suitable for the above guns. Our line of defense was at least 2 miles, every point of which in case of an attack it was necessary to hold, and our effective [force] only numbered some 1,400 or 1,500 men; the force of the enemy at least eight or nine times as large, with a large force marching on us from Lexington. This force we met after the surrender, and was also aware of its move before we surrendered.
Our position, I must confess, was one of great strength; but to be held it was first necessary that the batteries and positions where the troops were stationed should be supplied with water in large casks. This I have shown was impossible. I think to hold the position that it would have required a force of not less than 5,000; for unless every point in a mountainous country is held the place must necessarily fall, and I do not think General Frazer had sufficient force to hold one-half of the line, being menaced on both sides. The line of 2 miles was to be held by less than 1,600 men. The rifle-pits and batteries requiring so many men that it was found impossible to send more than 130 men to hold the extreme right, a point of the utmost importance and one which commanded almost every point on the right-hand mountain. I had been ordered by the chief engineer of the department to construct on this extreme right point a block-house of a size capable of holding for defense 300 or 400 men. I was engaged constructing this block-house when General Frazer assumed command of the gap; but it was impossible to obtain a working force of greater than 20 men, as so much work was to be done; my timber had also to be hauled some distance by oxen; also, a foundation had to be dug out where a great deal of blasting was required. All this I was forced to do with a very small force, and with so much rock to be replaced my work was naturally retarded very much; consequently the block-house was in an unfinished state when the enemy made his appearance. This being the condition of affairs, it is my opinion that this point could have been easily carried by the enemy, and when this point was once in the hands of the enemy, with as large a force as they could bring against it, my opinion is that the other points would have been compelled to succumb.
I will also state, in connection with the above, that the fog was so very thick until 10 a. m. that it would have been only necessary to know our several positions and the country to have marched within 15 or 20 feet of us without our being able to see them. I have every reason to believe that the enemy were conversant with our position, as they could derive all necessary information from the citizens near us, who were known to be disloyal to the Confederate Government. I am confident the enemy had many men who were will acquainted with the gap, as Colonel De Courcy's command were stationed there some time under General Morgan, U. S. Army.
The character of our troops, I will simply state, I was ignorant of. I had never seen any of the men composing General Frazer's command, with the exception of the Sixty-second North Carolina Regiment, which had been stationed at the gap for some time. From the number of desertions from this regiment, and the manner in which the several previous commanders at the gap spoke of this regiment, I must confess I had formed anything else but a flattering opinion of the regiment.
As respects the force of the enemy, I will state I was in General