War of the Rebellion: Serial 104 Page 0900 KY., S.W. VA., TENN., N. & C. MISS., ALA., & W. FLA.

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and quartermaster store-houses. It is one mile and a half long and quite narrow; the interior being a plateau with but slight depressions, is not so favorable for sites of store-houses as irregular ground with ravines would have been. Such store-houses, had they been erected, might have been covered by traverses. General Gillmore inspected the works at Memphis in December, 1864, and recommended that five small redoubts should be constructed in advance of Fort Pickering to prevent an enemy from establishing mortar batteries in the near ravines to shell the fort. Without laying so much stress upon the mortar batteries, had Fort Pickering been made as intended the inclosed depot for Memphis, such advanced works would have been necessary to prevent an attacking force, favored by the irregular ground, from securing within easy range direct ricochet or vertical fire upon the inclosure with its store-houses, garrison, and employes; especially would it have been necessary to hold the position "A" from which Fort Pickering could have been enfiladed. Absolute security by means of fortifications can be attained only by excessive labor. Fort Pickering was probably quite as secure with its usual garrison as other positions of equal importance in Tennessee or elsewhere. This fort is mortly a broken line. Its ditches are therefore swept. It is fairly constructed, has a good command, so that the parapet gives excellent cover to the defenders; some traverses along the crest and some within the work would have been judicious, furnished excellent resting places for portions of the garrison not on duty. The ditches are from six to seven feet deep, and excavated on so steep a slope (which the tenacious soil permits) that it would be difficult to get over the parapet without ladders, and especially so under canister and musketry flank fire. The work therefore may be pronounced strong as an obstacle, which obstacle has been increased in portions of the contour line by inclined palisades placed in advance. It would be very difficult to assault Fort Pickering. Of course such scarps, from the effect of frosts and rain, will gradually crumble, but the garrison can and should remove the debris from the foot of the scarp. The interior work or keep is not in so finished a condition as the main work. There are some magazines near the parapet and under its cover. At the south end of the fort two ancient mounds are used as barbette batteries, which have a fine command over the country. Sea-coast guns on front or center pintles are placed in barbette in the salients of the work. It is questionable if they could be used thus exposed were the fort seriously attacked, unless the broken ground in front were held, as recommended, by advanced redoubts. Some field pieces at the re-enterings in embrasure defend the ditches and sweep the ground in front of the salients. Many of these sea-coast carriages are old, cracked, and quite defective. The armament must be pronounced bad. Rifled guns, both field and siege, with some Napoleons, would be more effective. I presume when Fort Pickering was constructed and armed the best armament was not available. It was doubtless necessary to use such guns as were on hand, including those taken from the enemy. In the north part of the fort toward the city is a large store-house used by the ordnance department. This building is covered from attack in the south by a stockade marked A b on the plan. Between B and D the parapet has been dismantled. The new line, C, D, has been constructed to diminish the interior capacity of Fort Pickering, for the reason that the line was looked upon as too long to be secure with the usual garrison of Memphis. The parapet of this line has been recently constructed and several traverses commenced to cover its defenders, especially the gunners, against ricochet and even obliquely reverse fire. This por