Richmond, September 2, 1861.
Captain S. H. LOCKETT,
Corps of Engineers, Fort Gaines, Mobile, Ala.:
SIR: Five columbiads and rifled guns have been ordered for aiming Fort Gaines and thirteen for Fort Morgan. Two of those for Fort Gaines and some of those Fort Morgan have been forwarded. Please inform me how many of the latter have come to hand. The order for armament of Fort Morgan consists of five guns, of the seize and form of the 8-inch columbiad, bored as 24-pounders and rifled. The shot has about the weight of an 8-inch shot, with greater range, accuracy, and power; one 10-inch gun, bored to a 32-pounder caliber and rifled; the remainder smooth bore 10-inch. At Fort Gaines you are to have two 8-inch guns rifled as a 32. These guns are not yet made, but will be forwarded one or two at a time as fast as finished. Their carriages will be made here. It is said that four flank caseate guns and carraiges have been sent forward to Fort Gaines, and had strayed from the road. They have been found and ordered on to Mobile. The remainder of these flank guns are being made at Lynchburg.
The Secretary informs me that he has ordered from North Carolina to Mobile thirty 32-pounders. For these the carriages must be made at Mobile. The elevating screws, male and female, will be made here and sent on. As the 32-pounders differ in size, it will not be well to put together any one of their upper carriages until the gun for it shall have come to hand. It is expected that your armament will be improved by rifling the 32-pounders on hand, and these improved guns should be placed where they are most needed. For example, one should be added to the armament at Grant's Pass as soon as possible. These guns should unquestionably be reinforced with wrought-iron bands, so as to make up one an inch and a half thick and 8 or 10 inches wide. The gun should be perfectly clean, and the band be shrunk harm. The shells ought not to be longer than two calibers probably, nor to weight more than 40 or 45 pounds. The charge of powder will not exceed 5 pounds. I will send to Messrs. Skates a sketch showing the mode of rifling adopted here and the form of the shell most approved. There are many varieties. The heavy guns bored with small calibers carry heavier shot and higher charges. There are some old guns lying at Forts Morgan and Gaines. You are authorized to have them rebored, and to build carriages for them if found fit for service, such a firing round or grape shot for the defense of redoubts or of the city.
I have prevailed on the Ordnance Bureau to order of Messrs. Skates & Co. four batteries of field guns, with harness. These may help in your defensive arrangements for the city. For additional means of defense you will proceed to construct the following: Drive a row of piles, beginning at the west bank and running over to the point of Dauphin Island Spit, as shown in the sketch herewith. The piles should be as large as those at the Fort Morgan wharf, be driven as deep as possible, 10 feet apart, and cut off 2 or 3 feet under water. The piles should be lashed together with chain cables. By beginning at the west bank and working westerly the enemy will be pushed towards Fort Gaines in proportion as the work progresses. It is expected that the armament of Fort Morgan will be such as to take care of the main ship channel.
You can build two redoubts on the peninsula in advance of Fort Morgan. You will also build a battery to mount five or five guns on piles driven