when all these are ready, there should be brought into action floating defenses to the full extent that the neighboring resources can supply. Much more will these be needed so long as the system of fortifications for the place is 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 put in position.
It may not be out of place to enlarge a little here on the necessity and mode of application of the aid to be derived from the interior strength of the State. Mention is made above of the outer islands in the harbor, Bang's, Peak, and Hog Islands, &c., as possibly entering into the system of defense. The idea is that war vessels lying under their high shores would be screened from the harbor forts while still able, with long-range guns, to throw their missiles into the city and among the shipping; or that they might even land guns for that purpose upon those islands or some one of them. This being possible, the precaution against both modes of attack is to place thereon field works of strength to resist escalate, and armed with guns enough to keep the enemy at a distance. These are things not difficult to do, nor to do promptly as regards the field fortifications. It is quite plain that we must take care that these works shall not be taken from us to be used against us. The field-works will make the islands defensible with adequate troops, but not without troops, nor even with feeble garrisons. Both strong field-works and strong garrisons will be indispensable. But the town itself is exposed to a danger of the same nature if a heavy expedition be sent against it. This might be strong enough to land forces to the south of the harbor; that is, on the shore to the south of Portland Head Light or a little westward of Cape Elizabeth, less than six miles off, and planting some long-range guns on the ridge overlooking the harbor on the south, exact a contribution, or fire upon town and shipping. One or two field redoubts erected on the ridge at the beginning of a war should prevent this; or the enemy might be in sufficient force to hold the surrounding country for a short time, in which case the complete protection of the town would require a line of from seven to ten such redoubts, extending from the ridge just mentioned (inclusive) round to the north shore of Back Cove. With this provision of land defenses that could be got ready in a short time, together with those proposed above for the islands, and the permanent harbor fortifications, the town and harbor would be safe, it being understood that all the suggested arrangements for drawing succor from the interior of the country are complete. The numerous railroads concentrating at Portland add greatly to its security, because permitting all New England, and even a portion of the State of New York, to send contributions of volunteers, within a very brief period-to brief that of the town.
The next point eastward of Portland which the Government has designed to protect by permanent fortifications is the mouth of the Kennebec River. For this plans have been made and measures, likely soon to be complete, are in hand fort perfecting the title to the land needed, in addition to that now owned by the United States, as the site of an old fort on Hunnewell's Point. The labors on the new fort will commence as soon as possible in the spring. In the meantime as much will be done in preparations as winter weather will allow. This fort, which will be hurried forward in execution, occupying an admirable position to control the channel of the river, will when finished be armed