course seems to be a matter of urgency with respect to which no time should be lost. The position of the State of Maine, whether regard be had to the importance of preserving her coast and harbors for ourselves, or the liability of their being seized by an enemy for his uses, evidently requires readiness for service.
At Portland Harbor, Kittery, and the Narrows of the Penobscot a good deal of progress has been made in the preparation of defenses. At this time Fort Scammel, At Portland, is prepared to receive fifty-nine sea-coast guns. Fort Preble is ready for thirty-six guns, and a few might be mounted at the new fort on Hog Island Ledge. There are thirteen guns now at Fort Preble (included in the above number), and it is supposed that the rest of the above specified armaments will be furnished as soon as the Ordnance Department can provide or ship them. At Kittery (on the main side of Portsmouth Harbor) there is a small old work, Fort McClary, which now has four guns mounted and is ready to receive five more. At Fort Know (Narrows of the Penobscot) there is now a readiness to receive fifty-five guns. In all these cases the preparation includes a due proportion of large calibers. It has been understood that most of the guns might be furnished before long. An appropriation for the defense of the Kennebec was made some years since. The commencement of the work has been delayed by legal difficulties in obtaining a perfect title to the land desired for the site. A report in full as called for will be furnished on this subject as soon as the pressure of daily duties will permit.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. D. KURTZ,
Captain of Engineers, in Charge.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NEW ENGLAND,
Boston, November 11, 1861.
Honorable SIMON CAMERON,
Secretary of War:
DEAR SIR: Yours of the 9th instant, dated at New York, was this morning received. Prior to its receipt I had already contracted for two vessels, one for the transport of horses and one for the transport of men, to be ready by the 16th instant. This was upon the recommendation of the Assistant Secretary, Fox. For any other vessels necessary I shall be happy to put myself in communication with Mr. John Tucker, in accordance with your recommendation.
Very truly and respectfully, yours,
B. F. BUTLER.
P. S. - The two vessels already chartered will take but half my force.
B. F. B.
[NOVEMBER 11, 1861.- For McClellan to Halleck, relating to illegal commissions and appointments of officers of the Army made by Fremont, &c., see Series I, Vol. III, p. 568.]
WASHINGTON, November 11, 1861.
His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN,
President of the United States:
Mr. PRESIDENT: I ask for authority to enroll and organize a body of men as a home guard for the capital of the country.