AUGUST 1-DECEMBER 31, 1864 - The Richmond (Virginia) Campaign.
Report of Major Nathaniel Michler, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army, Acting Chief Engineer Army of the Potomac, of operations September 10-17.*
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Engineer Department, September 17, 1864.
COLONEL: In compliance with Special Orders, Numbers 91, headquarters Armies of the United States, dated September 12, 1864, I have the honor to report the engineering operations under my direction during the week ending to-day along the line extending from the Appomattox on the north to the Weldon railroad on the south, thence back to the Blackwater Swamp, a distance of sixteen miles; also of other duties appertaining to this department, such as reconnaissances, topographical surveys, completion of maps, and improvement and construction of roads:
The officers and men of the U. S. Engineer Battalion were engaged as follows: Captain Harwood superintended the tracing of the work, erection of profiles, and construction of magazines and drains for Fort Stevenson, one face of which is a bastioned front. The site had been previously selected by me near the Williams house. Two companies, C and D, were detailed for this duty. He also planned the three redoubts Forts McMahon, Blaisdel, and Kelly, located respectively on the same line near the Smith house on the Jerusalem lank road and in front of Widow Smith's. The construction of these works was subsequently turned over to Captain Van Brocklin, Hine, and Dexter, of the Fiftieth New York Volunteer Engineers. The details of working parties are furnished by the Ninth and Second Corps. Captain Harwood to-day examined the ground from Prince George Court-House to Zion Church in reference to the defense of the crossings of the Blackwater in those localities. Captain Gillespie has had the immediate charge of the works between Forts Morton and McGilvery. During the week Battery 11 was constructed between Fort Morton and Fort Haskell, and the line connecting the latter for with the battery was also completed, excepting the abatis in front of it. Fort Haskell is also finished with the exception of three traverses for guns. The line connecting Forts Haskell and Stedman is ready to be occupied. Along it a mortar battery for two 8-inch mortars and three Coehorns has been constructed. An epaulement has been made connecting the fort with Battery 10 and additional embrasures pierced in the latter. The new line connecting this battery with the lunette near the City Point railroad is finished within thirty yards of the former, but no abatis has yet been formed. No work has been done on the new line between the railroad and Appomattox, but it will be laid out and thrown up during the next week. Fort McGilvery is in course of construction and will be in readiness to be occupied in about three days. A battalion of the First New York Volunteer Engineers, commanded by Major Walker, has furnished the officers and men to superintend the working parties, details for which have been made from the Tenth Army Corps. Lieutenant W. H. H. Benyaurd, with details from A Company, U. S. Engineers, has had charge during the last several days of the line from the Norfolk railroad south as fast as Fort Davis, conforming it to the position of the new works recently built. In addition to demolishing the old batteries and lines in front of the present one he superintended the
*See also reports. VOL. XLII, Part I, p. 162.