During the past week the details furnished him have been equal to 1,765 men for one day, leaving about 2,235 days’ work still to be performed on the fort, besides the labor of one company of engineer soldiers. At the rate the details have been furnished on this fort for the past three days it will require about ten days more to complete the work. Captain Van Brocklin reports the following as the present condition of this work: “The front completed, except the flooring for the embrasure guns and one barbette gun; the right flank also completed, except the flooring the embrasure guns. The left flank will require about two days to complete. The rear parapet is about three-fourths complete, the banquettes are half done, and the magazine ready for use.” Captain Dexter resumed work on Fort Patrick Kelly Thursday of this week with one company o this regiment and an average daily detail of 330 infantry. He reports the parapets, banquettes, and earth-work for the barbette guns completed and the magazine finished. It is expected this work will be finished on Tuesday next.

By command of the major-general commanding, I have prepared a supplement to the “List of field-works, their armaments and garrisons,” of the line to the west of the Weldon railroad, and of that in front of City Point. It is now in the hands of the printer. A “Sketch showing the positions of the forts and batteries” is also being made. During the week Lieutenant Lydecker has been engaged in making the linear measurements of the different works, and in attending to the

proper naming of them. He has also prepared a report of the number of guns for which each work has been pierced, and their present armament. In consequence of sickness he has been confined in camp the greater part of the week. Captain Paine, additional aide-de-camp, has been occupied in locating the position of the enemy’s lines and in collecting information of the neighboring country.

In the topographical department the triangulation of the country west of the railroad and the linear measurements of the lines have been advancing under the immediate direction of my principal assistant, Major Weyss, and is now very nearly finished. The map of the same is now being prepared. The dimensions of the different works have already been accurately measured and drawings are being made of them. Tracings are also being prepared from which to photograph them. The Richmond campaign sheet, compiled from actual surveys and from other authorities, is now very nearly ready for the photographer and engraver; lettering not yet being complete. The copying of the different sections of the “Photograph map, captured from the enemy, showing the country adjacent to Richmond and lines of defensive works surrounding the city,” is still progressing toward completion. The “Map of the environs of Petersburg from the Appomattox River to the Weldon railroad, showing the position of the intrenched lines,” has been forwarded to Washington to be photographed, but as yet no copies have been received.

In conclusion, I have the honor to state that the whole line now occupied by the Army of the Potomac is almost entirely constructed and in a defensible condition. Some minor details among the interior arrangements of the different redoubts still require additional work, but are fast being attended to.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. MICHLER,

Major of Engineers, U. S. Army, Acting Chief Engineer.

Lieutenant Colonel T. S. BOWERS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Armies of the U. S., City Point, Va.
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, ENGINEER DEPT.,
October 29, 1864.

COLONEL: The following report is respectfully submitted for the information of the lieutenant-general commanding the Armies of the United States. It comprises a summary of the engineering operations of this army for the week ending to-day:

Previous to the movement of the 26th instant some alterations were made at different points along the line, to make the latter better conform to the position of the field-works upon their completion. Captain Harwood, assisted by Lieutenants Lydecker and Heap, made a thorough inspection of the line in order to report whether any additional arrangements were necessary to render the rear and flank defenses more perfect, and directed any slight changes that were needed. Captain Gillespie, in addition to the mining galleries in front of Fort Stedman, the driving of which he had charge, superintended the construction of two new redoubts, one near the Avery and the other on the ridge between the Dunn house and Friend’s. The mining gallery running from Battery 21 to the front of Fort Sedgwick was completed by Lieutenant Benyaurd, who also directed the infantry parapet near Fort

McGilvery and the one inclosing Battery Numbers 5. Fort Conahey was not completed prior to the movement, but Lieutenant Howell has since resumed work upon it. Lieutenant Phillips continued to assist General Benham in the construction of the line of works in front of City Point until the evening of the 26th, when he rejoined the Battalion of U. S. Engineers. On that day, by order of the major-general commanding all the engineer troops, the whole under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Spaulding, were ordered to be held in reserve near Poplar Grove Church for such service as might be required of them. Subsequently they occupied, from the 26th to the 29th, that part of the line near Fort Welch. The officers of the battalion, with the exception of one in temporary charge of it, accompanied me on the staff of Major-General Meade for the purpose of attending to any duties they might be called upon to perform. The following extracts from Lieutenant-Colonel Spaulding’s report will show the operations of the detachment of Fiftieth New York Volunteer Engineers under his command:

During the week Lieutenant Taylor, with two companies of this command for two days and one company for the remainder of the week, assisted by small details of infantry from the Second Corps, has built 2,550 feet of fraise on the line and around the forts between the Appomattox and Battery 13. On the morning of the 26th instant all the troops in this command were concentrated at my camp to assist in the contemplated movement on the left, but by your order Lieutenant Taylor was sent back the same day to report with his company to General Miles. All the work in building this fraise has necessarily been done at night. On Monday Captain McGrath was sent to the Avery house with two companies of this command to throw up a field-work near that point and also one near the Jordan house. These men were withdrawn on the morning of the 26th instant. Captain McGrath reports the earth-work at the Jordan house partially thrown up and three faces rivetted; the earth-work at the Avery house partially done, the revetment of one face completed and two other faces partially done. He estimates that it will require at each of these works one company of engineer troops and 350 infantry for four days to complete the works. Captain Van Brocklin reports Fort Stevenson ready for five barbette and five embrasure guns, and also ready for fourteen additional embrasure guns, except the platforms. The left flank requires about 200 days’ work to complete it, and about the same amount of work is required on the rear parapet. The earth-work and platforms are also still to be built for barbette guns in each of the rear salients and two at intermediate points. On Tuesday evening Captain Dexter reported Fort Patrick Kelly completed, except the abatis and some additional slashing in front and on the flanks of the fort. About two days more will be required with one company of engineer troops to complete the abatis and slashing. Since Wednesday morning all the troops of this command, except one company, Lieutenant Taylor commanding, have been engaged in the movement on the left until late night, when they were returned to their old camp near Poplar Spring Church.

In the topographical department, the assistants have been engaged in extending the surveys beyond the Weldon railroad, and a map of the new line is in course of compilation. The Richmond campaign sheet is completed, with the exception of the lettering, and copies of the additional sections of the map captured from the enemy are being made. During the move to the Boydton road the several roads followed by the moving columns of troops have been surveyed, and the topographical features of the country were sketched. A map is being prepared of the country passed over. Captain Paine, aide-de-camp was directed to guide the Second Corps during the movement, remaining until it was withdrawn from the position occupied by it on the plank road.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. MICHLER,

Major Engineers, Acting Chief Engineer.

Lieutenant Colonel T. S. BOWERS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Headquarters Armies of the United States.

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, ENGINEER DEPT.,
November 7, 1864.

COLONEL: The following report for the week ending on the 5th instant, exhibiting the engineering operations of the Army of the Potomac, during that period, is respectfully submitted for the information of the lieutenant-general commanding the Armies of the United States:

Captain Harwood, in command of the battalion of the U. S. Engineers, was ordered early in the week to make an examination of the line between the Weldon railroad and the Appomattox River, and report upon the progress of the alterations and additions previously determined upon. The nature of these improvements will appear in the extracts made from Lieutenant-Colonel Spaulding’s report, this officer having been directed to furnish the engineer troops to execute them. Lieutenant Benyaurd, assisted by Lieutenant Lydecker, superintended the construction of the redoubts near the Avery house and the Friend house, and the former also directed the countermining at Fort Stedman. The redoubts have both been completed and the listening galleries driven forty feet. Lieutenant Howell has had charge of the construction of Fort Conahey. The parapet and stockade are finished and the interior works are being pushed rapidly forward. Lieutenants Phillips and Heap have been engaged upon the construction of new magazines in Fort Howard and Battery 26.

The following extracts are made from Colonel Spaulding’s weekly report, setting forth the operations he was directed to take charge of, and the condition of the works constructed by the troops of his command:

During the week Lieutenant Taylor, with one company of this regiment, has been engaged in cutting and hauling material and building fraise around Battery Numbers 5, countermining at Fort McGilvery, and fitting the redoubts at the Jordan and Avery houses for temporary use. Three hundred and fifty feet of fraise has been built and thirty-one feet of gallery mined. The material is so loose in this gallery that it is necessary to support it for the whole distance, and but few inches can be cut at a time without supporting the roof. The earth has to be shoveled about 400 feet from the entrance to the mine, and consequently on Thursday, I sent wheelbarrows from the entrance to the mine, and consequently, on Thursday, I sent wheelbarrows from Fort Stevenson to Fort McGilvery. The extent of the countermining that may be required at this point is yet uncertain.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, the 1st instant, I sent Captain Hine with five companies of this command to complete the redoubts at the Jordan and Avery houses, and to strengthen the rear line of the forts from Fort McGilvery to Fort Sedgwick. Ramps and platforms have been built in the rear faces of these forts for barbette guns as follows: Four in Fort Stedman, two in Fort Haskell, three in Fort Morton, two in Fort Rice, one in Fort Meikel, three in Fort Sedgwick. Battery 10 has been rivetted. The redoubt at the Jordan house was completed last evening. The redoubt at the Avery house is in fighting condition and will be completed to-morrow. I directed Captain McGrath (Captain Hine having obtained leave of absence) to putt three companies of this regiment at work upon this unfinished redoubt this morning and dispense with infantry details. On Monday afternoon I sent Captain Van Brocklin with his company to resume work on Fort Stevenson. The detail furnished during the week for this work has been small and not very efficient. The rainy weather has also caused some delay in the progress of the work. The fort is now ready for seven barbette and eighteen embrasure guns; also 650 feet of infantry baguette ready for use. This work has so far progressed that not more than 200 men at a time can be employed to advantage, and Captain Van Brocklin estimates that with this detail the work, including the abatis, may be completed in five days.

In the topographical department a map of the country west of the Weldon railroad is being prepared to correspond to the one extending north to the Appomattox River-scale, eight inches to one mile. One has also been prepared (scale, two inches to the mile) of the field of operations of this army during the late movement. Copies are being made of the additional section of the map captured from the enemy. The Richmond sheet of the series of campaign maps has been finished

and forwarded to Washington to be photographed and engraved. The accompanying package of maps is respectfully forwarded for the use of the lieutenant-general. It include two photographic copies of field of operations of the army during the movement of the 26th ultimo; one photographic copy (reduced scale) of the environs of Petersburg from the Appomattox River to the Weldon railroad, showing the position of the intrenched lines occupied by the forces of the united States; three photograph copies of campaign sheets, Louisa Court-house, Fredericksburg, and Hanover Court-House. The Richmond sheet is now being photographed.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. MICHLER,

Major of Engineer, U. S. Army.

Lieutenant Colonel T. S. BOWERS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Headquarters Armies of the United States.
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, ENGINEER DEPT.,
November 14, 1864.

GENERAL: In compliance with article II, Special Orders, Numbers 119, headquarters Armies of the United States, dated November 4, 1864, superseding paragraph I, of Special Orders, Numbers 91, of date September 12, from the same headquarters, and this day received, I have the honor to report the engineering operations in this army during the week ending on the 12th instant:

In my last weekly report, dated November 7, addressed to Lieutenant Colonel T. S. Bowers, assistant adjutant-general, for the information of the lieutenant-general commanding the Armies of the United States, I stated that the new redoubts, the one near the Avery house and that barbettes, and banquettes for infantry, were, however, only finished, and I have since directed that magazines should be constructed in each. Both of these works, though small, occupy very commanding positions, the first overlooking Forts Sedgwick, Rice, Meikel, and Morton; and the latter Forts Haskell, Stedman, Battery Numbers 9 (now inclosed), and McGilvery, besides bearing well upon important works of the enemy on the west bank of the Appomattox. They are conveniently located in case it may be deemed advisable to throw up a continuous line between Fort Sedgwick and Battery Numbers 4 (near Jordan’s), and thence along the line of the commanding ridge running north past Rushmore’s to the large field-work on Spring Hill. On the 6th I made a personal inspection along the banks of the Appomattox from Battery Numbers 5 to a point opposite Fort Clifton for the purpose of learning the character of the river and its banks, and to ascertain the exact position of the line of works of the enemy. No additional was gained from that previously reported. During the week the mining gallery at Fort Stedman has been driven rapidly forward and the main gallery is now completed to the extent of eighty feet. Lateral branches have been commenced. This work has been in charge of Lieutenant Benyaurd, U. S. Engineers. The construction of Fort Conahey has been advanced under the immediate direction of Lieutenant Howell, U. S. Engineers, and is now very nearly completed, four feet of earth already covering the magazine. Lieutenant Taylor, Fiftieth New York Volunteer Engineers, has con-

tinued the countermining in front of Fort McGilvery, and at this date the gallery has been driven 140 feet. Lieutenant Van Rensselaer, with two companies of the same command, has been engaged in repairing the fraise around and near Fort Haskell and in leveling portions of the old lines. About four-fifths of the labor is completed. During the week the work on Fort Stevenson has been continued by Captain Van Brocklin, with his company of Fiftieth New York Volunteer Engineers, and small details from the garrison. The general commanding the Second Corps has telegraphed me that he will increase the number of the working party, and in a few days the fort will be completed. The work is now ready for nine barbette and nineteen guns in embrasure. Three magazines and 800 feet of banquette tread are also completed. The corduroy road from the Globe Tavern to the Jerusalem plank road has been repaired and covered during the week. An inspection was made on the 12th by Captain Harwood, U. S. Engineers, in reference to the destruction of a dam built by the enemy over the stream which crosses our line at Battery Numbers 12. A plan was submitted by Brigadier-General Egan to the commanding officer of the Second Division of the Second Corps, which was referred to me for an opinion, and upon which I submitted to-day a report to the major-general commanding this army.

In the topographical department the map of the country west of the Weldon railroad (scale, eight inches to the mile) is still in course of construction. I have already forwarded you six copies of the sketch, prepared on a scale of two inches to the mile, showing the field of operations of this army during the late movement. The copy of an additional section of the map captured from the enemy has been finished and forwarded to Washington to be photographed. The Richmond sheet of the campaign series has been sent to the bureau to be photographed and engraved. Accompanying this report you will please find a roll of maps comprising a photograph copy (half size) of the “Environs of Petersburg from the Appomattox River to the Weldon railroad, showing the positions of the intrenched lines, &c., ” and three photograph copies of sheets of the campaign series, including those styled Louisa Court-House, Fredericksburg, and Hanover Court-House. Plans of all the works constructed under my supervision along the front and rear lines of this army are being prepared, and will be forwarded when ready. Inclosed is a copy of a “Consolidated return of engineer material received, expended, and remaining on hand in front of Petersburg, Va., from July 14 to October 31, 1864,” furnished by Lieutenant-Colonel Spaulding, commanding detachment Fiftieth New York Volunteer Engineers, who has been authorized to make requisitions, subject to the approval of the chief engineer of this army, for materials upon the depot of the Engineer Brigade.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. MICHLER,

Major of Engineers, U. S. Army.

Bvt. Major General J. G. BARNARD,

Chief Engineer Armies operating against Richmond,

Headquarters Lieutenant-General Grant, City Point, Va.

Source:

  1. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 1 (Serial Number 87), pages 162-178

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