charge individuals for similar services, and in no case more than the rates named in the circular from this Department. The purport of that circular was to prevent imposition upon the Government, and not to establish contracts between it and the various railroad and other transportation companies of the country. You are therefore, in the absence of a special contract on proper authority, to consider all services for transportation as having been made without contract, the compensation for which is never to exceed the rates named in the circular referred to or the rates charged individuals for similar services, and in fixing those amounts the evidence adduced by the claimants should be duly considered, and such deductions made from their bills as such evidence and the circular aforesaid would show to be right and proper.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
Secretary of War.
The character of the Illinois Central Railroad provides that the Government may have the use of their roadway free of charge. We have made an arrangement with that company by which the Government is to be charged 331/3 per cent. less than the rates usually charged to other parties for similar services. Please bear this in mind when settling the bills of that company.
Washington,, December 20, 1861.
His Excellency Governor JOHN A. ANDREW,
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 16th on the subject of the coast defenses of Massachusetts, and hasten to afford for your information a brief statement of the condition of the coast in that respect.
I will first state in general terms that no forts or batteries have been built or commenced upon any part of the coast of Massachusetts since the war of 1812, except in the harbors of New Bedford and Boston. The works in these will be particularly specified directly. Previous to and during the war of 1812 small forts were erected at several points on that coast, viz, at Marblehead, Salem, and Gloucester, and small open batteries at some others. Nothing has been done since the peace to any of these, and all have fallen into dilapidation. Projects were made more than thirty years ago for permanent forts at Marblehead and Salem, but in the great difficulty of obtaining appropriations for defenses at places of the highest importance, the commencement of these has not been attempted. What can now be done at these places and any others that may need this kind of protection is to raise earthen batteries of the necessary extent, including the repairs of such of these old works as are worthy of it. Except where the earth is too deeply frozen, these earthen batteries may be quickly built and made ready for service. I have instructed the only engineer officer whose services in that quarter I can now command to examine all those positions and report forthwith on these repairs and extensions with estimates of cost. In the meantime I will venture the conjecture that the expenditures upon needful works of this nature, independent of the cost of their armament and its supplies, may be kept within the limits of $200,000;