delay has been experienced in the construction of these roads, in consequence of the bad state of the roads over which the timber for them had to the transported. On the Bermuda Hundred front the new interior line from Battery Anderson, on the right, to Battery England, on the left, is completed, excepting the abatis, which, owing to the scarcity of transportation, is not yet finished. Repairs were made in Battery England, the old rivetting of rails being taken down and replaced by new pales. Battery Anderson was repaired and the parapet raised two feet. The infantry parapets from Battery England to Batteries Pruyn and Walker are being repaired. On Sunday, January 1, at 3.50 p.m., the mines at Dutch Gap were fired. The result of the explosion was the removal of the mass of earth forming the bulkhead of the canal, but owing to the high banks a large amount of debris (probably 2,500 yards) was left in the canal and in the river above. The highest point of this obstruction was in the river just outside of the canal, where a semi-circular ridge was formed nearly six feet above low-water mark. Profesor Maillefert has been endeavoring to make a channel by blasting, using small charges (100 or 200 pounds), and he has succeeded in getting quite a current through the canal, but it is not probable that a depth of water sufficient for even the light-draught monitors can be obtained without considerable dredging. The work of building a permanent bridge across the James near Varina was commenced on Thursday, January 5.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your servant,
W. R. KING,
First Lieutenant of Engineers, Acting Chief Engineer
Department of Virginia and North Carolina.
Bvt. Major J. G. BARNARD,
Chief Engineer Combined Armies of Virginia.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,
CHIEF ENGINEER'S OFFICE,
January 18, 1865.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of engineering operations for the week ending January 14:
It having been observed that the enemy was engaged in throwing up small detached works in front of Fort Burnham, I examined the same from our picket-line and found them to be small splinter-proof huts, evidently designed for the twofold purpose of keeping their pickets warm and affording cover for sharpshooters. This idea was confirmed by the report of deserters, who stated that sharpshooting would be commenced by the enemy as soon as these works were completed. I therefore directed Captain Parsons, First New York Volunteer Engineers, chief engineer Twenty-fifth Army Corps, to strengthen our picket-line by connecting the detached rifle-pits and providing loop-holes for our own sharpshooters. The work has been completed, and Captain Parsons has also done considerable work in repairing and extending corduroy roads.
The work in the Twenty-fourth Corps consisted chiefly in repairing roads. The recent freshens and rainy weather have retarded considerably the work on the permanent bridge across the James River, but it is now progressing favorably. Lieutenant Trenor has been engaged in completing the new line on the Bermuda front. Profesor Maillefert has