War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0262 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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by it alone can we oppose successfully the great strength and numbers of our invaders.

It has been my wish to have examination and surveys made by competent military engineers at each place where our depots and bases of operations have been established, with a view to the prompt location and erection of defensive works for their protection in case the enemy should unfortunately penetrate toward the heart of the Confederacy. It might be wise to mark out on the ground even the outlines of the necessary works, so that a large laboring force might be in the emergency occupied at once in their construction. Important as are these measures, they have not been entered upon for the want of officers of engineers to perform the duty, but as soon as other calls of immediate necessity will permitll be undertaken. Engineer officers serving with troops in the field prepare maps, whenever possible, of their reconnaissance and surveys and forward them to this Bureau for file, but the want of time and opportunity has made it difficult for them in most cases to carry out my instructions in this regard.

Respectfully submitted.

Your obedient servant,


Colonel of Engineers and Chief of Bureau.


Richmond, Va., December 26, 1862.

His Excellency JOSEPH E. BROWN,

Milledgeville, Ga.:

SIR: The President referred to this Department your letter of November 24, covering the resolutions of the Legislature of Georgia, requesting the return of a part of the powder loaned to the Government by that State; but owing to an accidental detention, under the pressure of business, your communication did not reach me until yesterday. I immediately directed the Chief of Ordnance to order Colonel Rains, at Augusta, to place 10,000 pounds of powder at your disposal, and informed you of my action by telegraph. Recent demands from your section of the country have drawn so largely upon our supplies of ammunition in that quarter as to render it inexpedient, in the opinion of the Chief of Ordnance, to furnish a larger quantity at present, but the Government recognizes to the full extent its obligation to return the powder so patriotically placed at its disposal by the State of Georgia; and should it be needed the quantity mentioned in the resolutions of the Legislature (25,000 pounds) will be delivered to your order from any of the arsenals in the State which may be most convenient to the points threatened. I trust, however, that your anticipations of trouble with the slaves during the Christmas holidays will not be realized.

With sentiments of esteem and respect, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.


Richmond, December 26, 1862.


Marietta, Ga.:

SIR: Your letter requesting a reconsideration of my decision against exemption of firemen has been received. The act of Congress does