Put some competent and energetic officer in charge, and I am certain the work can be done with the means at hand.
H. W. HALLECK,
CORINTH, June 7, 1862.
Your telegram is received. Urge upon General Wood the importance of pushing forward the Bear Creek Bridge with all possible dispatch. Every man that can find room to work should be employed. Our mechanics here work all night on the locomotives and cars.
H. W. HALLECK,
HEADQUARTERS SIXTH DIVISION, Near Bear Creek Bridge, June 7, 1862.
Col. J. B. FRY:
It is not true that the Engineer Regiment is required to do duty. At the moment of my arrival here with my advance guard [I had come in advance of the bulk of the division to select a camp] I was greeted with the information that some men of the Engineer Regiment had been fired on from the eastern side of Bear Creek, one being killed outright and another wounded. This fact clearly indicated the presence of some hostile parties. Of their force I of course knew nothing. Previous to the commencement of the work, and while preparations were being made for it, I directed Colonel Innes, his camp being near and convenient, to put a camp guard for his own protection at the site of the late bridge and one on the road leading to a ferry 2 miles lower down. As soon as the work was commenced the men were relieved, and they were very small parties. I have two regiments on duty daily, one for protection, the other for labor. The former is posted on the eastern side of Bear Creek.
Your written instructions of the 1st instant inform me that General W. S. Smith is charged with the supervision of the work of repairing the road and my duties those of the military commander. These instructions should have prevented the tone, implied at least, of reflection of your dispatch of yesterday, this moment received, for the slow progress of the work. The dispatch would seem to indicate that I am expected to give more supervision to the work than is contemplated in the written instructions. If this be the general's wish, while it is by no means a duty I would seek, I will [do the work] as rapidly as possible. I informed General Smith and Colonel Innes that I would give them every facility to hasten the work to completion, and I have answered all their requests. It is proper to remark that I do not know that there has been any want of energy and activity on the part of those heretofore charged with the work. I have seen little of General Smith, but Colonel Innes seems anxious to hasten the work. Not being a practical engineer or bridge builder, it is impossible for me to say whether Colonel Innes' efforts are directed judiciously. I only speak for his energy.
I respectfully request a copy of this dispatch be submitted to General Halleck.
TH. J. WOOD,