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7 Series I Volume XXX-IV Serial 53 - Chickamauga Part IV

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Page 7 Chapter XLII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

[they have no holes] ten guns; also one boat called the Montgomery, about the size of a very small coal barge, which has eight guns-also two very little ones, heavily covered with iron. They can hardly move. There is very little of them outside of the water. They have six guns each, and made to fire with one gun in front or back and with three guns in each side by putting the front or back gun to the side. There is also one floating battery made of heavy iron, about 10 feet high. The battery is round, well finished, and has six 32-pounders. I spoke with many men in Mobile who are in official employment; they told me the place could be taken by land, and the sign of it is that they have fortified Chickasaw Bluff on the Alabama River, 25 miles by water and 10 miles by land from Selma, Ala. They are thinking if Mobile is taken by land, the forts will be starved out and our fleet could go up the Alabama River to Montgomery; therefore they are fortifying these bluffs.

In Mobile goes the report that Marten Key, West Indies, is a station for Confederate vessels.

TOWNS AND CITIES OF THE CONFEDERACY.

At Demopolis, Ala., is an arsenal where they make a great many small-arms. There are also several other factories. The place don't look to be well fortified. At some places the planters don't want to give up their slaves to work on the fortifications, and it remains not fortified. There is the camp of paroled prisoners, and Lieutenant-General Hardee was there on the 25th instant to review the Mississippi army troops.

At Selma, Ala., is also an arsenal and two cotton-card factories and several machine-shops, which make the place very important. Captain Shirll [?] is building a propeller there to go out as a privateer. Selma was only fortified on the Tennessee River road, but now they are throwing up earth-works all around the place. In conclusion, I will say that a cavalry force of 10,000 strong, started in two columns [one from Vicksburg, starting on the right of the Southern railroad so as to leave Jackson's cavalry to the left, and the other from the Memphis and Charleston Railroad], both to meet at Demopolis, Ala., could raid on the above-mentioned places and accomplish all they wanted.

On the Southern railroad from Meridian to Brandon, Miss., no place looks to be fortified, but at Chunkey, 14 miles from Meridian, there are two large stockades, one on this and one on the other side of the bridge; between Chunkey and Hickory there are two more stockades. If our cavalry could get to Tunnel Hill, 6 miles from Meridian, and destroy that work, it would prevent that road from running.

The rebels are also running the railroad from Canton to Panola. They have put up temporary bridges and they are running off the rolling-stock to Selma, Ala. I have seen several engines of that road crossing the river at Demopolis, Ala., on flats. On the 24th instant there was a large amount of rolling-stock at Lilly's Station, between Panola and Goodman. Our cavalry ought to see to it.

Montgomery, Ala., is not fortified.

Atlanta, Ga., is fortified with ditches and earth-works [on the Chattanooga road] in a circle as thus.* It is the second place for Government machine-works in the Confederacy. Heartley &c.

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*Diagram omitted.

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Page 7 Chapter XLII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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