On the evening of the 9th Captain Van Brocklin reported this work as very nearly completed; the embrasures and gun platforms-eight in number-finished except covering with corduroy; the infantry banquettes nearly finished. The parapet was also nearly completed, but no abatis had been built.
On the morning of the 10th instant I directed Captain Van Brocklin to return with his company to Fort Stevenson, which had been left unfinished at the time of the late move of the army, leaving Captain Schenck to complete the work near the Smith house. Since that time Captain Schenck has completed the work, including a substantial abatis. At noon on Wednesday Captain Folwell reported his redoubt on the Vaughan road complete and ready for artillery and garrison. He had had also the timber in front and on the flanks of the work extensively slashed.
On the evening of the 11th Captain McDonald reported his redoubt on the rear line south of Fort Dushane, complete except the abatis. This work has five guns en barbette and two in embrasure. A strong abatis has since been placed around the work by Captain McDonald, the woods in front slashed, good arrangements made for drainage, an arrangement of sand-bags made for the protection of the gunners of one barbette gun, and sand-bag protection placed on the parapets with loop-holes for sharpshooters. Since the 10th instant Captain Van Brocklin has been engaged with one company of this command upon Fort Stevenson, but had no infantry detail until this afternoon, when one regiment reported for work upon this fort. Three barbette platforms will be completed this evening and ready for use. Sixteen embrasures are also finished, but the platforms are not finished. In his report of last evening, Captain Van Brocklin stated that it would require a daily detail of 800 men for five days to complete this work. On the 10th I sent Captain Palmer with one company of this command to complete the work on Battery Numbers 40. This work was completed on the evening of the 12th. No abatis was placed in front of the work, but the slashing in front and for a considerable distance upon each flank present great obstructions to the movement of troops. On Friday I directed Captain Schenck to proceed to Fort Sedgwick with his company for the purpose of completing the unfinished work on that fort, and on his way to report to you for instructions. This work was commenced this morning, but I have not yet received a report of the progress made during the day. On Wednesday of this week I directed Major Beers to proceed to the right of the line near Fort McGilvery, taking with him one company of this command, Lieutenant Taylor commanding, and make arrangements for constructing a fraise in front of the new line. He selected the position for the fraise, made arrangements with the assistant adjutant-general Second Corps for teams and details of infantry, and left Lieutenant Taylor in charge. Lieutenant Taylor reports 850 feet of this fraise constructed, and that he will be able to get in about 500 feet each night.
In addition to the operations already enumerated, I have the honor to report that Captain Paine, aide-de-camp, and Lieutenant Lydecker, U. S. Engineers, were directed to make certain examinations and reconnaissances of the present line, and to locate as near as possible that of the enemy's works. The latter officer was also called upon to make an inspection and ascertain the position and space occupied by the different brigades and divisions of the Fifth and Ninth Corps. In the topographical department the assistants have been engaged in making accurate surveys of the country west of the Weldon railroad as far out as the cavalry picket-line and of the newly intrenched lines. Measurements were also made of the different new redoubts. The former are being plotted, and drawings made of the latter. The ground has also been examined between the present terminus of the military railroad, near the Yellow Tavern, and the Pegram house for the purpose of extending that road. Surveys have been made of the proposed route. A base has been cut in front of Fort Howard along the line of infantry pickets and a triangulation made to locate the position of some points of the main works of the enemy in front of Petersburg. A map of these different surveys is in course of compilation. Tracings are also being made of the detailed drawings of the different field-works recently constructed, and also of those along the first and main line occupied by the enemy in front of Petersburg upon the advance of the army in June, for the purpose of photographing them. The lettering on the Richmond sheet, one of the series of campaign maps, is still progress-