my engineer, whom I sent forward with the cavalry this morning upon a reconnaissance, that the best place to blockade the Tombigbee River is at McIntosh Bluff, ten miles above here, as there are two cut-offs to the Alabama River (both navigable) below that point. I am encamped upon a high bluff in a commanding position at a bend in the Tombigbee, three miles above its mouth, but fearing the object of the expedition would not be accomplished if the cut-offs above named are left open, I have determined to await orders before constructing the contemplated fortifications. I have information through several deserts from the rebel navy, now with our navy, that the enemy's gun-boats have gone above Demopolis, and that he is making preparations to destroy them.
Our rations will expire on the 23rd instant.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. P. BENTON,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
OFFICE OF CHIEF ENGINEER,
Nashville, April 22, 1865.
General R. DELAFIELD,
Chief Engineer, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to send herewith some photographs of differed points in this department that I have lately obtained gratuitously from photographers formerly in my employ. I send them for file in the Bureau as additions to the record which we already have in Washington. The following explanatory notes I embody in this communication, leaving it optional with yourself whether or not to attach them to the photographs themselves:
Block-house for defense of railroad yard, Chattanooga.-The lower story is a rectangular cross and the upper story a square, placed diagonally to the lower story. It is surrounded by a number of buildings, whose erection in the immediate vicinity could not be avoided. The first building to the left is the quarters of the officers, of the depot and train guard. The low one on the right is the men's quarters. Both are placed in line with one of the axes of the block-house and are swept in front and rear by the flanks. In the background is the locomotive repair shop, beyond the Y. To the right and rear is Fort Jones, an unwished work on a rocky site. The date is about December, 1864.*
Government wagon-yard, Chattanooga.-Fort Carpenter is about an inch to the left of the church cupola. Cameroon Hill is in the center of the background. Raccoon Mountain is faintly visible to the left of Cameroon Hill and Walden's Ridge to the right. Date, about February, 1865.+
Nashville from the southeast.-The double-spired church so prominent is at the corner of Church, and Summere streets, and is used as a hospital. The large building, the second to the right of this church, is the Zollicoffer Barracks, an unwished hotel, now used to accommodate convalescents and transient squads of soldiers. The vies is taken from southeast Nashville, looking down College street. Mrs. President Polk's house is the most elevated one to the left of the capitol. The ex-President is buried within the grounds.++
* See Plate CXXIII, view 6, of the Atlas.
+ See Plate CXXIII, view 5, of the Atlas.
++ See Plate CXXIV, view 1, of the Atlas.
28 R R-VOL XLIX, PT II