New Fort Preble was projected many years ago and will be commenced, it is hoped, at an early day. Its armament will be two 15-inch guns, twenty 10-inch guns, twenty-two 8-inch guns, ten 32-pounders, eight 24-pounder howitzers, ten field pieces and mortars; total, 72 pieces.
Fort Scammel, at first planned for nine guns, is now fitted for seventy-one guns: One 15-inch gun, thirty-eight 10-inch guns, eighteen 32-pounders, seven 12-pounder block-house guns, besides seven mortars and field pieces; total, 71 pieces.
No portion of the armament is now in place. A fort now under construction on Hog Island Ledge, called Fort Gorges, may now be made to receive twelve 8-inch casemate guns, and by the end of the next working season the full armament of its two lower tiers, namely, fifty-six 8 and 10 inch guns. Were all the armaments just specified in the places prepared for them there would be 105 15- inch, 10-inch, and 8-inch calibers, including some 32-pounders bearing from the most advantageous positions upn the harbor and its entrances, and with the intended progress at Fort Gorges there will be 149 of such guns by the end of next summer, omitting field guns, mortars, and block-house guns. On the completion of Fort Gorges the total number of pieces will be 218, and on the completion of New Oft Preble, 290. This is a formidable array of artillery, but it is not all that may be advantageously opposed to an enemy, provided additional guns with all necessary appurtenances can be furnished in measure as temporary places are made ready for them. I assume that 150 guns in addition to those the forts will receive (omitting New Fort Preble) may be judiciously disposed of in that way, which will raise the total for Portland Harbor to 368 pieces; of this number New Fort Preble, when finished, will receive 72.
In anticipation of such further provision of heavy batteries instructions have been given to Captain Casey, the engineer officer in charge at Portland, to make particular examination of the outer islands of the harbor, viz, Bang's, Peak, Great, and Hog Island, &c., report as to the necessity of occupying with temporary batteries on any or all of these, and in that case stating the number of guns and giving plans and estimates of the cost of such necessary batteries. These instructions directed, moreover, similar examinations and reports as to the necessity of placing batteries upon Fish Point and of erecting field works on the grounds to the west, south, and southeast of the harbor and town. The situation of Fish Point is such that a large number of guns may be mounted there in temporary batteries in most advantageous positions for action up the harbor. The necessity for a particular organization and arrangement of the neighboring force of militia and volunteers, with a view to the occupation and service of these batteries in the absence of regular troops, is at least as obvious here as at Portsmouth, before mentioned. It would, indeed, seem to me the most necessary step of all in preparation for an enemy. All the forts and batteries necessary must in readiness as soon as possible. These must also in due time have their full complement of ordnance of all kinds; but all this pot constituting an actual danger, unless the forts and guns are properly guarded, manned, and served. This particular matter of the earliest practicable detail and assignment of State troops to the several forts and batteries, and the diligent exercise of the guns, with liberal target practice, is earnestly pressed upon the authorities. It should always be understood as to important places like Portsmouth and Portland in particular, that in addition to such permanent defenses as can find good positions, even