War of the Rebellion: Serial 079 Page 0796 Chapter LI. KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA.

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to the point for which it was originally intended by the engineers on the upper obstruction line. The sand will be taken off and the battery will be completed again during this month.

THIRD (EASTERN) DIVISION.

Tracy. -The bomb-proof will be sodden.

Huger. -The alteration of the battery will be completed on the proposed plan.

The importance of a strong foothold at Blakely consists less in establishing a second line of defenses of the water approaches to Mobile than in preventing the enemy from establishing a batter at a point from which he could easily interrupt our communication by Spanish Raft and Tensas River with Batteries Huger and Tracy. Major-General Gardner took the view that a vessel having broken through our obstructions at either treaty of Huger would be so badly crippled that a few shots fired from a distance of over 1,600 yards would be sufficient to stop her further progress. This view was neither shared by the engineers nor by Major

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. Major- General Gardner, having been relieved from duty in this military district, ordered all work on the nearly completed Blakey water battery to be stopped. Should an additional number of heavy guns be obtained the battery might easily be completed and armed. For the protection of the position in the rear a series of five redoubts bearing with both flanks on the river will be constructed. The location of a heavy battery near the old Spanish Fort offers two most decided advantages. First, it affords a beautiful command of the river; second, as long as this battery is held it will be impossible for the enemy to make any attempt at reducing Battery Huger, our most important work, by a regular land approach. As I had the honor to state in my telegram of August -, to Major General J. F. Gilmer, this battery ought to be held at all hazards. The topography of the country is such that the position with moderate labor could be made very strong. In obedience to orders from Major-General Gardner much labor las been expended during the past month at points not very essential for a successful defense of that important battery. Major-General Maury has, however, ordered the labor to be concentrated on the works marked on the plan Nos. 1, 2, and 3. The key to the whole position is the lunette-shaped work, Numbers 2, which cannot be made too strong; it will be strengthened according to the proposed plan, the bomb proof excepted, which it is not thought expedient to commence at present. If time be allowed two additional redoubts will be constructed, extending the line toward the bottom of Boggy Branch, by which means the whole position from Olive Bay to Bay Minette will be secured to us.

Obstructions of Blakely and Appalachee Rivers. -Their strengthening by additional rows of piles will be continued.

FOURTH DIVISION -TORPEDOES.

Their manufacture and planting will continued.

A calcium light has been prepared and the apparatus is working satisfactorily; so soon as a small steam-boat, now being built, will have been completed the light will be placed on her.

Steps have been taken toward securing an additional number of carts; at present we have only some thirty employed. Should the number be increased more satisfactory progress on the new line of city