Let it be supposed that the total of 35,000 men were provided, and that the enemy attacked our lines on the south side; of these 35,000, there would be appropriated as artillerymen for all the works, 10,300; for complement of infantry, to make up full garrisons for all the works south of the Potomac, 7,000; for additional supports of Fort Lyon and Chain Bridge position, 3,000; making a total of 20,300. This force would hold our two flanks at Fort Lyon and the Chain Bridge strongly, and would distribute along the line of forts from Ellsworth to Corcoran, as artillerymen and supports, 8,045 men, of which the infantry supports would be posted near the works, and need not be shut up in them except in case of actual assault. There would remain 15,000 men, of which 4,000 might be in reserve at Arlington, 2,000 men where the Military road crosses Four-Mile Run, and 4,000 or 5,000 near the toll-gate, on Alexandria and Leesburg turnpike, leaving but 4,000 or 5,000, and such portions of the cavalry not employed in patrolling, and portion of the field artillery as a general reserve north of the Potomac, the works of which would only be held by their artillery garrisons.
It will be seen, therefore, that a force of this magnitude would not furnish a satisfactory defense against a powerful and prolonged attack. It would be necessary to sustain it by arming all the able-bodied men in the District, and putting them upon the lines and in garrisons in the northern forts, and even then the defense would be weak.
If the river was low, and the enemy held both shores, the necessity of more troops would be still more apparent, and it would be unsafe to mention a less number than 50,000 or 60,000 men as sufficient to make a good defense, and this last number coincides nearly with what the commission thought necessary to hold and cover the city in case an enemy is within "striking distance," and even then they would rely only upon the concentration of our entire armies "for ultimate security against more serious attacks from the main body."
The tabular statement of armament, garrison, &c., gives the number, caliber, and character of guns in the works.* In those few cases where the guns are not on hand, the figures are entered in red; so also are the names of two or three forts not actually commenced, or as yet not materially advanced. Most of the guns wanting can be supplied at short notice from the Arsenal, as soon as the works are ready to receive them.
It should be remembered that the commission recommended a strong work on Rozier's Bluff, opposite Fort Lyon, to defend water batteries on the left bank of the Potomac; a water battery on Jones' Point, below Alexandria, and two works in advance of the Arlington lines, none of which are included in the statement. They would probably require in all 2,000 more men.
The figures representing actual garrisons at this date are the numbers of "enlisted men" present at the work. While in some few cases (as at Fort Corcoran) there are more than required as artillery garrisons, in others there is a deficiency.
The rifle-pits south of the Potomac require but a very short period of good working days to be completed, with the force now detailed for that purpose. At the Chain Bridge they are completed; at Forth Lyon, nearly so. From the Potomac to Eastern Branch the line has been run through, but it is proposed ultimately to enlarge the part from Rock Creek to the Eastern Branch. This, with good weather, would require regiment a couple of weeks to do.
I understand from General Barry that there are on hand in the
*This statement not found.