« AnteriorContinua »
Estimated cost of ordnance of all kinds required for the armament of the western frontier, embracing cannon mounted and one hundred
rounds of ammunition for each piece.
Post on the Sabine at the crossing of the Opelousas ioad
tween Red and Arkansas rivers ...................
For the board,
REPORT ON THE ARMORIES, ARSENALS, MAGAZINES, AND FOUNDERIES, WHICH ARE MENTIONED IN THE THIRD SECTION OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE SESATE IN THE FOLLOWING WORDS, VIZ:
"The armories, arsenals, magazines, and founderies, either constructed or deemed necessary, with a conjectural estimate of the expense of constructing such of said establishments as may not yet be completed or commenced, but which may be deemed necessary.”
The necessary arsenals and magazines will be first considered, as armories and founderies, being manufactories of arms destined for general distribution, do not pertain exclusively to any particular frontier. Arsenals and ordnance depots will be understood to include magazines in the general sense of the term; and these establishments will be rated, according to their relative importance or magnitude, in three classes :
1. Arsenals of construction, which embrace also repairs, and for deposit. II. Arsenal for repairs and for deposit.
III Depots, or places for deposit and safe-keeping of arms, and other ordnance stores.
I. On the nothern frontier, from Lake Superior to Passamaquoddy bay.An arsenal or ordnance depot will be required at some suitable point on the ['pper Mississippi; and Fort Crawford, at Prairie Du Chien, offers a good position, particularly with reference to supplying the line or tract of country extendding southwesterly from Fort Snelling, through the Territory of Iowa, towards the Des Moines river, as well as northwardly toward Lake Superior, and eastwardly through the Territory of Wisconsin to Lake Michigan. The expense of constructing this depot, on a scale commensurate with the probable importance that must be given to it, will be not less than...
$70, 000 forming an arsenal of the third class.
The Detroit arsenal, on the river Rouge, twelve miles from Detroit, now nearly finished, is an arsenal of the second class, destined to supply the lake frontier from the Sault de St. Marie, the outlet of Lake Superior, to Lake Michigan and Lake Erie...
20,000 will effect the completion of this arsenal.
Alleghany arsenal, at Pittsburg, an establishment of the first class, is also available for the supply of the lake frontier, as well as the western frontier, through the western arsenals.
Rome arsenal, of the third class, is the place for deposit for stores required at the posts on Lake Ontario.
Champlain arsenal, at Vergennes, Vermont, also of the third class, will supply the posts on Lake Champlain and the northern part of Vermont. But the whole lake frontier, and the arsenals in that region, may be supplied from the Watervliet arsenal, near Albany, which is an establishment of the first class, and admirably located for the preparation and sending forth of ordnance stores, not only to the northern, but likewise to the maritime frontier. The periods of free navigation of the New York canals and the Hudson river are used for the distribution from Watervliet of such supplies as may be required in the winter season.
The Kennebec arsenal, at Augusta, Maine, of the second class, is designed to supply the northern and eastern frontiers of that State, and part of New Hampshire; but arms would be furnished to the frontier of the latter State from Springfield armory, and
ordnance stores would be passed up the valley of the Connecticut from arsenals either east or west of that river.
It may become necessary to establish a depot on the Penobscot, at Bangor. But this point is only sixty miles from Augusta ; and no estimate of the cost is furnished, as the deposit would probably be temporary.
II. The maritime frontier from Passamaquoddy bay to Cape Florida.-The Kennebec arsenal is the place of deposit for the greater part of the sea-coast of Maine; the sum of... will finish the additions required.
The Watertown arsenal, five miles in the rear of Boston, also of the second class, will supply the westerly part of Maine, the sea-coast of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island; and ... will be required for additional buildings and enclosures.
Both the Kennebec and Watertown arsenals are of considerable extent, with every facility for being converted into arsenals of the first class; and the construction of gun-carriages, necessary for arming the forts and batteries within the limits above stated, may be effected at both or either. The Watervliet arsenal, before mentioned, is, however, the principal one relied on for supplies required, not only from Cape Cod to the capes of Delaware bay, but for much of the maritime as well as the lake frontier. Additional quarters and storehouses at this post will cost......
A depot in the harbor of New York receives articles from Watervliet, during the season of navigation, which are transhipped, in time of peace, to all parts of the coast and to the Mississippi. During a war, supplies would be furnished from arsenals in the more immediate vicinity of the sea-coast defences, viz: Frankford arsenal, six miles above Philadelphia, is of the second class, and will supply works on Delaware bay and river ; Pikesville arsenal, of the third class, four miles from Baltimore; Washington arsenal and Fort Monroe arsenal, both of the first class, will furnish what may be required for the sea-coast defences of Chesapeake bay and Potomac river. The last mentioned was established with special reference to the construction of the gun-carriages required at that post and at Fort Calhoun. It has been found advantageous, however, to construct there carriages for other southern forts; but it cannot be considered as a permanent establishment of the first class, to be kept up after the occasion which called for it shall have passed by.
The North Carolina arsenal, at Fayetteville, on Cape Fear river, is under construction, and was originally intended to be made one of the first class. Doubts have been entertained whether it ought to exceed those of the second class; but the plan is such that it can at any time be extended according to the original design. The sum of eighty thousand dollars will be required to finish it as one of the second class...
Charleston depot is at present of diminutive capacity. It is proper to enlarge it, and thirty thousand dollars will make it useful as a place of deposit...
Augusta arsenal, at Augusta, Georgia, is of the second class, and with the two last mentioned will furnish supplies required from Chesapeake bay to Cape Florida.
The Augusta arsenal has its powder magazine detached and
located at an inconvenient distance, beyond the control of the force at the post. For the construction of a new magazine, and other necessary additions to this establishment, sixty thousand dollars will be required......
Several of the arsenals have been built upwards of 20 years, and require extensive repairs and additions, which it is supposed may be effected, from time to time, by the aid of annual appropriations, amounting in all to about...
III. “ The Gulf frontier, from Cape Florida to Sabine bay.”— Appalachicola arsenal, at Chattahoochee, just below the junction of the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers ; Mount Vernon arsenal, on the Mobile river; and Baton Rouge arsenal, on the Mississippi, are all establishments of the second class, and destined to supply the whole Gulf frontier, and the forts below New Orleans, on the Missippi. About sixty thousand dollars will be required to complete them, and erect some additional buildings at Baton Rouge-
IV. “ The western frontier, from Sabine bay to Lake Superior.—Baton Rouge arsenal, already mentioned, will furnish supplies for posts on the Sabine and Red rivers.
Little Rock arsenal, just commenced, will be the source of supplies for posts on the Arkansas, and along the western border of that State. It will necessarily become at first an arsenal of the second class, with the depot at Memphis as subsidiary, and will require one hundred thousand dollars to complete it.....
St. Louis arsenal is a large establishment of the second class, but, with very little expense can be raised to the first class ; with the subsidiary depot at Liberty, on the Missouri, it will supply the posts on that river, the western border of the State, the posts on the Des Moines, and the Upper Mississippi.
A depot at Prairie du Chien, mentioned in relation to supplies required in the direction of Lake Superior, and southwesterly, through the Territory of Iowa, would be sustained by the St. Louis arsenal, and completes the chain upon the several frontiers embraced in the resolution.
Total amount required for constructions, additions, and repairs to arsenals and depots..
Armories. The two national armories at Springfield, Massachusetts, and Harper's Ferry, Virginia, are the only public establishments for the manufacture of small arms. They furnish about twenty-five thousand stand of arms yearly. This number might be extended; but it has been an object of solicitude witń the government for nearly twenty years past to establish an armory west of the Alleghanies.
Commissioners were employed in 1823 to examine the western waters, with a view to the location of an armory. Many sites were surveyed, and careful estimates made of the cost of an armory at each, with an exhibit of their several advantages and disadvantages. The result of their investigations may be found at large in Gales & Seaton's reprint of American State Papers, folios 729 to 790 inclusive, volume 2, Military Affairs.
It is perhaps fortunate that the place then selected was not adopted by Congress ; for, since that period, the immense increase, not only of population and the general resources of the western region, but of the particular articles required for the manufacture of arins, by the discovery of masses of coal, and the extensive working of iron mines, where nothing of the kind was then found, has shown that an armory should be located much further west.
The data collected by the commissioners in 1823 may be usefully applied in estimating the probable cost of an armory at the present day, making suitable allowances for the increased price of everything connected with such an establishment. This cost will be found to vary, according to localities of positions, from $280,000 to $500,000 for an armory capable of furnishing twelve thousand muskets per year. It will therefore be stated at the mean of $390,000, to which twenty per cent. should be added ; making the sum of...
$468, 000 Another mode of proceeding proposed consists of forming an establishment complete in itself, of limited extent, and having the great mass of component parts of arms manufactured by the piece in private workshops, and only the inspecting, assembling, and finishing be done at the public works. This course would materially reduce the first cost, or necessary expenditure for buildings and tools. It also admits of extension to a great amount of fabrication, with but little additional cost of permanent fixtures. But, whichever mode is followed, or whatever site may be selected for its location, there can be no question of the necessity for an armory on the western waters; and as regards a proper location, it may be observed, that, to consider the relations of an armory in the same light as that of an arsenal or magazine, would be an error; the means of production being the principal requisite for the one, and those of transportation or distribution for the others. Total required for an armory on the western waters..
The United States own no cannon foundery. Although possessing some ore beds, from which iron of approved quality for casting cannon has long been made, yet artillery of every description is procured from private founderies. This subject has been so recently before Congress, and so ably treated, that nothing will be said further than to state the probable cost of such an establishment ; and, here again, so much depends upon the location, that only an approximation will be attempted. A report from the War Department made to the 24th Congress, 1st session, Doc. No. 106, states the cost of a foundery, to be located at Georgetown, in the District of Columbia, at $312,000. If this estimate is correct, (and it is known that great care was bestowed on its preparation,) it may be assumed that about....
$300,000 will be required for a foundery when favorably located for the use of water power. Should steam power be adopted, the first cost of the establishment would be less, while the annual expenditure would be greater than for water power.
As regards a suitable location for a foundery, the great weight and bulk of the raw materials used in the manufacture of cannon, and the weight of heavy guns, which are required for use only on the seaboard, would seem to demand that particular attention should be given to the means of transportation both to and from the foundery. Total amount required for a foundery.