War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0876 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

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The Department desires a report in answer to this letter, showing the precise extent to which there has been any seizure of private property or appropriation of railroads or steamboats to the public use since October 1 and the necessity that existed therefor, and whether there exists any ground for censure of the officers or agents of the Government in their management of that business.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. A. CAMPBELL,

Acting Secretary of War.

ENGINEER BUREAU,

Richmond, Va., November 24, 1862.

Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to return herewith the letter of Major General R. Taylor, in reference to the defense of the Red and Washita Rivers and the appointment of Col. L. G. De Russy as superintendent of the works. As early as the 14th instant Captain W. H. James, just then appointed an officer in the Provisional Corps of Engineers, was ordered to report to Major-General Taylor for the duty of constructing defenses on the above-named rivers and the Atchafalaya, but a few days ago I received by telegraph his non-acceptance. As soon as possible another officer of the Provisional Corps of Engineers will be assigned to the duty and orders directing him to report to Major-General Taylor applied for. Until such officer can report in person to General Taylor I respectfully recommend that Colonel De Russy be retained as superintendent of the proposed works, and after that as a civil assistant, should his services, in the opinion of the engineer officer assigned to the charge, be needed. Major-General Taylor's letter is returned herewith with the following indorsement by Colonel Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance, viz:

NOVEMBER 22, 1862.

Col. J. F. GILMER, Chief Engineer, &c.:

There are no 8 or 10 inch guns now disposable. A month hence a couple of guns of this class may be disposable. Two 24-pounder guns on siege carriages and two 32-pounders on barbette carriages are disposable at Charleston, S. C.

Very respectfully,

J. GORGAS,

Colonel and Chief of Ordnance.

I would respectfully recommend that the Chief of Ordnance be directed to send the guns disposable at Charleston to Major-General Taylor for the defense of Red and Washita Rivers.

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

J. F. GILMER,

Colonel and Chief of Engineer Bureau.

[Indorsements.]

Let Colonel Gilmer's suggestions be carried out.

J. A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.

ENGINEER BUREAU,

Richmond, Va., December 11, 1862.

Two 24-pounders on siege carriages and two 32-pounders on barbette