supply the only practicable solution of the difficulty, the, I also think, supply the best that can be devised. No man can be so surely depended on for the defense of a treasure as the owner of it:
After the preceding exposition of views on the general subject of the defenses of the coast, it may not be out of place here to indicate the mode by which the system of fortifications can be manned and served without an augmentation for that particular purpose of the Regular Army. The force that should be employed for this service in time of war is the militia (using the term in a comprehensive sense), the probability being that in most of the defended points on the sea-board the uniformed and volunteer companies will supply the garrions needed. And it may be shown that it is a service to which militia are better adapted than to any other. The militiaman has there to be taught merely the service of a single gun, than which nothing can be more simple. He must learn to use the rammer and the sponge, the hand-spike, and the linstock; to load and to run to battery, to trail, and to fire. These are all. Each of these operations is of the utmost simplicity, depending on individual action and not on concert, and they all may be taught in a very short time. There is no maneuvering, no marching, no wheeling. The squad of one gun may be marched to another, but the service of both is the same. Even the art of pointing cannon is to an American militiaman an art of easy attainment from the skill that all our countrymen acquire in the use of fire-arms, drawing sight, or aiming, being the same art, modified only by the difference in the gun. The mode of applying this force may be illustrated by the case of any of our cities on the sea-board. The volunteer force of the city should be divided into detachments if possible, without disturbing their company organization, and should be assigned to the several works according to the war garrisons required at each, from four to six men, according to circumstances, being allowed to each gun. The larger works might require ten, fifteen, or even twenty companies; the smaller, one, two, or three or more companies, and in some cases even a platoon might suffice. Being thus assigned each portion of the city force would have its definite alarm post, and should be often taken to it, there exercised in all the duties of its garrison, and more especially in the service of its batteries and in its defense against assault. The multiplicity of steam-boats in all the cities would enable the volunteers to reach even the most distant alarm posts in a short time. In order that all these troops may become expert in their duty one of the works most convenient to the city, besides being the alarm post of some particular portion of the volunteers, should, during peace, be the ordinary school of drill for all, and in this the detachments should in turn assemble and exercise. Besides the more manual of the gun and battery there should be frequent target practice, as being not only necessary in teaching the proper use of the battery, but as imparting interest and excitement to the service. It might be necessary for a time to submit the volunteers to the drill of a competent officer or non- commissioned officer of the regular artillery, and in particular to conduct the practice with shot and shells under such inspection.
This particular in the arrangements for defense brings me to the designation of Castle Clinton (Castle Garden) as a most convenient and excellent drill school for the defenders of the city, at least as one of those schools. Another may be on Bedloe's Island, where there will be a large array of barbette guns. So long as the extensive lines of fortifications are incomplete the twenty-eight guns of Castle Clinton, all of which may be of large caliber, should be in readiness for service. There is no better point among the upper batteries. It is therefore a point for consideration whether this battery should not be put in hands for indispensable repairs.
Turning now to the northern frontier of New York, I find it convenient to consider first the western portion, namely, that on Lake Erie. This portion especially will enter into the system of defense of the upper lakes, where reliance may safely be placed on naval means because of the great preponderance there of our tonnage. Without knowledge as to particulars, I am quite sure of the general fact that a greatly superior floating force could be displayed by us at the opening of a war on all these lakes, provided armaments were at hand to be there mounted on the large, strong, and fast steamers that abound in our harbors.
Squadrons of such vessels cruising on the open lake and watching the opposite shores would cover the customary water communications