gabions and fascines, bringing up and mounting of siege guns, and all the labor incident to the operations of a siege. The First Division, Thirteenth Army Corps, on my left, having been ordered to Blakely, that portion of the line was temporarily occupied by a brigade from the Sixteenth Army Corps, but on the 5th of April that brigade was also relieved from that part of the line, and by direction of the corps commander my line was extended so as to cover the former front of both the First and my own division. This was done by transferring my Third Brigade to my left. In addition to this two regiments were detached for engineer duty, one regiment was placed on duty at the rear by order of the corps commander, and another reported to Brigadier-General Bailey, at Starke's Landing, and remained detached until the evacuation. This extension of my line and consequent increase of the engineer operations and guard duty of my division, together with the aforesaid reduction in the numbers for that duty, rendered the duty of the officers and men incessant night and day. The saps and parallels in my front were, however, vigorously pressed forward. The pick and the spade always accompanied the picket, and the skirmish line was nightly contracted by its nearer approach to the enemy's works, until at the time of the evacuation but a few steps intervened between his rifle-pits and those of my pickets. The most difficult ground for engineer operations on any part of the enemy's line was in front of my division, and my working parties were less protected from the enemy' fire. Yet, notwithstanding all the obstacles to overcome, and the want of sufficient tools at the commencement, my works were as far advanced and as near completion, I believe, as upon any part of our line. In addition to the ordinary engineer operations of my division and the protection of my own batteries, a four-gun battery for the Seventh Massachusetts Battery, a two-gun battery for 30-pounder Parrotts, and a ten-gun battery of 30-pounder Parrotts, siege howitzers, and mortars were constructed by the labor of my division. Late in the afternoon of the 31st of March of the enemy, covered by the smoke of the burning brush in front of our lines, made a sortie and succeeded in capturing 1 officer and 22 enlisted men of the Seventh Regiment Vermont Veteran Volunteers, and occupied for a short time one of my advanced rifle-pits, but soon after dark the line was retaken at the point of the bayonet, and afterward held by our men.
The night of the 8th of April, anticipating some good results from the severe bombardment of the enemy's works for two hours before dark, I ordered the number of my skirmishers doubled, and about 12 midnight Colonel Day, commanding Second Brigade, sent information that the works were being evacuated. I immediately sent Lieutenant Starck, of my staff, to notify the corps commander, and myself repaired to the front, where information met me that Captain Shepherd, Company F, Ninety-first Illinois Volunteers, had entered Fort Alexis with a portion of his skirmishers, which information was also sent to the corps commander. Pursuant to orders I established my headquarters in Fort Alexis until morning and placed guard over the guns and magazines. Colonel Day fixes the time at which Captain Shepherd entered Fort Alexis at 11.45 p.m. of the 8th instant. Major Boydston, Thirty-third Iowa Volunteers, in charge of my skirmish line in front of Spanish Fort, at about the same time entered it and placed a guard over the magazines and reported his occupation to the commander of the Third Brigade, who reports that half an hour after he had possession of the fort he allowed his tired guards to be relieved by guards