At 12 m. General Thomas visited Fort Morton and informed him that about 5,000 men would report at 1 o"clock. To his question, 'Shall they intrench the Lorenz Hills?" he replied, "No; let them construct your interior line connecting with the forts. The army will hold the hills and intrench them."
He therefore gave Captain Jenny, who was assisting him, directions to run the line of infantry intrenchments from Fort Morton around the Taylor house to hill 210. Captain Jenney was assisted by Major Powell, of the Tennessee Army reserve artillery. Major Dickson, inspector of artillery of the Army of the Tennessee, superintended assiduously the construction of the large and important battery on hill 210. Captain Barlow, of the Corps of Engineers, took charge of the line from the Cumberland River to the Chattanooga railroad, south side of the city.
A portion of the line from hill 210 to Hyde's Ferry was laid out by Captain Barlow and himself, the rest by Major Willett. During the fifteen days preceding the battles before Nashville more than seven miles of infantry parapet and rifle-pit intrenchments were thus constructed by the quartermaster's and railroad forces. This gave a continuous line (see plan Numbers 4*) in advance of all the hospitals, store-houses, and other structures, except the scattered houses of the suburbs in front of College Hill, and held the elevated positions which looked upon the buildings within range. It is the line indicated in his report of October, 1864. It is just as long a line as that occupied by the army over the hills, but the shortest that would effectually secure the hospitals and other important structures. The line over the hills was the best army line, but deriving no support from Forts Morton, Houston, Gillem, and Hyde's Ferry, could not be held by the usual forces occupying Nashville.
It would have required a large number of redoubts of expensive construction, owing to the rocky nature of the soil, to have fortified the line of hills, but such line would hold an enemy well away form the city, covering it effectually. It was his opinion that completing the works already described, and strengthening the principal batteries at intermediate points, would make Nashville secure with its usual garrison, aided by the quartermaster's organized forces. Hill 210 must be strengthened, as it is a key position, and the Taylor house knoll should be supported by a keep. Small block-houses in batteries, like the construction for Battery Donaldson, are a good arrangement when well covered by the parapets. Unfortunately, wood constructions are the most difficult of accomplishment. Embrasures, magazines, and block-house bombproof cause the great delay in making forts and batteries. A great deal, however, has been accomplished during the past three months in spite of extremely unfavorable weather, mud, and muddy roads. It has rained more than half the time.
When General Sherman appointed him inspector-general of fortifications for his military division he requested him to look well to the defenses of Nashville. He also called his attention to Murfreesborough and Columbia, the line of defense for the army falling back. Murfreesborough was known to be well defended. Columbia was the position on Duck River which would have been held by our army had
*Plate LXXII, Map 2, of the Atlas. It appears that the map published in the Atlas omits the numbers designating the hills herein. For the map containing these numbers, see Executive Document Numbers 1, House of Representatives, Thirty-ninth Congress, first session, Colonel II.