available; and also write giving all particulars of its width, depth, and condition; state also the number of guns, and what caliber, bearing on in and the river above.
J. G. BARNARD,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE JAMES,
February 20, 1865. (received 9.20 p. m.)
The sounding at l;ow tide on center line, beginning at lower month, are 12 feet, 8 1\2, 9, 9, 9, 6, 5, and 3, the distance between the sounding being 60 feet. This brings it up to within 50 feet of the upper mouth. In this latter space it average 3 feet, being filled with large lumps of hard blue clay. It deepens rapidly to 15 in 60 feet of distance from the upper month toward the river. The sounding of cross-section at every 70 feet, commencing at the lower month, are as follows: No 1.- 4, 9, 12, 12, 12, 10, 4; Numbers 2-4, 9, 12, 12, 11, 10, 4; No 3-4, 8, 9, 9 1\2, 9 1\2, 9 1\2, 8, 4; Numbers 4-4, 5, 6 1\2, 10, 7, 4; No 5-4, 5, 5, 67 1\2, 7, 4; No 6-4, 4, 3, 7, 4, 3, 6, 4; Numbers 7-average of 3 feet; Numbers 8-average of 4 feet; the sounding at low-water mark, For high water add 3 feet to the above. The canal is from 55 to 60 feet wide at water-line, and about 500 feet long. There is from 5,000 to 7,000 cubic yards to be removed, to give 15 feet deep at high water. From 3,000 to 4,500 cubic yards is of hard blue clay, in lamps; it can only be removed by good dredges. The time of completing it depends on the capacity of the dredges. Those we had will not do good service; they are all old and worn out. Trowbridge might procure good ones in New York. They should be protected from direct firing, if possible, or run the risk of being destroyed and sunk. They might work at night, and remove a good portion of the stuff. Torpedoes will not, in my opinion, clear the channel. There is no rebel battery which enfilades the canal on that line of works that commands the upper mouth. Fourteen guns are mounted; distance, 2,800 yards from the month. I know of only the following armament of that line and the works above: Commencing at the right of Howlett's house is Battery Wood-one 8-inch rifle and two 10-inch columbiads, with four light pieces of artillery; Battery Semmes, near Bishop's-one rifle, 8-inch, and two 10-inch columbiads, and another gun, reported to be mounted, caliber unknown; Battery Brooke, opposite grave-yard-one 7-inch rifle and two 10-inch columbiads, and two others reported going up between this point and Fort Darling. There are probably six more heavy guns from the appearance of the line, but they are not visible.
PETER S. MICHIE,
Major, Chief Engineer.
FEBRUARY 20, 1865.
Major General GEORGE G. MEADE,
Commanding Army of the Potomac:
A telegram was received yesterday a. m. in Petersburg that Columbia, S. C., Had been taken and Charleston evacuated. The men examined to-day all agree in the report of the dissatisfaction existing