War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0768 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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interests here demand, but so far as such additions are to be of a permanent character the time that must be consumed in their construction removes them beyond present consideration. It has always been understood that in addition to such permanent defense as can find good positions, even when these are all ready, there should be brought into action floating defenses to the full extent that the vast resources in floating means in mechanical power, ingenuity, and skill of this great city may supply. Much more will these be needed so long as the system of fortifications in incomplete, and, therefore, under any probability that a contest with a powerful naval adversary is pending, all re- enforcements of that system that can be afforded in the way of floating batteries, gun-boats, naval rams, &c., should be prepared and placed in position.

Assuming that all the avenues by water are well guarded, we must turn attention to the probability of an attack by land. Without describing all the possible routes that an enemy might follow with such a design, it will be enough to mention the most easy and therefore the most probable ones, these being indeed the only probable ones in my opinion, namely, from landings on the south shore of Long Island. These might be within about twenty miles of Brooklyn and the navy-yard, or in Gravesend Bay (at Bath), which would place the enemy within seven or eight miles of the same places. By placing batteries on Sandy Hook with heavy and long-range guns the passage into the bay of large vessels in support of a landing at the last place would be quite hazardous. The deployment there of gun-boats, floating batteries, &c., under the guns of the forts at The Narrows, the support these forts would give to troops resisting the debarkation, and to those also here arriving as re-enforcements to fall upon the flank of the landing, and upon the rear of the army marching toward Brooklyn- these and other considerations of like nature exhibit this as a dangerous enterprise. Neveretheless, in view of the possibility and the better to command some of the shallower channels into the lower bay, it will be advisable at a future day to fortify a point or shoal southeasterly of The Narrows that may cover this landing-place, and at the same time augment the resistance made to the passage of the main channel. But this can only be accomplished at a day somewhat distant. In the want of such a permanent out-work it may be only prudent, should such a danger be imminent, to erect a field work, possibly two, that shall command this landing place, and have at the same time mutual relations of support with Fort Hamilton and its out-works. Works here could be quickly erected and armed, and with the other means mentioned would close this opening very effectually.

Against the other landing specified there would be arrayed our army of defense, of itself numerous and well supplied with artillery and hourly strengthened by arrivals from the interior by rail and steam. Driving our troops before him, the enemy would march upon Brookly and its navy-yard-great objects certainly and worthy of great efforts, even if he should march no further, and it may be the part of prudence, considering the magnitude of the stake, to prepare at commanding points, toward which our retreating troops would draw in, field-works that for a time would arrest his advance. With the certainty of the safe landing at and near Fort Hamilton of all re-enforcements from the direction of New Jersey, of the like safe crossing at or near Fort Schuyler, of succor from the North, of the rapidity with which by rail and steam the forces from New England could arrive by the Long Island Railroad- all these troops bearing upon the flanks and rear of