To prevent advantage being thus taken of the necessities of the Government, collectors of customs have been directed to deliver to the agents of the United States all arms and munitions that may be imported into this country.
The demand for arms has called into existence numerous establishments for their manufacture throughout the loyal portion of the country, and it has been the policy of this Department to encourage the development of the capital, enterprise, and skill of our people in this direction. The Government should never have less than a million of muskets in its arsenals, with a corresponding proportion of arms and equipments for artillery and cavalry; otherwise it may at a most critical moment find itself deficient in guns while having an abundance of men.
I recommend that application be made to Congress for authority to establish a national foundry for the manufacture of heavy artillery at such point as may afford the greatest facilities for the purpose. While a sufficient number of cannon, perhaps, could be procured from private manufactories, the possession of a national establishment would lead to experiments which would be useful to the country, and prevent imposition in prices, by the accurate knowledge that would a be acquired of the real value of work of this character.
In my last report I called attention to the fact that legislation was necessary for the reorganization upon a uniform basis of the militia of the country. Some general plan should be prided by Congress in aid of the State, by which our militia can be organized, armed, and disciplined, and made effective at any moment for immediate service. If thoroughly trained in time of peace, when occasion demands it may be converted into a vast army, confident in its discipline and unconquerable in this patriotism. In the absence of any general system of ard of 700,000 men have already been brought into the field, and, in view of the alacrity and enthusiasm that have been displayed, I do not hesitate to express the belief that no combination of events can arise in which this country will not be able, not only to protect itself, but, contrary to its policy, which is peace with all the world, to enter upon aggressive operations a that may meddle with our domestic affairs. A committee should be appointed by Congress, with authority to sit during the recess, to devise and report a plan for the general organization of the militia of the United States.
It is of great importance that immediate attention should be given to the condition of our fortifications upon the seaboard and the lakes and upon our exposed frontiers. They should at once be placed in perfect condition of complete defense. Aggressions are seldom made upon a nation ever ready to defend its honor and to repel insults, and we should show to the world that, while engaged in quelling disturbances at home, we are able to protect ourselves against attacks from abroad.
I earnestly recommend that immediate provision should be made for increasing the corps of a cadets to the greatest capacity of the Militia Academy. There are now only 192 cadets at that important institution. I am assured by the superintendent that 400 can at present be accommodated, and that, with very trifling additional expense, this late day to speak of the value of educated soldiers. While in time of war or rebellion we must ever depend mainly upon our militia and volunteers, we shall always need thoroughly trained officers. Two class having been graduated during the present year, in order that the service might have the benefit of their military education, I had hoped that Congress at its