« AnteriorContinua »
Fort Severn ....
. Annapolis, Maryland.
Class B includes new works (third system) completed, or so nearly completed as to be able to use all or nearly als their batteries, viz:
Boston harbor, Massachusetts.
Newport, Rhode Island,
Throg's Neck, New York harbor.
.New York harbor, New York.
Old Point Comfort, Virginia.
.Beaufort, North Carolina.
.Oak Island, North Carolina.
.Cockspur Island, Georgia.
..Foster's Bank, Florida.
. Mobile Point, Alabama.
Mississippi river, Louisiana.
Barrataria bay, Louisiana.
Class C includes works now under construction, and more or less advanced. viz:
. Bucksport, Maine.
Class D includes works, the first to be commenced, arranged in geographical order, viz
Fort at mouth of Kennebec river, and Fort Scammel, (new,) Portland harbor Maine.
Fort (new,) Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Fort Pickering, (new,) Salem; Fort (new,) Jack's Point, Marblehead; works at Provincetown, and New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Fort on Rose island, Narraganset roads, Rhode Island.
Fort on Sandy Hook Point, New York.
Class E includes works to be commenced after those in Class D, in geographical order, viz:
New Fort Preble, Portland harbor, Maine.
Works at Gloucester; Closing Broad Sound Pass, Boston harbor; works at Gurnet Point, Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Works at Cedar Point, Potomac river, Maryland.
Class F includes works to be commenced last of all, also in geographical order, viz:
Works at Eastport harbor, Machias, Mount Desert island, Castine, St. George's bay, Damariscotta bay, Broad bay, Sheepscot bay, Hog Island channel, (Portland harbor,) mouth of Saco river, mouth of Kennebunk river, York, Maine.
Works at Newburyport, Beverly, Naugus Head, (Salem,) Fort Sewall, (Marblehead,) Nantasket Head, (Boston harbor,) redoubt on Hog island, (Boston harbor,) Nantucket, Edgartown, Falmouth, Holmes's Hole, Tarpaulin Cove, Massachusetts.
Works at Conanicut island, and works closing west passage of Narraganset roads, Rhode Island.
Fort Griswold, (New London,) works at mouth of Connecticut river, Fort Hale and Fort Wooster, (New Haven,) Connecticut.
Works for harbors and towns between New Haven and New York; works in Gardiner's bay, Long Island sound; works in Sag Harbor; fort on Wilkins's Point, Long Island ; redoubt in advance of Fort Tompkins, Staten island, New York.
Fort at Delaware breakwater, Lewes ; fort opposite Fort Delaware, Delaware river, Delaware.
Fort on Elk river; works on Hawkins's Point, below Baltimore; fort on Point Patience, Patuxent river; works at St. Mary's, Potomac river, Maryland.
Works at Bald Head and Federal Point, Cape Fear river, North Carolina.
Works at mouth of Santee river, Bull's bay and other inlets, Stono sound, North Edisto sound, South Edisto sound, St. Helena sound, South Carolina.
Works at Wassaw sound, Ossabam sound, St. Catherine's sound, Sapelo sound, Doley inlet, Altamaha sound, St. Simon's sound, St. Andrew's sound, Georgia.
Works at Charlotte harbor, Tampa bay, Apalachicola bay, Apalachie bay, St. Joseph's bay, Santa Rosa bay, Florida.
Works at Perdido bay, Alabama. Being arranged in the preceding classes, on the principles before stated, it will be seen that those places which are deemed to be least important in the system, and which may be postponed till all others are executed, constitute by far the most numerous class. Within this class (F) there are, no doubt, great differences as to the claim for defences, and in the course of years likely to elapse before any of them can be taken in hand, several may rise in the scale of relative importance.
There are also in class E differences of the same sort, and it is not unlikely
that before they can be commenced, at the rate the system has heretofore advanced, there may be interchanges between this and class F.
In class D, however, it is less probable that there will be a material change, as all the positions are important now, being designed to cover large towns or cities, or national establishments, or the outlets of valuable commerce or important roadsteads.
I proceed now to examine the coast in detail, proceeding geographically, beginning at the northeastern extremety and referring to accompanying tables, It may be well to observe here, once for all, that much confidence is not asked for the mere conjectures presented below as to the number and cost of the works assigned for the protection of the harbors which have not yet been surveyed. In some cases there may be mistakes as to the number of forts and batteries needed ; in others errors will exist in the estimated cost.
Eastport and Machias may be mentioned as places that will unquestionably be thought to need defensive works by the time, in the order of relative importance, the execution of them can be undertaken by the government. There are several small towns eastward of mount Desert island that may, at that period, deserve equal attention; at present, however, the places mentioned will be the only ones estimated for, and $100,000 will be assumed as the cost of each.
Class F-Mount Desert island, situated a little east of Penobscot bay, having a capacious and close harbor, affording anchorage for the highest class of vessels, and easily accessible from sea, offers a station for the navy of an enemy superior to any other on this part of the coast. From this point his cruisers might act with great effect against the navigation of the eastern coast, especially that of Maine, and his enterprises could be conducted with great rapidity against any points he might select. These considerations, added to the very great advantage, in certain political events, of our occupying a naval station thus advanced, whence we might act offensively, together with the expedience of providing places of succor on a part of the coast where vessels are so frequently perplexed in their navigation by the prevailing fogs, lead to the conclusion that the fortification, in a strong manner, of this roadstead may, before long, be necessary. A survey of this island was begun many years ago, but the party being called off to other duties it was never completed. The project of defensive works has not been made. The entire cost may be, as assumed by the engineer department some years ago, $500,000.
Class F-Castine.-It would seem to be impossible on this coast to deprive an enemy enjoying naval superiority of harbors, or prevent him using them as stations during a war, insular situations, which his vessels would render unapproachable, being so numerous ; but it seems proper that such of these positions as are the sites of towns should be secured. During the last war, the English held the position of Castine for some time, and left it at their pleasure. It is probable a work costing about $50,000 would deter an enemy from again making choice of this position.
Class F-Penobscot bay.—Upon this bay, and upon the river of the same name flowing into it, are several flourishing towns and villages. Of the many bays which intersect the coast, the Penobscot is the one which presents the greatest number of safe and capacious anchorages. As before observed, a large portion of these harbors must, for the present, be left without defences, but the valuable commerce of the bay and river must be covered; and to afford a secure retreat for such vessels as may be unable to place themselves under the protection of the works to the east or west of the bay, the passage of the river must be defended. The lowest point at which this can be done without great expense, is opposite Bucksport, at the Narrows. Fort Knox, at this position, is now under construction, estimated at $500,000.
Class C-St. George's bay, Broad bay, Damariscotta, and Sheepscot.West of the Penobscot occur the above-mentioned bays, all being deep indentations leading to towns, villages, and various establishments of industry and enterprise. The bays have not been surveyed, and of course no plans have been forned for their defence. $400,000 are assigned to the defence of these waters. The Sheepscot is an excellent harbor of refuge for vessels of every size.— (Class F.)
Kennebec river.—This river (one of the largest in the eastern States) enters the sea nearly midway between Cape Cod and the mouth of the St. Croix. It rises near the source of the Chandiere, which is a tributary of the St. Lawrence, and has once served as a line of operations against Quebec. The situation and extent of this river, the value of its products, and the active commerce of several very flourishing towns upon its banks, together with the excellence of the harbor within its mouth, will not permit its defence to be neglected. The surveys begun many years ago, were never finished. The estimated cost of defences, as formerly reported by the engineer department, was $300,000. Positions near the mouth will permit a secure defence.—(Class D.)
Portland harbor.— The protection of the town, of the merchantmen belonging to it, and of the ships-of-war that may be stationed in this harbor to watch over this part of the coast, or that may enter for shelter, (all of them important objects,) may be secured, as an inspection of the map of the harbor will show, by occupying Fort Preble Point, House island, Hog Island ledges, and Fish Point. If the two channels to the west and east of Hog island can be obstructed at small expense, (to decide which some surveys are yet necessary,) there will be no necessity for a battery on the ledge, and Fish Point need be occupied only by such works as may be thrown up in time of war. The expense, as now estimated, of the works planned for this defence, will be $155,000 for Fort Preble and 848,000 for House island; for Hog Island channel, say $135,000.-(Classes A, D, E, F.)
In addition, there must be repairs immediately applied to the old works at Fort Preble, including the rebuilding of a sea-wall lately overthrown, at an expense of $7,500.
Saco, Kennebunk, and York.-Small works, comparatively, will cover these places ; $75,000 is assumed as the aggregate cost.
Class F-Portsmouth harbor and navy yard.—The only good roadstead or harbor, between Cape Elizabeth and Cape Ann, is Portsmouth harbor, within the mouth of the Piscataqua river. Line-of-battle ships can ascend as high as Fox Point, seven miles above the town. This situation, sufficiently commodious for a naval depot, should be maintained ; but it is to be regretted that the bay to the south of Fox Point was not chosen as the site of the navy yard, instead of Fernald's island. Being where it is, it will be necessary, in time of war, to make some particular dispositions for the protection of the navy yard from an attack from the north shore of the river.
The position of Fort Constitution will certainly, and that of Fort McClary will probably, be occupied as the defence; though the works themselves should give place to those that would better fulfil the object. The other positions for forts or batteries, are Gerrist's Point, Fishing island, and Clarke's island, some, if not all, of which must be occupied. Surveys have been made and projects for the defence are now under the consideration of the board of engineers. The estimates have not been furnished, but there is reason for believing that the entire cost for fortifying this harbor will not fall short of $300,000.
Class D— Newburyport harbor.—The points forming the mouth of the harbor are continually changing, and it seems necessary, therefore, to rely, for the defence of the harbor, on works to be thrown up during a war. There is only a shoal draught of water. It is thought $100,000 will defend this harbor adequately.
Class F-Gloucester harbor.—The position of this harbor, near the extremity of Cape Ann, places it in close relation with the navigation of all Massachusetts bay, and imparts to it considerable importance. No surveys have yet been made, but it is believed that sufficient defence may be provided for $200,000.(Class E.) Should there be any occasion for defensive works before the proposed new works can be commenced, an expenditure of $10,000 in repairs of the old fort will be required.—(Class A.)
Beverly harbor.–This harbor will be defended chiefly by a portion of the works designed for Salem. $50,000 in addition will secure it.— (Class F.)
Salem harbor.—The port of Salem is distant from Marblehead two miles, and separated therefrom by a peninsula. The occupation of the extremity of Winter island (where are the ruins of Fort Pickering) on one side, and Naugus Head on the other, will effectually secure this harbor. Projects have been presented for this defence, estimated to cost $225,000.—(Classes D and F.) On a sudden emergency old Fort Lee may be put in an effective state for $2,000, and Fort Pickering for $5,000.-(Class A.)
Marblehead harbor.—Besides covering, in some measure, the harbor of Boston, Salem and Marblehead possess an important commerce of their own, and also afford shelter for vessels prevented by certain winds from entering Boston or pursuing their course eastward. The proposed mode of defending Marblehead harbor consists in occupying, on the north side, the hillock which commands the present Fort Sewall, (which will be superseded by the new work,) and on the south, the position of Jack's Point. The two works will cost $318,000.-(Classes D and F.)
To repair old Fort Sewall, which may be necessary if the new works are not soon begun, will require ten thousand dollars.—(Class A.)
Boston harbor.- We come, now, to the most important harbor in the eastern section of the coast, and considering the relations to general commerce and the interests of the navy, one of the most important in the whole Union.
After a careful examination of all the necessary conditions of such a problem, the board of naval officers and engineers, in their joint report of 1820, gave this harbor a preference over all other positions to the east, and inclusive of New York bay and the Hudson, as the seat of the great northern naval depot; and the government, by the great additions and improvements that have from year to year been since made to the navy yard on the Charlestown side, have virtually sanctioned the recommendation of the board. But independent of the navy yard, Boston is a city of great wealth, and possesses an extensive and active commerce.
The old works defended merely the interior basin from attacks by water, but as it often happens that vessels enter Nantasket roads with a wind too scant to take them to the city, or are detained in President roads by light winds or an adverse tide, as the former especially is a very convenient anchorage whence to proceed to sea, and above all as Nantasket roads afford the best possible station for a blockading squadron, it was deemed indispensable to place permanent defences at the mouth of the harbor. The project of defence regards the existing works, with the necessary repairs and modifications, as constituting a second barrier.
Besides a permanent work now almost finished on George's island, it contem. plates permanent works on Nantasket Head, and filling up the Broad Sound channel, so as to leave no passage in that direction for ships-of-war.
Until the best draught for steam vessels-of-war shall be well ascertained, it will not be safe to say to what depth the Broad Sound channel should be restricted, nor indeed can it be positively asserted that this description of vessels can be conveniently excluded by such means. Other vessels can, however, be thus excluded, and steam vessels passing this channel would still have to pass the inner barrier. The estimated cost of the works for this harbor is $1,354,573.