War of the Rebellion: Serial 104 Page 0216 KY., S.W. VA., TENN., N. & C. GA., MISS., ALA., & W.FLA.

Search Civil War Official Records

with a stockade at the north abutment, have been constructed. These defenses of weak profile and without block-house keeps have thus far protected the bridge. It is not advisable now to strengthen them. Loudon, distant but twenty-eight miles from Knoxville, has doubtless been indirectly covered by the large garrison of that city; besides its insular position has only exposed it to attack from raiding parties. For the want of a map prepared from survey I attach a sketch showing approximately the relative positions of the railroad bridge and the redoubts defending it.* The railroad bridge is 1,670 feet long.

Charleston.-One small redoubt and two two story block houses defend this position and protect the railroad bridge over the Hiawassee. The redoubts, as built, adds little strength to the defenses, being little more than a cover to the garrison within. A well-constructed redoubt, with an interior keep, and having a deep, ditch with a difficult scarp and exterior obstacles, may force a division one even a corps to the delay of a siege. Without these accessories it is little better than a rifle-pit, and will inevitably yield to a superior attacking force. A block house is a much better defense than these little redoubts of weak profile. The two block-houses, one at each end of the Hiawassee bridge, have doubtless prevented raiding parties of the enemy from attempting its destruction. Charleston is but forty-two miles distant from Chattanooga and could receive assistance from the garrison of that depot if required. Its defenses, however, have proved quite sufficient against raiding parties. The bridges at Loudon and Charleston, though very important to East Tennessee, had no bearing upon the Atlanta campaign. The motive for their destruction seems to have been insufficient to cause any serious attack upon them; besides Knoxville could be supplied by the river, if necessary. The rough sketch annexed, for want of an accurate map, shows the defensive works at Charleston.+ The railroad bridge is 500 feet long.

Cleveland.-This town is situated at the junction of the railroad to Dalton with that to Chattanooga, and is thirty miles distant from the latter city. The regiment that garrisoned this place built there two small redoubts; one about a mile the other half a mile distant from the town. When these defenses were constructed Cleveland possessed more military importance than at present. Now one little redoubt or a double-cased block-house will be sufficient to control the position.++

Tyner's Station.-At this place, nine miles from Chattanooga, there is a small redoubt. The position is unimportant.

Dalton Railroad Junction.-Six miles from Chattanooga, where the road to Dalton branches from the road to Knoxville, is an important trestle-work. This is securely protected by two block-houses. The railroad and telegraph stations and water-tanks between Loudon and Chattanooga would be best protected by block-houses, as the cheapest and most efficient defense. They require but a few men for garrison, and are impregnable to infantry and will resist a long cannonade from field pieces. It is not, however, advisable to make any changes in the defenses from Knoxville to Chattanooga.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier General and Insp. General of Fortifications, Mil. Div. of the Miss.


* See Plate CXI, Map 6, of the Atlas.

+ See Plate CXI, Map 15, of the Atlas.

++ For sketch, see Plate CXI, Map 4, of the Atlas.