HEADQUARTERS CHIEF ENGINEER OF DEFENSES,
Washington, May 21, 1864.
General Howe's suggestions and remarks are excellent and should be carried out both as regards the disposition of troops and outposts and the maintenance of the works. The liability to surprise has long been appreciated by the engineers, who have, as far as possible, been engaged in providing flanking arrangements to such as were most important and exposed. It has long been the intention to repair Fort Runyon, but pressure of work elsewhere has prevented. I do not concur in the importance of Fort Greble at present. It is particularly liable to surprise, can with difficulty be flanked, and while Fort Carroll is held its site cannot be occupied by the enemy. Fort Carroll is being strengthened and flanked as also Forts Stanton and Meigs. It was to concentrate the garrisons and diminish the danger of surprises that I recommended the suppression of Forts Davis, Du Pont, Wagner, Ricketts and Greble. The Ordnance Department will furnish the complete armament of Fort Foote and Battery Rodgers as soon as it is able. I do not concur in the opinion that these batteries are too high; indeed, I consider, that the latter is too low.
J. G. BARNARD,
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY.
May 21, 1864.
Respectfully referred to Major-General Augur, commanding department, for his consideration.
By order of Major-General Halleck:
J. C. KELTON,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF WASHINGTON, 22nd ARMY CORPS,
May 31, 1864.
Respectfully returned to Major-General Halleck, chief of staff.
Most of General Howe's suggestions are theoretically correct, but with the present force at command here are impracticable. It is believed that everything is being done that can be too insure an efficient state of this command.
C. C. AUGUR,
WASHINGTON, D. C., May 18, 1864-7 a.m.
Bermuda Hundred, Va.:
Until receiving your dispatch of yesterday the idea of commissions in the volunteers expiring at the end of the three years had not occurred to me. I think no trouble will come of it, and at all
57 R R-VOL XXXVI, PT II