ends of the bridge are attacked at the same time, 75 men would be ample for the defense. Provision is made for two pieces of artillery only.
At Loudon (Tennessee River) the stockade at the east end is now nearly complete. At the west end the work, as originally designed, is as contracted as I think will afford a sufficient defense even against a raid. I would urgently recommend that the works at this point be completed as originally designed. The bridge is the longest and most costly on the whole line of road. To man the works fully, 400 men would be required, but unless the attack was made at both ends of the bridge at the same time, 200 men would be sufficient. A foot-way is to be prepared through the bridge for communication.
At Strawberry Plains (Holston River) the works at the east end are already far advanced, and the timber for the entire work is nearly all provided. Owing to the peculiar construction of this bridge, I do not think the force for its defense can, with safety, be reduced to less than 300 men. At each end there are a number of small piers, not more than 20 feet high, located on dry land, any one of which an enemy could climb and fire the bridge. To prevent this, I propose a small shelter for three or more men on each pier in the interior of the bridge-truss, with a footway communicating through the bridge with the block-houses at the ends. This bridge, like those at Loudon, Mossy Creek, Carter's Depot, and Zollicoffer, is one of the form known as "deck bridge," trains running upon the roof or upper chord instead of the interior or lower chord, as is the case with all others on this line.
At Flat Creek, Mossy Creek, Lick Creek, and Limestone the works are very small, and are already far advanced. The estimate of force required for these points was very full, allowing one man for each linear yard in the outline of the works. The number can undoubtedly be much reduced with safety, as it is very unlikely, and in most cases impossible, that at any point the works will be entirely surrounded, and attack made from all directions at the same time.
At Carter's Depot (Watauga River) the works are very nearly completed. For the same reasons as expressed above, the force at this point can be reduced with safety to 200 men.
At Zollicoffer (Holston River) the work will consist entirely of blockhouses. The estimate of force required (300 men) was for fully manning, them, and for the same reasons as given above the force may be reduced one-half. I would not, however, recommend that it be done, as it is a point much exposed to cavalry raids.
W. F. FOSTER,
Captain and Chief Engineer Department of East Tennessee.
HEADQUARTERS, Montgomery, Ala., April 7, 1863.
I have been ordered to establish General Johnston's headquarters at Montgomery, Ala. You are, therefore, requested to forward your papers to this place, instead of Chattanooga.
By command of General Johnston:
T. B. LAMAR,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.