Numbers 6. Reports of Bvt. James c. Duane, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army, of operations January 14-February 25.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, ENGINEER DEPARTMENT,
January 23, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the engineering operations in this army fir the week ending January 21, 1865:
Brevet Major Harwood was in command of the battalion of U. S. Engineers, and, assisted by Lieutenant Phillips, inspected the line from Fort Davidson to Fort McMaHonorable The former officer also superintended the repairs of the line from Fort Bross to Fort Dushane. Brevet Captain Benyaurd had charge of the repairs from Fort McGilvery to Fort Howard. Brevet Captain Howell made an inspection of the line from Fort Welch to Battery 24, and superintended the reconstruction of Fort Fisher and repairs from Fort Howard to Fort Dushane. Lieutenant Heap, assisted by Lieutenant Phillips, inspected the line from Fort Alex, Hays to Fort Meikel.
The following extracts from the weekly report of Brevet Colonel Spaulding, commanding detachment of Fiftieth New York Volunteer Engineers, will show the extent and nature of the duties upon which the officers and men of his command have been engaged:
The work upon the battery at the left of Fort Keene has been continued during the past week, under the general direction of Brevet Major McDonald, with daily details of about 200 men from this command. This work in a small lunette containing two barbettes and there embrasures, originally thrown up and very roughly reverted by infantry. The stockade for clothing the gorge of this work is 185 feet in length, with flanking arrangements. Brevet Captain Van Rensselaer (who relieved Major McDonald) reports that this stockade was completed last evening. To-day he has been at work with one company of this regiment in putting in new revetment and raising the parapet, and this part of the work is about one-sixth done. The cold weather of the part week has caused the work upon the signal tower to progress but slowly, it being very difficulty and hazardous for men to work at such an elevation, upon insecure footing, when the weather is cold and stormy. Brevet Major Hine reports all the material on the ground, 130 feet framed, sixty-eight feet raised, and sixty-four feet completed.
On Tuesday, the 17th, I sent Lieutenant Paine with one company of this command to make some repairs and renewals of the works on a part of the Ninth Corps front. The work required was as follows: A new magazine to be constructed in Battery 10; in Fort Morton, two magazines to be followed and sheathed; in Fort Sedgwick, one magazine to be sheathed and another to be sheathed and drained; in Fort Davis, the magazines in the salient to be strengthened and three drains under the parapets to be framed and lined. Lieutenant Paine reports all the above-mentioned work completed, except rivetting one of the drains in Fort Davis; this will be completed to-morrow, if the weather permits.
On Thursday, the 19th, I sent Captain Dolan with his company to repair Forts Stevenson, Blaisdell, Partick Kelly, and Bross. In the construction of these forts too little berm, in most cases, had been left for works that were to be maintained for any considerable length of time. The consequence was that the scarp in many placed had caved into the length, and in some instances the parapet had followed the scarp. Seven hundred men from the Fifth Army Corps reported to Captain Dolan, and for the past two days these men, together with the one company of engineer troops, have been at work upon Forts Stevenson, Blaisdell, and Bross. Nothing has as yet been done on Fort Patrick Kelly. The amount and character of the repairs upon these forts will be best described when the are completed.
On Saturday, the 14th, I placed the following officers of this command in charge of corduroy roads: Lieutenant Warfield, all roads within the lines of the army from the Jerusalem plank road to the defenses of City Point: Lieutenant Bacon, all roads between the Jerusalem plank road and the Weldon railway; Lieutenant La Gande, all roads from the Weldon railway to the southern limit of the lines occupied by the Second Corps. During the past week these officers, with details from this command