War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0906 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

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work be constructed to admit of siege guns, in conformity to a plan presented by the engineer.

Fort Worth occupies a very commanding position. A larger work would have been desirable, but the site would not have permitted it, even if the exigencies of the times in which it was built had not limited the size to a minimum. The work is deficient in fire (and from its figure cannot bring a sufficient fire) upon the heights directly opposite, south of Hunting Creek. Such additional guns as its form permits, to bear in this direction, should be introduced. The work has sufficient bombproof and magazines. A 100-pounder is being mounted to sweep the sector from Fort Lyon around to Fort Ward. The works previously enumerated, with a chain of obstructions across the valley from Fort Lyon to Cooper's Hill, will secure Alexandria and the left flank of our general defensive line, and, by their powerful artillery,prevent the establishment of field batteries on the heights south of Hunting Creek, and make even the establishment of siege batteries a work of great difficulty and danger. The Commission recommend the introduction of another 100-pounder into this work, to be placed in the salient of the south bastion.

Fort Ward occupies a very commanding and important position defending the Leesburg and Alexandria turnpike and lateral roads, and overlooking the country northwardly and westwardly toward Fort De Kalb and Bailey's and Ball's cross-roads. It contains a sufficient armament and ample bomb-proofs and magazines. It was built in great haste, and with too them parapets on the exposed fronts. The Commission recommend the thickening of the front parapets to 14 feet, and the construction of counterscarps casemates, for reversed fires, at the northwest and southwest angles. A 100-pounder is being placed in this work, which will sweep a large extent of country in front of our lines, and, in conjunction with those of Fort Richardson and the batteries north of the Potomac, will furnish a flank fire upon every part of the line hence to Fort De Kalb.

Fort Blenker.- The site was selected for its command of the valley of Four-Mile Run. It is defective in trace and in having no view of the approaches from the west, the ground rising in that direction. The latter defect is being remedied by the construction of a seven-gun battery, with stockaded gorge, about 200 yards to the westward. The work being in a re-entrant, and its approaches under powerful fire from Forts Ward and Barnard, it is believed to answer sufficiently well its purpose. The ravine in rear affords much protection to the garrison against shelling, and it is not proposed to construct bomb-proofs. The magazines are adequate. The valley of Four-Mile Run is obstructed by abatis, the rifle-pits only occupying a part of the interval near Fort Blenker. It is recommended to continue the rifle-pits across the valley, and to construct a battery for field guns on the spur east of the fort, by which an important enfilading fire up the valley will be obtained.

For Barnard occupies a commanding position, and one naturally very strong. It covers the head of ravines, in which large bodies of troops can be collected and concealed in a favorable position for making flank attacks upon an enemy's columns assaulting our line between it and Fort Craig, or attempting to penetrate the valley of Four-Mile Run. Taken in connection with its outworks and rifle-pits, the ground may be considered well occupied, though the work itself is rather small. Its magazines are adequate, and, considering the protection given to troops by ravines in its rear, it is not considered necessary to build more bomb-proof accommodation. The Commission recommend that