War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0896 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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II. The temporary Department of New England, constituted in paragraph I, of General Orders, Numbers 86, dated October 1, 1861,* is hereby abrogated. The authority heretofore given Major General B. F. Butler, U. S. Volunteers, by the War Department, in regard to raising and equipping volunteers in New England for certain purposes, is withdrawn. All contracts made by authority of General Butler, and now in the course of execution, will be completed. He will, however, enter on no new ones.

By command of Major-General McClellan:

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, February 20, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have requested Colonel Kingsbury, chief of ordnance of the Army of the Potomac, to hand you the following letter I have addressed to you in regard to heavy guns, together with certain statements can which that letter is based. I would be very glad if you will have a few moments conversation with Colonel Kingsbury on this very important subject, as his views will, I doubt not, be of value.

Very truly, and respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEORGE B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, February 20, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to request your attention to the following statement, showing the comparatively weak condition of our harbor defenses, the probable time required under the present system to obtain an efficient armament, as well as some suggestions as to the means by which the acquisition of heavy ordnance may be greatly facilitated and a large number of guns now discarded as unserviceable probably rendered available for many of our fortifications:

Of the 3,287 heavy guns of all calibers now on hand for use 1,327 are too light for effective service. The number of pieces required for forts already determined upon is 4,891, leaving 2,931 to be supplied. The foundries at Pittsburg, Boston, and Cold Spring are the only establishments in the loyal States at which our ordnance has been made. Of these, that at Boston now works exclusively for the Navy, recent orders from the Army having been declined. It is understood that another foundry is in progress of erection near New York, but it is not known when it will be completed. The maximum capacity of the three first mentioned cannot probably exceed thirty-three guns per week, and by allowing twelve per week for the new foundry, nearly two years will be required to supply the number of pieces which the present exigency demands.

But it is not improbable that nearly all of the 1,327 guns, 42, 32, and 24 pounders, already referred to as having been laid aside on account of their small calibers, may easily be made serviceable and their weight of projectile at least double by rifling and re-enforcing them with wrought-iron bands at the breech. It should be stated, however, that attempts have been made in Europe thus to increase the capacity of

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*See Series I, Vol. LI, Part I, p. 491.

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