War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0773 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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assemblage of heavy cannon. Otherwise I must deem an expenditure not greater than that suggested for Sodus Bay ($50,000) as likely to keep off any hostile enterprise.

On that portion of the northern frontier that the Saint Lawrence bounds we have never had any defenses, except a small and weak redoubt at the mouth of the harbor of Ogdensburg. Every town and habitation upon either shore of this river may be said to lie at all time at the mercy of the shore opposite. This reciprocal exposure is, or ought to be, the protection of both. But while any attempt to cover any town on this river, Ogdensburg, for instance, by forts in its front or neighborhood would be in vain, as would be any effort that the English fort (Wellington) opposite could make to prevent the destruction of the contiguous town of Prescott should we open batteries against it, there is another very important end that we may obtain by one or two forts suitably posited on this river, and that is by commanding communications along the Saint Lawrence Canal. This communication may certainly be controlled. And whenever it shall be determined that hostile relations are to follow, these positions should be seized by a force competent to fortify and hold them. It will be wisest to preserve in any such purpose the strictest silence until the expedition shall arrive on the ground. I regard this as by far the most important of all the single steps that can be taken toward the protection of the Saint Lawrence and Lake Ontario frontier, and as bearing at the same time important consequences for the upper lakes. But it is out of the question to assign the money cost of the fortifications that may be necessary since we as yet know nothing of their numbers, sint. There must, however, be no stint of means in men, guns, munitions, or money. The Ottawa Canal, leaving the Saint Lawrence at Montreal and rejoining this great course of waters at Kingston, would serve to convey everything but ships. In the want, hnglish of these, supplied from abroad, it could not be difficult for us to obtain and maintain naval mastery on Lake Ontario. A reconnaissance of the Saint Lawrence in reference to the occupation of some commanding points on it was made many years ago by my order by able engineer officers. That country on both sides of the river has in the meantime much increased in population. Railroads have been introduced; these with other probable changes invite to a repetition of the reconnaissances the moment there shall seem to be an actual necessity for the occupation.

There being in my opinion no other motive than the one mentioned for erecting defensive works on the Saint Lawrence, I pass on to Lake Champlain. The intervening land boundary presents no reasons for military occupation independent of such as the presence of armies there will satisfy. Rouse's Point, at the northern end of Lake Champlain, affords position for the complete defense of the outlet. The new fort there placed (Fort Montgomery) is well advanced, and measures are in train for the most rapid progress in the spring. It may even now resist escaled, and by the opening of the lake will be prepared to mount a number of heavy guns. All this winter will be devoted to inside finish of magazines and gun casemates, and the preparation of materials for outside walls. It is easy to see that a war in the North may make this an important position for an entrenched camp for which the ground is well adapted. This fort will overlook a large surface of ground as well as the channel of the lake. Its armament will be seventy-six 10-inch guns, ten 32-pounders, forty 24-pounder howitzers, ten mortars-136