War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0806 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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the newly commenced work on Rocky Hill, right above the railroad depot, I have to report that it is very impracticable. In the first place Pilot Knob post cannot be defended well enough from it in consequence of its height and steepness - so much so that the guns cannot be depressed enough to do any damage to any attacking force. The railroad depot, at the same time the main depot of the quartermaster's department, are close to the foot of the hill. The main object is to hold the depot, and this cannot be done on account of the above-mentioned reason. Being at the depot an enemy is entirely below the range of any fire from the place where the new fort is laid out. The depot will be destroyed, and nothing can prevent it while a garrison is safe in a fort of no purpose whatever but to save itself. On the top of the hill where the new fort is laid out is no material whatever but stone, the most dangerous material for a breast-work. To carry others up is almost impossible, or at least very expensive. With the force on hand to built it in the way it is laid out will take a very long time. A working party of 200 men a day wants about six months to finish it; besides there is no water on the hill, and a well (artesian well), to bore through the stones, possibly, will require a depth of some 500 feet at a cost of not less than $2,500. Fort Davidson, however, with all its faults, against a regular siege, is mainly constructed against a raid until re-enforcements may reach the place and fulfill the purpose, provided the garrison does it duty. To have it, however, strengthened I suggest that a bomb-proof block-house may be erected within the fort. The place d'armee is sufficiently large enough to hold more than 250 men (the reserve) under cover while a regular attack is made. To strengthen the place still more it may be advisable to construct a rifle-pit from the southeast corner of Fort Davidson across the Arcadia road; also one from the northwest corner of the fort in a northerly direction across the Caledonia road. Both lines should be straight, so that they may be enfiladed from the fort.

I am, captain, your most obedient servant,

ANTON GERSTER,

Captain and Assistant Engineer.

SPECIAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, Numbers 232.

Saint Louis, Mo., August 22, 1864.

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11. Colonel G. W. Lackey, One hundred and forty-fifth Illinois Volunteers, with Companies K, D, C, and H of his regiment, now at Rolla, Mo., will proceed at once to Alton, Ill., and report for duty to Brigadier-General Copeland, commanding at that station. The quartermaster's department will furnish transportation.

By command of Major-General Rosecrans:

FRANK ENO,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CENTRAL MISSOURI,

OFFICE OF TOPOGRAPHICAL ENGINEER,

August 22, 1864.

Captain JAMES H. STEGER,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: I have the honor to report that Saturday morning I went to La Mine bridge to attend to the erection of the block-house ordered by