War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0771 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

in the several lakes and guard the harbors from visits of hostile vessels. But to meet the possible chance of such visits in the absence of our guard vessels, field batteries should be erected on the shore front of the principal places, provided with long- range guns and manned by a local force. To draw any advantage from this superiority in the number and size of our steam fleet- indeed to prevent the destruction of these fine vessels, or keep them from arming the hands of our enemies-it is indispensable that there be deposited, as stated above, at the principal harbors, ready for immediate use, and ample stock of heavy guns, with carriages and all other appurtenances, including powder and missiles.

As to the great city of Buffalo, though benefited by this kind of protection, and contributing more than any other to the creation and superiority of the floating force it must have such further protection as forts of some strength upon its shores can give. Something has already been done to that end by the erection of Fort Porter, which, situate just above the narrow outlet of the lake, commands that passage quite well, and with twelve large and long-range guns will overlook the water up to the mouth of Buffalo Creek, or entrance to the harbor. Another work, probably a tower, designed to be placed on the beach a little south of this entrance, with numerous guns arranged under its protection a long the dike that stretches southward, will give a cross-fire with Fort Porter, and command the water in the other direction as far up the lake as any vessel can lie while firing upon the town or shipping within the harbor. It may be advisable to erect a block-house or two toward the upper end of the dike to guard the guns in this battery from surprise. The additional works just suggested should be begun as soon as possible in the spring. In the meantime guns, and all that belongs to them, should be forwarded to Buffalo for the complete armament of Fort Porter, to consist of twelve 10-inch guns, twelve 8-inch guns, and eighty 32-pounders, thirty-two pieces; and at least as many more of the same kind for the batteries at the mouth of the harbor in addition to such as should be sent to arm the Buffalo portion of the Lake Erie navy.

Little expenditure will be needed at Fort Porter, and I suppose that $150,000 will suffice for the new works at and near the entrance to the harbor. I need not say here that to protect Buffalo from an attack by numbers must be at hand or within ready call. That kind of organization and state of readiness of the local and neighboring military force that was mentioned in reference to the city of New York, and a like arrangement and understanding with forces to be drawn from the interior, should be the resort here. As to our shore of the Niagara River, everywhere exposed even to musketry from the other side, there must be mutual abstinence from hostilities, since these would in no degree affect the issue of the war though inflicting great individual injury. The presence of an army on either side for any purpose might demand the erection of field-works, batteries, &c., but these cannot be foreseen and would be the work of the Army itself. I do not, therefore, see that any fortifications are needed along the Niagara Strait until we reach its outlet. The position of Fort Niagara at the outlet of Niagara River requires that it should be maintained in condition of strength and efficiency, and to that end Congress is asked for an appropriation to be expended in repairs and in measures for increasing its power. In substituting permanent for perishable materials that it was supposed would outlast any necessity for this military occupation, considerable expenditure must be made, possibly reaching to $150,000. Its armament will