War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0855 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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would find it practicable, in consequence of the peculiar topography of the ground in the vicinity, to establish batteries within easy shelling distance of every part of the work. There are numerous positions within cannon ranger of Fort Pickering where such batteries could be so securely established that only a curved fire would be able to dislodge them, and this kind of fire the fort is incapable of delivering with effect in its present condition for want of mortars. I regard the plans of Fort Pickering as extremely faulty. The gorge or river front, which has very properly been left open, is one mile and a half in length, measured in a straight line between the extreme right and left flanks, while the depth of the work, measured at right angles to the river, at no point exceeds one-third of a mile, the average depth being less than one-fourth of a mile. At the suggestion of Captain M. D. McAlester, chief engineer of the Division of West Mississippi, the length of the work along the river is to be shortened about one-third of a mile by leveling a portion of the line next the city. The trace of the main work is an irregular indebted line. Its development when reduced as above indicated will be about 2,500 yard. The relief and command of the works are both sufficiently great, and the flanking, arrangements are tolerably good; as good, indeed, as can generally be given to such lines. The right and left of the line are extended down the river-bank to the water by a stockade. In advance of the ditch, and within buckshot ranger of the parapet, there is a row of inclined palisading which would be a formidable obstacle to an assaulting column. No attempt has been made to defilade the interior of the work, and perhaps it is not necessary to do so. There are there positions where the garrison could find more or less cover from the horizontal fire of land batteries, viz: First, directly behind the parapet of the main work; second, behind the parapet of the interior work, and third, below the crest of the hill on the levee. The armament of this line is in very bad condition and demands immediately attention. A number of traverses are also required between the guns in some very exposed positions.

Interior work: Within the main work of Fort Pickering there is an interior work or keep, constructed on an irregular quadrilateral, open on the side next the river, with its flanks, like those of the main work, resting on the river-bank. This work has a development of about 660 yards of interior crest and a command over the main work varying from five to six feet, as stated by Colonel Kappner, the commanding officer. Its earth-work profile is good, but its flanking arrangements are imperfect. It is not surrounded by any obstacle and its armament is defective for want of mortars. In its present condition this interior work adds very little to the strength of the position.

Projected exterior line: With a view to include in the defense of the position at Memphis the protection and security of the city itself, an advanced line of detached works connected by a line of light relief or rifle-pits for active infantry defense has been projected and commenced. This line, on which it is proposed to place twelve works, has been judiciously located by Colonel Kappner for a defense in adequate force, but otherwise it would add nothing to the strength or security of Fort Pickering. The position of these several works are indicated on the accompanying map* by the numbers 1 to 12 inclusive, commencing on the right.

Proposed outworks to Fort Pickering: A line of small detached works, interior to that above described and located with special reference to the defense of Fort Pickering, would add greatly to the strength

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* To appear in the Atlas.

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