War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0384 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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NAVY DEPARTMENT, August 29, 1862-1.10 p.m.

Rear-Admiral L. M. GOLDSBOROUGH,

Commanding North Atlantic Blockade Squadron, Norfolk, Va.:

Commodore Wilkes is ordered to Washington with the Wachusett, Maratanza, Sonoma, Tioga, Aroostock, and six mortar boats. The other six mortar boats go to Baltimore. He is directed to turn over the remainder of the flotilla to you, and you will make such disposition of the vessels as your best judgment dictates, closing the coast south of the Rappahannock.

Acknowledge receipt.


Secretary of the Navy.


Major General B. HUGER,

Commanding, &c., Norfolk, Va.:

GENERAL: It has been represented to me that the work at Harden's Bluff, Fort Huger, is not in good defensive condition. The items of fault are reported to be as follows:

1. Want of proper traverses.

2. Want of bomb proofs.

3. Existence of wooden buildings inside the work.

4. The six 32-pounders for hot shot are not on barbette carriages and there are no guns mounted for land defense.

5. The woods are left standing close to the work on the outside.

6. The men have not been drilled at their guns for some time past.

7. A want of harmony and zealous co-operation among some of the officers, resulting from questions of rank [it is said Captain de Lagnel, who was sent to command the battery of heavy guns, is junior to the captain of one of the companies serving at the battery, and that this is one cause of trouble; and that Colonel Archer and Captain de Lagnel do not accord entirely.

Captain Rives, in charge of the engineer office here, reports in regard to the items of complaint as follows:

1. Traverses are in progress of construction.

2. Bomb proofs are being made as rapidly as possible.


4. The six 32-pounders have not been mounted en barbette because he has not been able to procure the carriages, and for the same reason no guns have been placed for the land defense. He thinks, however, that he can procure at least two barbette carriages on which to mount a like number of guns looking to the land, and will send them to Fort Huger at once, with as many more as can be obtained, and will do the same in regard to the other carriages and guns so soon as they can be procured.

5. The engineer in charge of Fort Huger has long since been instructed to have the woods felled. A want of axes may have prevented