War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0564 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.

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So far, the prospect seems good for an excellent line the whole length of this ridge. All the heavy work will be in getting on to the ridge. The third party are now trying what appears the best line, from examination so far made at that point and I think we shall get out on reasonable work, but with a high grade for some 3 miles.

The fifth party will be sent to explore the crossing of the Cumberland River from Somerset, and other surveys pressed beyond these as soon as possible. Of course we should be posted as far ahead as possible before beginning work.

During the month work has been started on the line from Nicholasville to the Kentucky River, clearing out the cuts and filling up the bank where it is needed. Considerable delay was experienced in starting the work for want of suitable tools, and part of the force was worked on the fortifications at Camp Nelson for some time.

I take pleasure in reporting to you the services of Captain George W. Gowan, of the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania Regiment, who has been employed with the party on the second division of the road near Danville. He has rendered very efficient service and I regret very much to part with him. He has been appointed on General Parke's staff and has gone to Tennessee.

All my assistants seem to work well, and,considering the obstacles to be surmounted, the surveys are progressing very favorably. After passing McKinney's Station the line has to be literally cut through the brush, while a considerable portion north of there was of the same character, and the work across the Kentucky still more difficult on account of the precipitous cliffs along which it had to be run, a change of a few feet often saving large amounts of work.

On the 29th of September, by the following telegram, I was placed in full charge of the construction of the railroad, I previously having had charge of the surveys:

KNOXVILLE, September 29, 1863.

Major J. H. SIMPSON,

Chief Engineer, Department of the Ohio:

By a dispatch just sent to Captain Anderson, I have placed you in full charge of the construction of the military railroad into East Tennessee. Please see General Boyle at once and push the work through. He will transfer to you his written and verbal instructions.

A. E. BURNSIDE.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

J. H. SIMPSON,

Major of Engineers, and Chief Engr. Dept. of the Ohio.

Brigadier General JOSEPH G. TOTTEN,

Chief Engineer of Department, Washington, D. C.

CHIEF ENGINEER'S OFFICE, DEPT. OF THE OHIO,

Cincinnati, Ohio, October 23, 1863.

GENERAL: Since writing yesterday my report of operations in this department for September, I have received Captain Poe's for the same month, official copy of which I herewith have the honor to forward.*

Fifty abstracts of purchases, instead of as many abstracts of disbursements, having been unwittingly called for my by letter of September 5, I respectfully ask that the error may be rectified, and fifty abstracts of disbursements forwarded.

I also would be glad to receive this year's edition of the Revised Army Regulations, which I see is out.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. H. SIMPSON,

Major of Engineers.

Brigadier General JOSEPH G. TOTTEN,

Chief Engineer Department, Washington, D. C.

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*See p. 565.

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