train at the present stage of the water. I think four 30-pounder Parrott guns and four 8-inch siege howitzers are sufficient for the water batteries of the new fort, and eight field howitzers or light 12-pounders for the flank defense-sixteen pieces in all. McIntosh Bluff is only about fifteen feet above water, wooded, springy, with overflowed land around it, and sweeps the river approaches well for a mile and a half. Greater range can be procured with little clearing. It contains the quarters of Confederate navy-yard workmen; 100,000 feet fine oak and pine lumber; a large blacksmith shop and machine-room with engine; and large steam saw and grist mill now running. I think the site will be very unhealthy. To day, by kindness of Lieutenant-Commander Low, U. S. Navy, I have examined the river to Saint Stephen's. The Bull Pen is small and low. Oven Bluff is on the east bank, I think 150 feet high, steep, and sweeps the river above for four miles, and below two. It is at the foot of Sunflower Bend, and some work has been done toward fortifying it. It is susceptible of being made very strong, commands the river unusually well, and is the key of the lower waters of the Tombigbee. A bluff continues along Sunflower Bend, terminating in Carney's Bluff on the north. Saint Stephen's is the first high land on the west bank. Wilson's field there is clear and cultivated about 200 feet above river, and commands the country as far as I can see. The river is under fire from it for three or four miles. The locality is very broken and finely adapted for defense. The banks are very steep, and the place said to be so unhealthy that the village was moved three miles west. It is sixty miles by river above McIntosh Bluff. Saint Stephen's seems much the better camp. McIntosh Bluff is much nearer Mobile, has buildings and workshops, commands the river satisfactorily, meets nearer my printed instructions as to vicinity, and would be safe with a smaller garrison. I have therefore decided on it. As soon as Captain Cannon arrives I will give him orders, drawings, and localities and return to corps headquarters. I cannot do anything till then, or he much till the tools arrive. Few white people and no guerrillas seen. Fresh tracks of two horses on Wilson's field, Saint Stephen's Bluff.
JOHN C. PALFREY,
Lieutenant Colonel and Assistant Inspector-General, Thirteenth Army Corps.
HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
McIntosh Bluff, Ala., April 26, 1865.
I have the honor to report that my entire division is at this point. The pontoon bridge has not reported yet, but the streams run down so as to render it possible to bridge them, which we did last night and passed over safely to-day. The cavalry left Nanna Hubba Bluff yesterday at 5 p.m. in obedience to orders received from General Granger. This is a commanding point, and there is a saw and grist mill here in good repair, besides a number of other valuable buildings. Indeed, it is the so-called Confederate Navy-Yard.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
W. P. BENTON,