War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0549 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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we considered desirable. About the time of receiving your reply I also received a note from Mr. W. Gill, informing me that he had just received such as accesion to his force that there culd be no doubt of the work being completed in due season. With this I rested content. But to-day, at the suggestion of Mr. Thomas W. McCance, I wert with him to the scene of these operations for the purpose of learning how the work progressed. There we met three or four other citizens who had gone there for the same purpose, and I regret to state that we were unanimously of the opinion that at the present rate of progress the river will not be obstructed in three months. there is a sad deficiency of men, of timber, and of ropes. Worse than this, for lack of stone to put in the occurred during the past week, and thus a large portion of the work has to be done over again. But even if all the cribs were in their places, at the present rate of filling them it will take more than two months to fill them. Only two boats, I have been informed, have yet been used - one called the John Farrar and one the E. J. Duval - while Mr. McCance informs me that two others, belonging to Dunlap & McCance, were seized some weeks since and have never been used, but are still lying idle in the basin. When I had an interview with Captain Rives last week he told me that he had a difficulty in obtaining boats to carry the stone down. I informed him that there were then several boats of the largest size in the basin, but, upon hearing that they were canal, he said they would not suit. Why they will not do to carry pieces of stone easily handled by one man, when they are used for all sorts of freight, from hoghsheads of tobacco to the smallest articles, is more than I can understand. But this I can understand, that unless more speed is made in taking the stone lying ready for shipment on the canal to the place where it is needed, much money will be spent without avail, and all that has been done will be useless. I am very well statisfied that I am occupying your time with this matter when you have a great deal to think of, but after the feats of gun-boats lately performed I do not entertain a doubt but that they can come up our river to this city at any time they choose, and whatever others may think, I am satisfied that you consider Richmond worthy of being held; and relying on your sentiments on this point, I feel free to appeal to you to have this work attended to at once. I have no disposition to find fault with those who have the work in charge. I care nothing for them, but I do care for Richmond, and when I assure you that the statement above made of the present condition and prospects of the work now being done to obstruct the river is the firm conviction of at least five or six citizens who have no interest in misrepresenting or misjudging, I hope it will be entitled to the consideration such an important matter deserves.

With the highest respect, I am, dear sir, your most obedient servant,


Chief Engineer of Defenses of City of Richmond.



I wish this matter pressed vigorously, and would like to visit the obstruction with you at your earliest convenience. Great blame will be attached to it if the obstruction is not completed speedily.

G. W. R.