War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0334 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

of Representatives, for report, which I proceed to make to you. I refer to the several fortifications in the order in which the memorial presents them:

Fort Schuyler, on Throg's Neck, the only defensive work on the East River approach to the city, is a very strong and efficient work, and has for several years been ready for its armament. The entire armament is to be about 250 guns, most of which will bear upon the water; may be of the largest caliber, and may be put in place as soon as supplied by the Ordnance Department. The remaining engineering work here is not material to efficiency, though required for preservation and personal accommodation, but for these no further appropriation is now needed. For the proper defense of this East River passage a strong fort is needed on Willets Point, opposite, and for the commencement of this an appropriation of $100,000 is included in the estimate now before Congress.

Fort Richmond, on Staten Island, a very important battery, is now ready for its armament of 126 8-inch and 10-inch guns and 24 flanking guns-total, 150 guns. A little finishing work now in hand, which will not interfere with the mounting or service of the guns, requires a further grant of $10,000, which we hope to receive from its Congress.

Fort Tompkins, situated on the heights back of Fort Richmond, is unfinished. Work there has been ordered to be resumed energetically with money now applicable, and will be continued with the $50,000 now asked of Congress.

Fort at Sandy Hook is in an early stage of progress, but from the efforts that have been made of late there in reason to believe that about 60 8-inch columbiads may be mounted in the course of the autumn. The sum of $100,000 in the estimates, if granted at this session, will enable us to continue these efforts throughout the working season, and to prepare materials during the winter for rapid progress next spring.

Forts Hamilton and Lafayette, at the Narrows, are finished works, prepared for the kind of armament the Ordnance Department may be able to give them to the extent of about 110 guns. The same as to readiness is true of Battery Hudson, on the Fort Richmond side, and of the fortifications on Bedloe's Island, Ellis' Island, and Governor's Island-the last three being near the city.

It should here be remarked that in the older of these finished forts and batteries the platforms for the barbette guns were to some extent made for lighter guns than are now thought to be necessary for such important positions. Such platforms are to be altered to suit the heavier guns, but it is certainly most judicious to retain the old guns-generally 32-pounders-and the present platforms until there is a supply of 8-inch and 10-inch columbiads to be substituted.

I will give below a statement showing the number of guns bearing upon the channels and anchorages of this harbor, viz:

NARROWS.

Guns.

Battery Hudson..............................50

Battery Morton..............................10

Fort Richmond..............................126

Fort Hamilton.............................. 40

Fort Lafayette............................. 71

EAST RIVER.

Fort Schuyler..............................225