War of the Rebellion: Serial 104 Page 0899 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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When the commanding general stopped at Clarksville sufficient time was not allowed to examine the fort. I could only see it is passing and from the town. The work was laid out and partly finished by the rebels before the position was occupied by the U. S. forces. Immediately after its occupation our troops finished the construction as laid out. The fort is large and partially flanked and has a sufficient magazine, which has required some repairs to prevent leakage. Its site is upon the hill which overlooks the city at long range. As Clarksville could not be an important depot, it required no defenses further than this simple fort to control the city and vicinity. Shoals in the river below Clarksville prevented transportation to Nashville during the summer by that route, and for two-thirds of the year the Cumberland is navigable to Nashville. All labor of a defensive nature has ceased on the railroad from Clarksville to Nashville and the trains have been removed by the chief quartermaster of the department.


I inspected Fort Pickering, at Memphis, March 26, 1865, in company with the commanding general. These fortifications have been much criticized. At the time Fort Pickering was commenced it was desirable to build speedily a fort to cover not Memphis, but rather a depot, yet with power to control the city and drive out an enemy should he venture within its limits. The city might have been surrounded on a contour line of six miles, as the opposite bank of the river is low, and no danger was apprehended in that direction. Such a line would have required twelve redoubts half a mile apart and six miles of infantry intrenchment. Two interior forts as keeps to the position, to drive back the enemy, should he succeed in breaking the line at any point, would have been requisite for the most approved defense. These redoubts would have developed a line of artillery parapet at least one mile and a half long. It may well be doubted if such a line, though vigorously commenced, would have been finished during the war. Fort Pickering, with its keep, has a crest of about two miles and a half length. If we except Washington, upon which immense labor has been expended, no city has been thoroughly defended with redoubts and infantry lines upon a development of six miles, as indicated above. Nashville as a depot, second to none other in the United States exposed to attack, has stood through the war but partially fortified, though the fate of the great Western armies, with their immense territorial conquests, were dependent upon it as a base of supplies. The continuous lines around Knoxville and Chattanooga, secondary depots, though important military positions, have been but recently finished. The most complete fortifications, perhaps, in Tennessee, that near Murfreesborough, employed the Army of the Cumberland six months, though its development with its interior constructions is less than three miles. Memphis was fortunate to secure so speedily the defense of Fort Pickering, and I do not doubt that its existence has prevented any serious demonstration against the place. It does not seem, however, to have been used by the quartermaster and commissary departments, as originally intended, though a rail track has been constructed from the river below through the fort to unite with the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Fort Pickering was built mostly beyond the occupied portion of Memphis, on the plateau south of the city, with interior space supposed sufficient for ordnance, commissary,