The general decides, for military reasons to abandon this place of crossing the river, and I started the party on another route, which leaves the graded road-bed 2 1/2 miles north of the Suspension Bridge just above the tunnel, then running down the side of the valley of Menter's Branch to the face of the cliffs of the Kentucky River, and up the river to a crossing just below Curd's Ferry, crossing the stream at nearly right angles and 60 feet high. The line then turns up the bottom and into the mouth of Cedar Run and up that stream 3 1/2 miles to its head, when it joins the former location.
This lengthens the road 1 mile, taking a grade of 105.6 feet per mile for nearly 3 1/2 miles on the north side of river, and 126 feet per mile for 2 miles on the south side, and about 100 for 1 1/2 miles. The curving to which I objected on this line before, can be avoided by a short tunnel from 200 to 300 feet long. The location of this line is nearly completed, but it requires more accurate work than any other part of the road. This line connects well with the navigation of the Kentucky River about half the year, and the bridge will be from 400 to 500 feet long, with good foundations. A good turnpike road runs up to Shakertown and Harrodsburg.
The party on second division have been engaged in adjusting their location, which is now nearly complete.
The third party continued their line from McKinney's Station to Flint's Mill, on the Little South Fork of Green River; to this place the line is very easy. Several branches come together at this place, all of which were examined in order to get the best line out of the valley and up to the main dividing ridge at the head of these streams. This ridge is very high and the streams all drop down precipitously at the head and then have tolerably wide valleys, so that it is difficult to make the rise out of them. I am not yet able to give you the exact location we shall make here, or its elements, but I think we shall succeed reasonably well. The distance from the old grade near tunnel to the ridge at the head of the Little South Fork is about 41 miles.
I have organized a fourth party and started them on this difficult work, and put the third party to revise their location and stake out work for construction.
I have also a fifth party, which will be sent to Somerset to work back this way, in a day or two. There will be no great difficulty beyond the head of Green River to Somerset.
I hope soon to give you more definite results, with maps, profiles, and estimates, but so far I have tried to press the field work so as to be ready for construction.
DEFENSES OF LOUISVILLE AND NASHVILLE RAILROAD AND GLASGOW.
Since writing the above I have received a report dated September 14, from Captain C. E. McAlester, Engineer Battalion, Twenty-third Army Corps, in charge, as follows:
I have visited Glasgow and given to Lieutenant Kilbourne the instructions as you desired. He seems much interested in the fort, and promises to have the work completed in two weeks.
The stockade at Rolling Fork has been removed and its place supplied by a redoubt having three embrasures and an infantry parapet, both of which are completed.
A few days more will suffice to complete all the work on the defenses at Munfordville, including the main magazine. I understand from Lieutenant Andrews, in charge, that the redoubt on Bald Bluff at Bowling Green has been commenced, and, with the assistance of negroes and contrabands lately impressed in the vicinity, will be pushed forward rapidly.
August 1, there was referred to me by Major-General Burnside, commanding the department, a letter of Colonel Charles Whittlesey's, in which he recommended the erection of a fort on the Ohio River opposite the mouth of the Kanawha River and one above Parkersburg or Marietta. My indorsement on the letter as returned by me was as follows:
It is respectfully submitted that to fortify one or two cities on the north side of the Ohio, as proposed by Colonel Whittlesey, would involve the necessity, for the same reason, to fortify every considerable place along the river from Bridgeport, opposite Wheeling, to Cairo-a very considerable undertaking. Besides it is believed.