HEADQUARTERS DEFENSES OF THE UPPER POTOMAC, Harper's Ferry, [W.] Va., January 19, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM D. WHIPPLE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Baltimore, Md.:
COLONEL: I sent an engineer officer to Winchester to examine the condition of the fortifications at that point. I herewith inclose you, for the information of the major-general commanding, the report of Captain White. I have sent picks, shovels, wheelbarrows, &c., to General Milroy, with orders to detail working parties, and put the works in thorough repair at once.
Hoping that my action in this matter will be approved by the general, I am, your obedient servant,
B. F. KELLEY,
HEADQUARTERS ENGINEERS, Harper's Ferry, [W.] Va., January 18, 1863.
First Lieutenant JOHN M. WILSON,
Top. Engrs., U. S. Army, Chief Engineer Defenses:
DEAR SIR: As per orders received from you of January 15, conveying the request of General Kelley, commanding, I reported to General Milroy, commanding Winchester, Va., January 16. On January 17, in company with General Milroy, inspected works for the defense of Winchester, and have the honor to report as follows:
1st. The works already erected for the defense of said town, and immediately in rear of the same, are of great strength, and command the town and approaches.
2d. Said works being out of repair, in consequence of their partial destruction at the time of abandonment, would respectfully recommend a thorough repairing of the same.
3d. That guns, say, of 20 or 30 pounder Parrotts, be placed in bastions, and the present armament of field guns be retained.
I would respectfully call to your notice that these works are commanded by other hills in rear of said works, but at such a distance apart as to render it impossible for the present command to garrison were works erected on them.
Yours, most respectfully,
ALBERT S. WHITE,
Captain, Commanding Independent Company of Engineers.
Harper's Ferry, [W.] Va., January 19, 1863.
Captain T. MELVIN,
SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith the report of Captain A. S. White, the officer sent by me to Winchester to examine the works in that vicinity. I would suggest that this report be carried out, and, in case the 20 or 30 pounder guns be placed in position, regular details of horses and men, and also the proper quantity of harness, be attached to each, so that, if it were found necessary to abandon the post, they could be carried away.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN M. WILSON,
First Lieutenant Top. Engrs., Chief Engr. Defenses of Harper's Ferry.