short line extending from the Court-House, on Bailey's Creek, north toward the Appomattox, to cover and protect against any sudden attack of cavalry the depot at that point.
On the 21st a circular from headquarters Army of the Potomac directed that "the armaments and garrisons designated for the forts be regarded as permanent, to be moved only when specially directed."
By the 26th the military railroad was completed, opened for travel, and placed in charge of the provost-marshal-general of the army.
On the 28th, in company with the chief of artillery, he made a general inspection of the whole line and found the work progressing most satisfactorily. During the evening of the same day orders were issued for certain dispositions and arrangements of the troops to be made, and that the whole army should be in readiness to move before daylight on the following morning. The corps commanders were directed to "hold in view the contingency of the withdrawal of their troops from the rifle-pits connecting the inclosed works, leaving the line from the Appomattox to Fort Davison to be held by the redoubts and inclosed batteries, and the further contingency of withdrawing entirely from the intrenchments."
In consequence of this projected movement, instructions were immediately given to the officers of engineers to suspend all operations on the different field-works in course of construction, and to hold their commands and the pontoon trains in readiness to obey further instructions.
The active operations of the army were successfully advanced some few miles to the left or west of the Weldon railroad during the 29th and 30th of September and 1st and 2nd of October, causing a corresponding extension of the lines. On the morning of the latter, after the repulse of the enemy in his final attack, it having been determined to hold on to the position, he was ordered to select a new line to connect the advanced point near the Pegram house with Fort Wadsworth, and locate the necessary intermediate works. The tracing, profiling, and construction of them was immediately commenced.
Before daylight on the morning of the 4th, by direction of the commanding general, he made a reconnaissance for the purpose of selecting a line to be refused from the left flank toward the rear, and to be connected with Fort Dushane. The sites of several new redoubts were established, the connecting lines traced, and with large details their construction immediately commenced.
By this extension to the west of the Weldon railroad eleven additional inclosed works-Keene, Urmston, Conahey, Fisher, Welch, Gregg, Cummings, Sampson, Emery, Siebert, and Clarke-and several batteries were linked with the already formidable cordon that surrounded the army. The length of this portion of the line is nearly seven miles, making a continuous stretch of twenty-three miles of water Swamp. Adding to this the section from the latter to the James River, the line measures more than thirty-two miles, comprising thirty-six forts and fifty batteries. In addition to these, there were eight other inclosed works along the inner line of the defense of City Point.
The incredibly short time in which those to the west of the Jerusalem plank road were built surprised the officers of our own army. The sites of the works were only selected on the 2nd and 4th of the month; still, the weekly report of the 8th states that they were already nearly completed.