defenses at or near the mouth of the Columbia River. in a conversation with Lieutenant Colonel R. E. De Russy, of engineers, of San Francisco, on this subject, who has recently visited the mouth of the columbia, he recommended that the above number of rifled cannon of heaviest caliber should be asked for. From Cape Disappointment, and indeed from all the three points selected by the engineers for fortifications, guns of the very longest ranges can be brought to bear upon vessels in their progress through the channels. For this reason, as wella s on account of the present improvements in iron-clad vessels of war, he recommended that such guns should be furnished. Batteries would no doubt be erected under the direction of the engineers for the prent use of these eguns, which might possibly constitute finally a portion of the permanent fortifications. I request a shipment of the articles called for in those first requisitions, as well as the one now sent, as all would no doubt be wanted in this region in case of foreign war. It is the remotest and most vulnerable portion of all our Territories. It will reuire many months to get them out here around Cape Horn. The best season for a vessel to leave for such a voyage is the autumn; therefore I earnestly request that you will at once obtain the necessary authority and let at least a commencement be made in proper preparation for the defense of this valuable portion of the United States, whose population is now rapidly increasing. I have directed that a note should be appended to the requisition requesting that the vessel or vessels should be chartered to sail to Astoria, Oreg, and there await instructions as to the different places at which the articles should be delivered. The only change which I could suggest in the requisitions dated October 13, 1860, is that rifled cannon should be substituted. The requisition now sent contemplates ordnance of still heavier caliber if you can forward them, but the whole fifty called for will be but a small fraction of the final armament of permanent fortifications for the mouth of the Columbia. In any event, they might be needed for Puget Sound if the Government should contemplate any preparations for its defense. If it should not be in the power of the Ordnance Department now to supply the whole of these requisitions (as, for instance, all of the small-arms) I trust that you will at least forward such articles as it may be practicable or advisable to send. You might prefer to reduce the number of rounds of ammunition furnished for each piece. A full report to the Government as to the necessity and propriety of furnishing these articles was made by General Wright to the headquarters of the Army, dated the 20th of September, 1860. It can be found in the printed documents accompanying the President's message. It certainly cannot be judicious, considering the period of time required for the forwarding them to this remote post, to postpone until the actual occurrence of hostilities the accumulation of some of the necessary munitions of war.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding District.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF OREGON,
Fort Vancouver, Wash. Ter., August 27, 1862.
Headquarters Department of the Pacific, San Francisco, Cal.:
SIR: I conversed when in San Francisco with the general commanding the department on the importance of renewing his application of