HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE,
Middleburg, Ky., May 20, 1863-12 m.
Captain GEORGE A. HICKS,
CAPTAIN: I send forward Colonel Christ's report, just this moment received.* The messenger left Somerset at 7 o'clock this morning. All was quiet then, but, after he had ridden some 6 miles, he was overtaken by an express messenger for Colonel Wolford. Shortly after, the messenger heard rapid cannonading toward the Cumberland, and counted some sixty shots. He supposed the enemy were trying to cross over. He reports that the enemy has been re-enforced by 15,000 troops. I sent 10 of Captain [Alexander] Smith's cavalry (Wolford's) to the front yesterday, with instructions to forward me the earliest intelligence of any movement of the enemy, and all other matters of importance. None of them have yet returned. As soon as I hear from them, I will apprise you.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
OFFICE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, DEPT. OF THE OHIO,
Cincinnati, Ohio, May 20, 1863.
Brigadier General JOSEPH G. TOTTEN,
Chief of Corps of Engineers, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: Inclosed I have the honor to forward Special Orders, Numbers 155, from the headquarters of this department, directing Captain McAlester to relieve me of the immediate charge of the defenses of this city, and making him the disbursing officer for the Engineer Corps in this department. By this arrangement the accounts of Captain C. E. McAlester, [Twenty-third] Michigan regiment volunteers, in charge of the constructions of the defenses along the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, as far as and inclusive of Bowling Green, and at Glasgow, will be settled as heretofore by Captain Miles D. McAlester, Corps of Engineers.
At the date of being relieved of the defenses of this city by Captain McAlester, May 2, my operations since April 19, when I took charge, were as follows:
ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE LICKING RIVER.
Fort Whittlesey.-The parapet all around, except on the rear sides, was increased to a thickness of 13 feet; the breast height rivetted with boards; the interior of the work defilated and graded, and the magazines covered with a roof of tongued and grooved boards, and on these another layer of inch boards, the whole made water-tight by a composition of rosin and tar. The logs were got out and prepared for the stockade connecting the two works (see plan already furnished). Six guns en barbette were also mounted.
Phil. Kearny Battery.-The parapet of this work was extended, as recommended in my report to Major-General Wright of November 27.
Shaler Battery.-Two additional guns (32's) were mounted, and the garrison has, under my direction, been improving the breast height.