CAMP NELSON, KY.
Mr. A. B. Miller, assistant U. S. engineer, reports the repairs on the depot magazine as follows:
I have removed the earth from the top of the depot magazine, also the earth on and around the entrances to the same, securely prepared and righted up the foundations, put in seven new rafters, two new posts to support the center longitudinal girder where it was partly broken, and laid a part of the roof with dressed flooring. I have put in two-inch plank three feet and a half long, laid lengthwise of the magazine upon solid earthy, and then timber six feet long, hewed on two sides, with sixteen, and on the top of the posts and under the girder are caps six feet long, extending on either side of the posts to support the longitudinal girder, which will tend to equalize the bearing and prevent any future breaking. I found some of the plank on top had given way, so that the earth had settled down upon the roof below, and two of the upper floor beams broken. These have been replaced with new ones, and as a further security against breaking I have put an additional thickness of two-inch plank on the top, which will prevent the plank from breaking and also give additional strength to this part of the roof, by equalizing the bearing on every part thereof. I found the same deficiency in the foundations to the entrances that was observed in the center of the magazine and have applied a similar remedy, with the addition of posts and supporting timbers at the sides, also to prevent leakage by improving the roof.
At Lexington the work (Fort Crittenden) has not progressed for want of help. I have frequently called upon the commanding officer and each time urged the importance of completing the work, and always got fair promises; and as I stated in a former letter, he finally sent us a detail of about fifty men to work. They had not been there this I went to Lexington, called on Colonel Price, commanding post, who stated that he had exhausted all the resources in his power, so I called on General Hobson, with no better success. I then requested the general to order a detachment of about thirty men (colored troops) from Camp Nelson, which we can spare, and he has promised to do so. If he does, we shall do something soon, as they are good men to work.
For summary see appendix.
Mr. T. C. Ruggles, assistant U. S. engineer, reports:
The work done during the month has been finished the northeast and southeast corners of the forts. The banquette around the fort has been finished, but wants a little more dressing to give it a better shape. The magazine is finished. The part of the ditch at the west end of the fort has been excavated to twelve feet and fifteen feet wide and the material has been deposited on a portion of the south parapet that settled last winter.
For summary see appendix.
The duties of this office having been very much curtailed by the removal of General Sherman's army from Atlanta to the Atlantic seaboard and finished of works in Kentucky, I have discharged two of my assistant engineers, Mr. W. A. Gunn, engaged on the fortifications at lexington, and Mr. J. T. Halsted, engaged on the fortifications at Mount Sterling, one draughtsman, and two clerks. The current requisitions from the front, very much curtailed for the reason given above, have been met as formerly by purchases in this city. On the 1st of the month I forwarded to the Bureau one sheet of drawings illustrative of bateaux wagons as made by Captain Miles D. McAlester, Corps of Engineers, and Modified by myself.
I am, General, Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. SIMPSON,
Lieutenant-Colonel of Engineers.