War of the Rebellion: Serial 104 Page 0780 KY., S. W. VA., TENN., N. & C. GA., MISS., ALA., & W. FLA.

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held except by an army. The interior line, while serving as a reserve to the exterior, would enable the usual garrison of Nashville, aided by the quartermaster employes, to hold the city against ordinary attacks from large raiding parties, under such generals as Forrest and Wheeler. Had the war continued it was my intention to put a redoubt on Hill 210 and support the two batteries to the left by block-houses. The battery at the Taylor barn would have been converted into a redoubt with a block-house keep. One small block-house between Morton and the Taylor house, and two between Negley and the reservoir would have completed the line of defense, and made it amply secure. These block-houses have all been prepared by a detachment of the One hundred and eighty-second Ohio Volunteers from timber cut down in the vicinity of Johnsonville. The spring floods destroyed the bridges on the Northwestern Road, and prevented the transportation of this material to the city. It is useless now to build these structures. As Nashville will probably have a garrison for one year at least, if not for a much longer period, I propose to complete Forts Morton, Houston, Gillem, and Hyde Ferry, almost finished, by the aid of soldiers. Negley and Donaldson are finished. Captain Burroughs, U. S. Corps of Engineers, up to October, 1864, had charge of the works around Nashville, mostly under the direction of General Morton. Major Willett, then lieutenant, also assisted General Morton, and built the magazine. Colonel Merrill gave little attention to the defenses of this depot, being principally occupied with those at Chattanooga. For so important a place, held so long by our troops, the Nashville defenses certainly were not pushed forward as much as they should have been. Little aid is given by commanding officers of posts when those posts are not in the front or constantly exposed. In such positions-building redoubts is the first operation, while far back on the line of communication it is very difficult to get a detail to throw up lines. Every other labor takes precedence. Captain Barlow took immediate charge of the works around Nashville the 13th of November, under my direction, and has performed his duties faithfully and intelligently. Captain Jenney gave me much assistance, superintending at Forts Houston and Gillem and upon the lines. Majors Dickson, Powell, and Willett assisted in the construction of the entrenchments around the city, which were mostly executed the first week in December, 1864, by the quartermaster and railroad employes. These departments also assisted at the same time on Forts Morton and Houston, and furnished lumber for gun platforms. In reviewing the works of the Department of the Cumberland it is due to General Morton, of the Corps of Engineers, who was chief engineer for a long period with the army, to say that his work is visible along the Louisville road at this place, at Murfreesborough, Elk River, Bridgeport, and Chattanooga. His constructions are generally very well executed. He used the block-house in the form of a cross for interior keeps, and built some of the same model to defend bridges. Colonel Merrill, of the Corps of Engineers, has doubtless the merit of applying the double-cased block-house for bridge defenses. He has given much attention to the study of this defensive structure. The railroad defenses of this department certainly deserve notice and commendation, and I doubt if in any other department such lines have been so thoroughly guarded against surprise or raiding parties. They do credit to Colonel Merritt and Major Willett, and the other officers of the regiments engaged upon them. The posts of the Department of the Cumberland have been fortified principally by the labor of the soldiers.