best adapted for the meeting of the couriers from this place and from the enemy in the field, it being twenty-four miles distant from here and thirty miles from Blakely. I will establish my four posts day after to-morrow, the 5th instant, as follows: The first at Bayou Chico Creek, six miles from here; the second at Seven-Mile House, six miles farther; the third at Thirteen-Mile House, six miles farther; the fourth at Perdido Mills, six miles farther.
Very respectfully, colonel, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. ARMY AND DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
April 7, 1865.
Respectfully transmitted to Colonel G. M. L. Johnson, commanding cavalry brigade, for his information.
Colonel Johnson will take immediate measures to place himself in communication with General Asboth's couriers, who are, no doubt, now waiting at Perdido Mills. Colonel Johnson will ascertain and report how often these couriers will communication, and make the necessary preparations to perfect the arrangement.
By order of Major General E. R. S. Canby:
Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
OFFICE INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF FORTIFICATIONS,
MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Nashville, Tenn., April 4, 1865.
Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS,
Commanding Mil. Div. of the Miss. West of Alleghany Mountains:
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of my inspection of the defense of Knoxville and the line thence to Chattanooga:
Knoxville.-This city, the keep of East Tennessee, is well fortified, and though the works are not finished they are sufficiently advanced to admit of good defense against coup de main or siege. The city is situated on the north bank of the Holston. South of this river two high summits are held by strong redoubts, finished. The seizure of these hills by an attacking force would render the city untenable and would seriously, if not fatally, weaken the defense of the line north of the river. Their occupation by our own forces is essential to the safety of the city. West of Knoxville the defensive line follows the crest naturally indicated to Fort Sanders and thence east to Fort Wiltsie. The contour of the hills east of the city fixes the defensive line there, the prominent points serving as sites for forts and batteries. Knoxville is mostly covered from the west and northwest as the ground declines in front of the line. Near the depot a depression in the ridge opens the most populous portion of the place to a fire from the north. Again the range of hills to the northeast of which Fort Smith is located covers the city in that direction, as the ground in advance is quite low. Mayberry Hill, however, sees through between Battery Clifton Lee and Fort Fearns, and would seriously annoy, by distant fire, movements in a part of the city. As three heavy batteries bear upon this hill its occupation by an enemy would be very uncomfortable, and light field pieces