War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0284 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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prevent it. Certainly this is the case as the matter now stands. If this is correct, the works should be regarded merely as holding the points from which he might shell the city, and, which held, will prevent his operating on that side.

With this view, the forts should be kept provided with several days' provisions. I think the garrisons ought to be placed more generally inside the works, particularly, as at Mahan, where there is much space. If there is danger of surprise, and no troops in the neighborhood but the garrisons, this is the more important.

The belt of woods in front of Davis, Du Pont, and Meigs I meant to have felled with the first work done. It is still sanding, as also woods and wooded heights west of Mahan, too near. The guard on the west side of Benning's Bridge would be of no use against a cavalry raid or an attempt to force the passage by an armed force. I think a tete-de-pont at Benning's and Navy-Yard Bridges and stockades would probably be best at both positions. Terre are now siege guns at several of the works, as Mahan and Meigs; siege platforms should be immediately laid for them. The 30-pounder Parrott at Mahan may be removed to Meigs, if you think best. Enough field guns have been sent to Fort Baker to fill all the platforms, i believe. Would it not be better to distribute them in Davis and Du Pont, where none have been sent? If you do it, consider it carefully, so there will be no after-changes, and report if after it is done.

You have no idea of the uncertainty which exists as to the actual armament, so many changes having been made lately.

I am, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

J. G. BARNARD,

Brigadier-General.

MONOCACY, MD., September 13, 1862.

Colonel STAGER:

We have got line strung across river and built to old office. Line down very badly between here and Frederick, 3 miles. Mr. Kelty, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad operator, gone to Frederick with instruments. I go as soon as I can build line. We want wire, and materials to get both wires up. No authentic news, except that rebel wagon train was captured this a. m., and that we have many prisoners. Heavy firing at or near Harper's Ferry until about 3 p. m. Rumored that large portion of rebel army has recrossed into Virginia. Have seen member of Brigadier-General Kimball's staff, who promised to inform commanders that we were in communication. Have you any orders?

F. T. BICKFORD.

UPTON'S HILL, VA., September 13, 1862.

Lieutenant-Colonel McKEEVER,

Chief of Staff, Arlington:

I have to report that I sent Captain Grinton, Harris Light Cavalry, to Dranesville and beyond, toward Leesburg. He proceeded to within about a mile of Goose Creek, some 6 miles from Leesburg, and about 22 miles from here. He heard from many sources that Leesburg was abandoned, and thinks it so. He could hear of no force toward Vienna. He found a servant deserted from his master at Frederick on Wednesday, and who left Leesburg at 10 to-day. I shall him in the morning, as directed, and his examination for verification. The man lives near