War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0467 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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CONDITION OF THE WORKS.

The works at Brashear City are Fort Brashear, Fort Buchanan, and a small battery on the bank of the river west of Fort Brashear. Fort Brashear is a four-sided bastioned work with strong profile. The parapet, scarp, and counterscarp stand well, but have been somewhat neglected and need slight repairs. The slopes should have the grass neatly trimmed. Men have been allowed to walk upon the superior slope of the parapet and wear paths therein. The ditch should be completely drained. The interior, although in tolerably good order, should be more neatly kept. The artillery of this work consists of five 32-pounder guns, of which two not mounted; one 42-pounder gun, spiked and not mounted; three 24-pounder guns, of which one not mounted; two 12-pounder field howitzers. There are carriages at the post for the dismounted guns. Some of the carriages of the mounted guns require repairs and alterations to put them in proper condition for effective service. The rails of the traverse circles are not yet laid. One of the magazines leaks a little; the others are in good order. The length of the interior crest of the parapet is 465 yards, which would require as a garrison, say 450 men; but this number could with difficulty be comfortably quartered within the fort. Twenty thousand rations are stored under the traverses, in a very bad position and only partially under cover. The quantity of ammunition for heavy artillery on hand is entirely insufficient-from 50 to 150 rounds per gun only. It should be increased to 400 rounds per gun. For the field battery, which consists of four 3-inch rifled ordnance guns, with 200 rounds of ammunition per gun, there should be 600 rounds per gun. The weeds outside the fort are now very high, and would afford concealment to the enemy. There are several buildings which would be greatly in the way of our artillery and musketry fire in case of an attack, besides affording shelter to the enemy. The outposts appear to be well arranged, and, if vigilant, should secure the place against surprise. Fort Buchanan, opposite the entrance to the Teche, and fully a mile from Fort Brashear, is very much out of order. The platforms are wanting, the magazines are wet, and the slopes neglected. Considering the position of this work, its distance from Fort Brashear, it would seem doubtful if it were worth while to hold it in case of an attack in force on this side. It should, however, be used at least temporarily as a battery for two siege guns to prevent the enemy form establishing himself at Berwick City. The battery west of Fort Brashear requires repairs. It would be of service in keeping the enemy away form the opposite shore of Berwick Bay. The works at Berwick City consist of a tete-de-pont, with its flanks resting upon the river, inside of which is a mound some twenty-five feet high, intended for a pivot gun; also two old rebel works on the river-bank south of the tete-de-pont. All these works are out of order-the tete-de-pont unfinished, slopes and interior neglected, platforms wanting, and not sufficiently supplied with artillery for a vigorous defense. The force at Berwick City consists of Ninety-third U. S. Colored Infantry, 492 officers and men; Battery D, First Wisconsin Heavy Artillery, 125 officers and men; Eighteenth New York Cavalry, two companies, 100 officers and men; total, 717. Colonel Simon Jones, Ninety-third U. S. Colored Infantry, commanding. The muskets of the colored regiment have been inspected and condemned, and the papers have been awaiting approval for several weeks. It is desirable that this matter be attended to as speedily as practicable. The artillery consists of two 12-pounder bronze rifled field guns, with fifty rounds ammunition per gun.