War of the Rebellion: Serial 045 Page 0021 (Untitled)

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where it might be advisable, roads or paths in front of their forts. The result has shown what should, perhaps, have been expected. Those thus ordered, think it necessary to do something, and are as apt to do what is mischievous as what is useful. I must call your particular attention to the case of Fort Craig. The commanding officer has taken upon himself to denude the fort of its essential defenses. I think the case demands a pointed notice on the part of the commanding officer has taken upon himself to denude the fort of its essential defenses. I think the case demands a pointed notice on the part of the commanding general. No officer capable of commanding a fort could be guilty of such an act, and, if it is passed over, we shall have our batteries shipped next, to arm the rifle-pits of Alexandria. In reference to this city, I remark that no reference of any kind has been made to me, no advice asked for, no explanation of the object of existing works. I do not object to temporary arrangements around storehouses, &c., to be defended by those permanently assigned as guards to such buildings, but I do object to such work being undertaken as the rifle-pits described. They are demoralizing to the front lines, and are, besides, the fruitful source of withholding from their defense the men who should be there. The work that has been thus done, would have finished the line of rifle-pits and obstructions intended by me across the Hunting Creek Valley. In reference to Colonel Alexander's criticism of the location of block-houses at the bridge near Hunting Creek, I would remark that I was ordered to send an officer there, and sent the only one available. Whether the faulty location is his fault, or whether it is faulty. I am unable to say. I am, very respectfully, your most obedient servant.

J. G. BARNARD,

Brigadier-General.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS, Chief Engineer of Defenses, Washington,

June 6, 1863.

Brigadier General J. G. BARNARD,

Chief Engineer, Defenses of Washington:

SIR: I have during the last few days inspected our line of defense from Fort Corcoran to Fort Lyon, and examined all the works on the right bank of the river, excepting those at Chain Bridge. I find that there is an apprehension prevailing along the line that the enemy's cavalry may possibly make a raid, get inside of our lines, and do us damage, and that steps have been taken at some points to close up the roads and paths by which cavalry might cross our lines. These obstructions consists in most cases either of additional abattis, rifle-pits, or stockades. With then present insufficient garrison of the city, I am not disposed to question the possibility of such a raid, nor to underrate the damage that might be done in a single night by a few thousand cavalry. I do not, therefore, wish to do or say anything that will have a tendency to throw the garrison of our forts off their guard, or prevent them from making all proper obstructions to guard against surprise; but I will nevertheless venture to express the opinion that the efforts of these garrison of the forts in some cases have not been directed by the best intelligence, and that the obstructions they have