experience on military works, but with a high reputation as a civil engineer, was left in charge of this work, with instructions to raise a laboring force in Gloucester, if practicable, and to meet me in Richmond on Monday p. m.
About 1 p. m., with one assistant, I embarked on board the steamer for this place, and arrived a very short time before the steamer Pawnee passed up the river; reported myslef to the commanding general, but received no orders from him until Sunday morning. Since that time I have been fully occupied with the construction of defensive works on their river. The ground in front of the Naval Hospital has been prepared for mounting fourteen guns on two faces, the half of which are now ready for service, with navy furnaces for heating shot. This work was commenced amid the greatest confusion and excitement. Three guns, and carriages were hastily removed from the navy-yard to this place, and mounted in the rear of the ground required to be broken for the battery. One hundred and fifty bales of cotton were sent over, to make a temporary cover for the men between the guns, should the Pawnee or Cumberland attempt to return to the yard. No such attempt having been made, the cotton was carefully piled in a way to prevent serious damage, and will now be returned to the public store nearly in the condition it was when received.
As soon as working companies could be organized at this place which, from the extreme excitement and confusion prevailing, required much time, even after local officers had been assigned to take charge of them and direct the application of labor, I proceeded to Fort Norfolk, where it was deemed expedient to mound as many guns as could be brought to bear on the channel, and also to construct between the wharf and fort covering the channel a water battery of six guns. This has since been reduced to five, in consequence of finding stone under and near the surface of the earth. Requisitions were made for materials, tools, and ordnance, and officers assigned to superintend the work; but no laboring force was available before Monday morning.
In the evening, after having made requisition for troops, materials, tools, &c., accompanied by one assistant, I left in a small boat for Craney Island. As far as practicable the ground was examined by moonlight. Neither troops nor laborers arrived during the night, but about 8 a. m. Monday morning labor commenced coming in from the plantations, and by 10.30 a. m. about one hundred and twenty laborers, with a suitable number of carts, had been placed on the work, which had been laid out to mount twenty guns, which cover all the channel-way within range from N. 5 W. to E.
A battery, to mount twelve guns, has been laid out on Penner's Point. The work on this is under the control of officers of the Navy, but requisitions for the laborers and tools have been filled at this office.
Soller's Point has been examined, and lines marked for three batteries, of six guns each. This position is so unfavorable for defense, no works have been commenced there.
The works in progress will mount sixty-one guns when completed. Of these, fourteen will be at the Naval Hospital, fifteen at Fort Norfolk, twelve at Penner's Point, and twenty on Craney Island. I am unable to state the number ready for service. At the Naval Hospital the officer in charge reports ten ready for action, two 8-inch shell and eight 32-pounders, with furnaces and fuel for heating shot.
From Fort Norfolk the report is not yet in. On Thursday the guns