War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 1132 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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overhauled, and as far as practicable protected from the weather. Several magazines have been built, but others are still needed. The number of guns, though largely increased, is yet inadequate, but begins to approximate a sufficiency for defense. Several of the most valuable, which were prepared expressly at my request for the armament of a particular portion of the lines were, after being placed in position, transferred by General Lee's order to Petersburg. This was of course necessary, but it was a serious loss to the defenses of Richmond.

Since I have been in command there have been added to the armament of the lines seventy pieces, of which nearly one-half are heavy, among them twelve new 8-inch siege guns. In some cases defective carriages have been replaced by new ones, and in numerous instances, where it was impracticable to obtain them, the old ones have been repaired and mad as serviceable as possible. Increased elevation and range have been given to several of the heavier rifle guns. Much work has been done in adjusting the parapets or barbettes to the character of the guns. The several batteries on the intermediate line have been given to several of the heavier rifle guns. Much work has been done in adjusting the parapets or barbettes to the character of the guns. The several batteries on the intermediate line have been arranged for the protection of sharpshooters. In this connection I may say that the division and battalion commanders have received repeated instructions to adjust the parapets in every case to the character of the gun along the entire line, where batteries of position are used. This, however, with my limited force and with many other calls upon their labor, is not the work of a day, and pertains properly to the Engineer Department; hence there are exceptional cases where it has not yet been done. It is not to be denied that the improvements I have been able to make on the lines of defenses fall far short of what is to be desired. This is because of the limited means at my command, and despite my utmost exertions. It is the custom of the bureaus to regard the artillery defenses as a part of a dormant and inactive department, and to give preference always to requisitions for troops in the field. It is next to impossible to procure new carriages and with great difficulty can necessary repairs be had for old ones. Even the repair of worn and condemned sponges is attended with great delay. Unfilled requisitions for grease have been on file for weeks, notwithstanding the urgent need which has been repeatedly represented. While stating these facts I am very far from wishing to throw blame upon the Ordnance Bureau. I know it has aided me in every way in its power and to the extent of its means I have had its cordial co-operation. The demands upon it are exhaustive and the supplies of labor and material limited. The Engineer Department has afforded what assistance it could. The labor which would have been bestowed upon the lines under its direction has suffered heavy drafts for other works, and I think on three occasions within the last few months has been necessarily withdrawn entirely to repair damages on the line of railroads. In this connection I beg leave to refer to the letter* of this date from Captain Turpin, acting chief Engineer Department, to the lieutenant-general commanding. Not only has much labor been bestowed upon the lines existing when I assumed command by the troops of the Artillery Defenses, but to complete them new and laborious works have been constructed with but little assistance form the Engineer Department. One of these extends the line of fortifications where there were previously no defensive works of any description from the plank road westward to the river, the other modifies the line of defense between the Central railroad to a point east of the Mechanicsville pike by substituting the exterior for the intermediate.


*Not found.