War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0335 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records



Fort Gibson, Ellis' Island....................12

Fort Wood, Bedloe's Island....................55

Fort Columbus, Governor's Island..............87

Castle William, Governor's Island.............78

South Battery, Governor's Island..............13

Giving a total of 767 guns, independent of about 140 pieces for which preparations have been made as flanking guns or as guns commanding land approaches.

I am not informed to what extent the above-named forts are actually supplied with guns and carriages, but this will of course be quickly learned at the Ordnance Department, as also the extent to which it can supply deficiencies. I may, perhaps, be allowed to add, on this point, that that department, having for years urged in vain an enlarged appropriation for the purchase of ordnance for the new fortifications, may now need heavy guns to make good the deficiency within any brief period; and I may be allowed to repeat that the old guns, as far as they are on hand, should occupy the prepared places until the more powerful ones are actually ready to be substituted.

A gladly avail myself of this opportunity to bring to the attention of the War Department and of Congress projects that have been long entertained of increasing the force of the batteries at the Narrows of New York Harbor.

On the Staten Island side the Government domain includes positions for which batteries have been designed by the Board of Engineers that will contribute powerfully to the dense of the channel.

On the Long Island side of the Narrows also must there are additional batteries, as recommended by the same Board. Here also are excellent positions, from which heavy artillery will bear upon passing vessels with great effect. These Long Island batteries should be carried at the same time with those just recommended for the other side of the strait; there will no interference, and with a liberal appropriation material progress may be made in both during the remainder of this working season.

I accordingly, in view of the importance of giving the greatest strength to this vital point, recommend, in addition to the appropriations that have been asked for fortifications already sanctioned by Congress, that the sum of $200,000 be granted for the commencement of new batteries at the Narrows of New York Harbor, thereby adding to the defense of this passage, in the most advantageous positions, about 200 guns, that may be of the most formidable calibers.

I will ventury reference of this subject to the Ordnance Department precise information can be obtained as to the state of armament preparation.

I have the honor to be, &c.,


Brevet Brigadier-General and Colonel Engineers.

[Inclosure No. 2.] ORDNANCE OFFICE, WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, July 16, 1861.

Honorable SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

SIR: On the memorial of the Chamber of Commerce of the city of New York asking for action in arming the fortifications of that harbor I have to report:

This department has already made preparations for distributing among the forts of our sea-coast all the guns which are on hand and