those immediately interested), and it is fully given in the engineer's report to the Chief Engineer U. S. Army, dated December 10, 1861.
The Commission deem it only necessary to remark that, in general, the lines and locations of works are well chosen; that where the works are not altogether adequate for their positions, or the lines fail to occupy the best ground, the causes are to be found in the exigencies under which the ground was selected and the works built. They find that the defects in the system, arising from these causes, were clearly understood by the engineer, and that on his reassuming charge, in August last, prompt and vigorous measures were taken to remedy them, and that at the date of the examination by the Commission some of the most serious deficient in the line had been remedied; that other works had been laid out or proposed which would judiciously strengthen weak portions of the line and they learn, from his own statements, that only the impossibility of getting adequate working parties from the troops, and the want of means for hiring the large bodies of laborers which would have been necessary,have prevented the execution during the past season of all the works so proposed. Though from such causes much remains to be done, the Commission find the line throughout its whole extent respectably strong, the works in good condition generally, garrisoned with artillerymen, and the armament in good order, and well supplied with ammunition and well served.
With these preliminary remarks, the Commission will proceed to mention the individual works, with such recommendations as they deem necessary.
Fort Lyon.-This work forms the extreme left of our line south of the Potomac and its function is a most important one-that of holding the heights south of Hunting Creek, from which Alexandria could be shelled and our left flank exposed. The work is the largest of all, excepting Fort Runyon. If it had been placed on the higher ground in front of its present position, it would have better fulfilled its object. The engineer is now constructing three advanced works, two on this higher ground and one to command the extensive ravine on the southeast. The Commission further recommend the construction of an interior reduit,, by which the main work will be made more secure against assaults; the construction of traverses, particularly on the southern front, and of additional gun platforms, in order, if required, to bring more fire to bear on the heights to the westward. One examining the ground between the Mount Vernon and Accotink roads, the Commission recommend a small work on the spur, with an advanced battery or batteries to sweep the river flats, the Mount Vernon road, and the ravine before mentioned. This work will better cover the Alexandria Bridge, and give great additional strength to Fort Lyon and to this left flank of our lines.
Fort Ellsworth.- This work is well situated, covering immediately Alexandria and the railroad depot. Though a work in second line, it fulfills an important purpose in closing the gap between Forts Lyon and Worth,and sweeping by its fire of rifled guns the approaches to those works, and,uniting its fire with theirs, preventing the establishment of batteries on the heights south of Hunting Creek. The work is amply, provided with bomb-proofs and magazines. The Commission recommend platforms and embrasures for field guns on the flanks.
Traitor's Hill.- This is a very excellent position, forming a point d'appui of the line of obstructions across the valley of Hunting Creek, and commanding the deep ravine which envelopes the rear of Fort Worth. It is important to hold it, and it is valuable as a position for artillery to fire upon the opposite heights; and the Commission recommend that a