The selection of a better position for defending the river is desirable, especially if one can be found below. Much must be left to your judgment and experience in making the change, but when you have chosen a new site you will as soon as possible furnish this office with a full description and sketch of the ground and the approaches. If you need the service of Major Thompson as an assistant you can retain him. His local knowledge will give him advantages that will no doubt make his services the more valuable. I presume Lieuts. [W. G.] Bender and Randolph, Provisional Engineers, have reported to you by this time as assistants. You have the authority to employ against to collect the necessary negro force to construct the work committed to your charge, and foremen or oversees to direct their labors to the best advantages. With the services of Major Thompson and Lieutenants Bender and Randolph as assistants it is hoped that you will not find it necessary to employ persons in the capacity of superintendents. It does not appear from the records of the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office that Major Thompson holds the appointment of major in the Provisional Army of the Confederacy. Is he an officer in one of the North Carolina regiments now in the Confederate service? I fear that there will be much difficulty in procuring a sufficient number of chains and anchors for securing heavy rafts, such or in place of piling. You will please to make every effort to procure such materials as will be needed for the works you may decide upon. You will purchase all the shovels and spades you can and on the best terms they can be procured; also such other tools as may be necessary. If you fail to get as many as you may need the Bureau may be able to aid you to a limited extent.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. F. GILMER,
Colonel and Chief of Bureau.
Abstract from Field Return of troops commanded by Major General G. W. Smith, October 20, 1862 (headquarters, Richmond, Va.).
Present for duty.
Commands. Officers. Men. Aggregate Aggregat
Department of 650 11,537 14,805 17,767
Brigadier-General 116 1,699 2,266 2,887
Colonel T. J. 23 265 413 481
Drewry's Bluff, 198 3,359 4,475 5,437
Picketing 11 147 223 261
Richmond defenses. 87 1,679 2,128 2,845
On Brook Run:
42nd Regiment 27 340 490 565
54th North 29 540 726 873
57th North 25 562 737 971
61st Virginia 28 404 500 571
59th Georgia ... ... ... ...
13th Virginia ... ... .. ...
2nd North Carolina ... ... ... ...
Fredericksburg, .. ... ... ....
Drewry's Bluff, ... ... ... ...
Captain S. S.
Lee, C. S. Navy.*.
Department of ... ... ... ...
Grand total. 1,194 20,532 26,763 32,658
*No report received.