War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0963 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

with the general military systems of other nations, administers the whole engineer service of the Army.

Of the officers of engineers serving with volunteers" commissions there are now six major-generals, nine brigadier-generals, seven colonels, four lieutenant-colonels, and one major. Sixteen of these are in command of troops, five are on general staff duty, and four are on engineer staff duty.

The whole number of engineer officers now serving in the field is fifty-two-twenty with troops and thirty-two on staff duty.

During the year two veteran officers have been removed from the corps by retirement consequent upon long and faithful service, two by promotion to be brigadier-generals of the Regular Army, four have fallen in battle, and one has lost life directly in the act of rendering important professional service.

The loss of so large a number of the officers of the corps and the heavy demands of the active operations of the war upon its members have left but a small proportion available for the construction of the sea-board and frontier defenses, the requirements of the Military Academy, the lake surveys, and other ordinary duties.

At the same time the interest of the country require that the system of defenses should be pressed forward with all practical rapidity, and Congrees appropriated unusually large sums of money for the purpose of expediting the works. Labors upon them have been therefore pressed to the greatest extent that the difficulty of procuring workmen and materials and the capacity of the heavily-taxed officers in charge would allow, and corresponding progress has been effected, so that a number of important positions are now in condition to make a formidable defense, and at all where it was possible to labor very material progress has been effected.

Below will be given a statement of the condition of each fortification now under construction or repair, with an account of the progress made during the past year and the operations contemplated for the present and next year. These statements are for the most part in the words of the officers in charge of the works.*

The above statement exhibits the condition of operations on the various permanent fortifications now in course of construction, modification, or repair. During the last year, however, much solicitude has been entertained respecting a number of our towns and harbors to which the system of permanent fortifications has not thus far been extended. In order to be ready to meet emergencies, projects for temporary defenses were prepared for a number of these points, and the construction of the works has been put in hand in measure as circumstances would allow. In this way provision has been made for temporary batteries of from five to fifteen guns each at each of the following places, viz: Eastport, Machias, Castine, Belfast, Rockland, Newburyport, Gloucester, Salem, Marblehead, Plymouth, Provincetown, west entrance to Narragansett Bay, New Haven, Delaware River, opposite Fort Delaware, mouth of Columbia River, Oreg. At each of these work is in rapid progress; the guns have been supplied, and the completion of all the batteries will be effected in a short time.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major of Engineers, in Charge.


* Statement omitted.