magnitude and character of this fortification. The almost unprecedented rains of December, January, February, and March have greatly retarded progress upon all the forts about Nashville.
Capitol Hill.-General Morton built some earth parapets and stockades around the capitol building large enough to mount fifteen guns and to give room for a regiment of infantry. The position has a good command over the country around, and, thus strengthened, was a good keep for the north portion of the city. No longer needed, the stockade is being removed at the request of the Legislature and by direction of the commanding general. General Morton's line of defense successfully resisted Morgan's and Forrest's attacks during Buell's march into Kentucky. Afterward Nashville became a great depot, and public buildings, as hospitals, store-houses, and corrals, extended far beyond the limits of the city and necessitated a much longer defensive line.
Fort Gillem (now called Fort Sill).-General Gillem, while in command of the Tenth Tennessee Regiment, built this fort. It was a redoubt about 120 feet square, with narrow ditches, walled with dry stone, six feet high, having emplacements for eight guns in barbette, but without magazines or bomb-proof, and not defiladed from hill (ref. 210) looking into it. It was neatly constructed and was a good redoubt. I modified its interior arrangements with a view to increased strength and protection to its defenders. The parapet toward hill (210) has been raised two feet for defilement; two service magazines, which also serve as traverses, constructed on the faces, which would naturally be subject to ricochet from attacking batteries; thirteen embrasures, finished mostly with gabions, and a block-house keept set up. This structure has not been covered for lack of timber. Much blasting was required for the magazines, the drains, and of the terre-plein to prepare the site of the block-house. It is proposed to finish this block-house, set up a gate at the entrance, and build a suitable bridge across the ditch. When thus completed the work will be ready for a small garrison and should be kept in repair.
Hyde Ferry, Fort Garesche.-As Fort Gillem is nearly one mile and three-quarters distant from the Cumberland River, it became necessary to close this space by one strong redoubt, at least. Having therefore obtained from the commanding general the aid of the One hundred and eighty-second Ohio Volunteers November last, they were set at work building a strong redoubt on the knoll crossed by the Hyde Ferry road about three-quarters of a mile distant from the ferry and one mile north of fort Gillem. This position had a good command over the approaches in every direction. Rapid progress was made, so that the fort was prepared to mount a battery at the time of the battles of Nashville. The regiment was called upon to do military duty after the battles, resuming labor upon the work in strength about the middle of January. The ditches and parapet have been finished, and the latter mostly sodded; three magazines, serving as traverses, completed and also sodded. Gabion embrasures have been formed for fourteen guns and twelve platforms laid. The large block-house keep with flanking redans is set up and covered with timber. This covering, after being made water-proof, will be loaded with its parapet. The gateway has yet to be completed. This fort when finished will be very strong and a good specimen of polygonal redoubt. Its angles are made open so that the guns of the faces fire parallel to the capitals. It should be garrisoned and preserved. Were the scarps revetted it would be easily kept in order.