War of the Rebellion: Serial 104 Page 0501 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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time being, as would the holding any point of the railroad. It was, however, a suitable position for a garrison to cover Bridgeport, and has some importance as a railroad station. Hence it required defenses. These defenses are quite ample, consisting of two redoubts and seven block-houses. Fort Mitchel, just sough of the depot, is a small redoubt about 100 feet square, with a magazine and small block-house keep. It has a barbette platform at each angle, and shows some attempt at imperfect embrasures, or rather to cover the gunners with sand-bag merlons. Fort Harker, half a mile distant, is a similar redoubt, about 150 feet square, with barbette platforms for seven guns, a magazine, and interior bomb-proof keep. The block-houses are mostly distributed to the east of the railroad, near the foot of the abrupt hills overlooking the depot. Other forts were commenced by General Granger when he held the place, during Hood's invasion of Middle Tennessee, but they were afterward abandoned as unnecessary. The accompanying sketch shows the relative positions of the defenses of Stevenson.


Is thirty miles from Stevenson and eighty-two from Nashville and about seven miles from the dividing ridge through which the tunnel passes. The country from Stevenson is closed in by high hills and almost without inhabitants. Decherd is the principal intermediate stopping place between Nashville and Chattanooga, but has no military importance further than that which arises from the necessity of distributing forces at intervals along the line of railroad. One redoubt with a block-house keep would have been sufficient for this place. Its defenses consist of two polygonal breast-high inclosures, respectively 20 feet and 100 feet in diameter, and of a square stockade. These structures are not entitled to the appellation of redoubts. Decherd requires no additional works now.


Five miles from Decherd, the largest stream between Bridgeport and Nashville, is spanned by a bridge 480 feet long, resting upon four stone piers and four wooden trestles. The bridge is protected by two double-cased block-houses, which are sufficient. On a hill about 800 feet distant is a large redoubt with good ditches, built by the soldiers. It has no keep, however, and uncles strongly garrisoned would be rather prejudicial than otherwise to the defenses of the position. Although this bridge could be quickly replaced if destroyed, much inconvenience would have resulted from two days' delay during the Chattanooga campaign. It was necessary, therefore, to protect so large a bridge against raiding detachments and guerrilla bands.


Is six miles from Elk River and sixty-nine from Nashville. Being a large village, a garrison was necessary to control it and the guerrillas of the vicinity. It also covered to some degree the crossings of Elk and Duck Rivers, a few miles distant on either side. Near the station is a small stockade, and half a mile distant is a large bastion fort, nearly 300 feet square on the curtain lines, built by the rebels. This fort stands on the general level of the table-land. It has no bomb-proof keep, and its magazines was badly constructed. At each salient and each shoulder angle there is a gun platform, and on the parapet merlons have been raised to cover the gunners. With an interior block-house it would have been a very strong work.