In the plan a line of shanties with loop-holes is sketched in for two fronts, which will generally be sufficient; but should additional shelter be required, a third or even a fourth front may be occupied in like manner; where the shanties are not built earthen parapets to be built. a ditch sufficient to resist cavalry should extend around the whole inclosure. Each bastion should be arranged for a field piece, as light artillery can be readily moved from one to the other. The square form need not be adhered to in all cases; the configuration of the ground must govern as to form.
I think the works for protecting the bridges should be built without delay.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. F. GILMER,
Major-General and Chief Engineer.
DECEMBER 5, 1863.
Maj. MINOR MERIWETHER,
Corps of Engineers, Commanding, &c.:
MAJOR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 22nd ultimo:
I fully agree with you as to the advisability of making the Lawton and Live Oak railroad connection, and of its decided superiority to that proposed from Tallahassee to the Chattahoochee, for the reasons urged in your letter, but principally on account of the rapidity with which it can be realized. The honorable Secretary of War is fully alive to the importance of the work, and Colonel Garnett, your colleague, is in frequent communication with him on the subject. In case the companies alluded to by you refuse to lay the track, the honorable Secretary of War, I think, is disposed to take into serious consideration your proposition to "lay the track on Government account, reserving the right to use it during the war, and sell or remove the iron at the will of the Government." I have not, however, secured the Secretary's definite opinion on the subject as yet, as he evidently greatly prefers that the undertaking should be in the hands of a company, and has directed Colonel Garnett to press on the negotiation.
Major Sims, of the quartermaster's department and superintendent or railroad transportation, is attending a meeting of railroad men in Georgia at this time, and has promised to give his personal attention to the subject of the removal of the railroad iron from Tebeauville. Colonel Garnett thinks that his exertions will be crowned with success.
It is for the commission to judge when it is proper to proceed in the removal of iron from any of the condemned roads; but as a matter of policy I deem it best to secure instructions when to proceed from the honorable Secretary of War, as such a course will secure his hearty co-operation and give special weight to your proceedings. As Colonel Garnett is on duty in this city, such a course can scarcely be productive of appreciable delay. In the case of the Macon and Brunswick Railroad, as you have probably learned from your colleague, the Secretary had decided upon a temporary suspension, principally on account of the commissary stores, fuel, and timber transported over the road. The information you obtain in Macon in regard to the losses sustained by the Government in the exchange