range, especially as the battery at Hardy's Bluff has considerable elevation. Both works are strong against a land attack. The guns at Jamestown Island will probably be removed to the position just referred to, as soon as it is fully prepared for them.
The position at Drewry's Bluff, seven or eight miles below Richmond, which has intimate relations with the defenses proper of the city, was chosen to obstruct the river against such vessels as the Monitor. The work is being rapidly completed. Either Fort Powhatan or Kennon's Marshes, if found to be the proper position, will be fortified and obstructed as at Drewry's Bluff to prevent the ascent of the river by iron-clad vessels. Blocking the channel, where sufficiently narrow, by strong lines of obstructions, filling it with submarine batteries, and flanking the obstructions by well-protected batteries of the heaviest guns, seem to offer the best and speediest chances of protection, with the means at our disposal, against iron-clad floating batteries. The field-works for the defense of Richmond, which are arranged upon the plan of the detached system, conceded by most military men to be the best, are completed with the exception of two on the side of the city, and one main and two accesory works on the Manchester side. The unfinished works will be completed as soon as more important ones farther from the city are in a more efficient condition. The line occupied by these works was chosen to make it as short as possible, partly from the difficulty of defending a longer line, and partly from the time, labor, and expense necessary to construct such a one. It is rather nearer the city than desirable, but the enemy must reamin out of reach of our guns, at least as heavy as his, until the line is carried, and then the city must fall, whether the line be near or removed within the limits of a few miles. I see no advantage in constructing a new line more removed from the city, unless the Chickahominy be found suited to the system of dams and overlow which I think, from the information in my possession, is problematical. Should the enemy get near enough to lay siege to this city, additional works can be thrown up as he develops his plans and means; and these, with those already constructed, can be armed with the guns which would necessarily be brought back with the troops to defend them. The want of heavy guns and the requisite carriages has prevented the fortifications here from being armed with them to any extent, and I do not think it wise to take them for this purpose from other points where, in my opinion, they are more needed. Any system of fortifaction which could be constructed during the war for the defense of this city would only serve to gain time. An army which allows itself to be constructed during the war for the defense of this city would only serve to gain time. An army which allows itself to be shut up in a fortified city must finally yield to an enemy superior in numbers and munitions of war.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. March 19, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to submitting herewith the only report that it is practicable now to make in response to that part of the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 24th ultimo which has reference to a survey of the fortifications of James River. As the call of the House asked for a survey "to be made by the best military engineer at his (your) command, without detriment to the public service elsewhere, aided by an experienced military officer," I have been very anxious that the wish of the House should be satisfied if possible, but the number of