up anew its old gorge for a front and retire the curtains to the rear (our present front). They will probably connect with Redoubt Numbers 3, where our line turns with their at present abandoned line, leaving that portion of ours running south standing, or will destroy it.
Redoubts (1 and 2) on the New Market road should b destroyed and the woods slashed near the Kingsland road, as indicated in the tracing. I should like to be informed at least four days, if possible, before the contemplated movement. I would destroy the gorges the night before, finishing the following day with small detachments. I would call on the regiments that are close at hand to furnish the working parties, and I think I could manage so that no information could be gained as to the object of the work. With regard to bomb-proofs in the works, I think Fort Brady is the only one that needs them, and this work has one ninety feet long. All have capacious magazines and those on Camp Holly and Signal Hill contain wells sufficient to supply their garrisons. There is so much slashing necessary that I shall direct it to commence to-morrow in any case. With regard to your suggestions about the mines in the embankment of Dutch Gap Canal, I am sensible that your plan will be the most certain of success, and therefore I have this afternoon directed such changes to be made as circumstances will allow. I forward to your also a tracing of the Bermuda front. The weather has been so unfavorable since the receipt of your communication that nothing additional could be learned in regard to the enemy's line. I have myself been as near as one could go with safety some two months ago, and judge the following to be their general character: The accompanying tracing shows the line as it was hurriedly surveyed on the 16th of June during its temporary evacuation by the enemy. From the best information in our possession there are two lines of abatis, and in some places through the woods in front of our right another of fraise or wire, or both, in front of the line. The parapet is not formidable, but of the same character as that we now occupy. The ditch is not deep in front of infantry parapets. On the line in front of the open space eleven embrasures can be counted, and to the left (our right), just behind the woods, is a battery of six guns, formerly. The line is regarded as impregnable by them, but I think they may posses too great confidence, for it may be pierced by first rate troops, although with a heavy loss. The advantages, if successful, however, would more than repay whatever loss we might sustain. The attacking force should be well supported, as a heavy force of the enemy could soon be bright to the point of attack. A good line of defense could be made with its right resting at the Howlett house and crossing the railroad north of the Port Walthall Junction, so as to command both railroad and the turnpike; then refusing the left and resting on Bake-House Creek. This line could be made defensible in twelve hours after occupation, and would not be more than four miles long. The recent capture of a portion of our picket-line by the enemy in front of Redoubt McConihe may interfere with secrecy, as they now have a view of open ground behind the woods.
Very respectfully, &c.,
PETER S. MICHIE,
Lieutenant, U. S. Engineers, Brevet Major, U. S. Army, Chief Engineer.
The method styled "partial evacuation" seems to me to be the proper one, and is, indeed, that which I indicated to Major Michie when I went over the ground and directed him to prepare this report. I had directed