But Washington has no such command of resources and material as New York, Philadelphia, and Boston have. Its navy-yard would not be able to furnish the immense amount of cables required; the timber or hulks in such kind and equality as required for such and obstruction are not to be had. Hence, the necessity of a provision beforehand. But, independently of teh importance of such an obstruction beforehand, it is particularly important that something should be done at once to solve this problem, and there is no better place for the experiment than here. When the thing has once been done we shall know what to do in all such cases. The importance of obstructions has been fully proved at Charleston Harbor, if we may believe that it is they which have paralyzed our fleet of iron-clads.
In view of the above statements, I suggest that an appropriation be asked of Congress of &300,000 "for providing obstructions to be moored in the Potomac, to render the shore batteries more efficient for the protection of Washington against maritime attack," and I further request that the Secretary of War authorize a sum of &150,000 from the appropriation for "Contingencies of fortifications," or any available source, to be immediately applies to a partial construction of such obstructions, and in order to arrive speedily at some practical conclusions as to what they shall do.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. BARNARD,
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, October 13, 1863-2 p. m.
Fort Monroe, Va.:
It is reported that two boats, with some 30 men, have been hovering around Hog Island, probably intending to destroy that light. Can you not send a steamer to cut off these boats, if they are really there? Lee's army has been moving for teh last two days, apparently toward the Shenandoah Valley. General Meade is not yet satisfied whether it is a real movement in that direction or only a demonstration against his flank.
H. W. HALLECK,
FORT MONROE, VA., October 13, 1863. (Received 8 p. m.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
I have had a strong force in the vicinity of Hog Island for the past four days, and have left a small guard at the light-house. I will send over again at once. I wish teh counties of Accomac and Northampton were in my department, so that I could arrange a sure protection by means of a few companies of loyal Virginians, with fixed guards and patrols.
J. G. FOSTER,