Imatges de pÓgina
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In the upper part of the harbor is Castle Pinckney, on Shuter's Folly island. This requires some repairs, estimated at $7,000.-(Statement 1, table A.)

Stono, North. Edisto, and South Edisto.-All these must be fortified, at least in such a manner as to protect these inlets from enterprises in boats or small ves. sels. To that end, $50,000 may be assigned to each.—(Statement 1, table F.)

St. IIelena sound. The proper defences cannot be pointed out till the sound shall have been surveyed. Although there is supposed to be no great depth of water on the bar, it is known to be navigable for the smaller class of merchantmen and for steamboats, and to have a navigable communication with the head of Broad river, or Port Royal, intersecting the interior navigation between Charleston and Savannah. T'he estimate is $150,000.—(Statement 1, table F.)

Broad rirrr, or Port Royal roads. The value of this capacious roadstead as a harbor of refuge depends on the depth that can be carried over the bar; on the distance of this bar beyond the line of coast, and on the means that may be applicable of lessening the danger of crossing it. This is supposed to be the deepest bar on the southern coast. Should there prove to be water enough for frigates, and should it be practicable to make the passage over the bar safe and easy, by the erection of light-houses on the shore and lights, or other distinct guides on the bar, this harbor, situated within sixty miles of the city of Charleston and twenty of Savannah river, intersecting the interior water commonication between these cities, thereby securing the arrival of supplies of every kind, would possess a high degree of importance, not only as a harbor of refuge, but also as a naval station.

The survey of the exterior shoals, constituting the bar, should be made with the greatest care and all possible minuteness. Only when this shall have been done can the true relation of this inlet to the rest of the coast be known, and on this relation the position and magnitude of the required defences well depend. For the present, the estimate made some years ago by the engineer department is adopted, namely, $300,000.-(Statement 1, table E.

Savannah, and mouth of Savannah river, Georgia. Mention las lueen made of the natural interior water communication along the coast of South Carolina. A similar communication extends south from the Savannah river as far as the St. John's, in Florida. Owing to these passages the city of Savannah, like Charleston, is liable to be approached by other avenues than the harbor or river, and accordingly its defences must have relation to these lesser as well as great channels.

The distance from the mouth of Wassaw sound, or even Ossabaw sound, (both to the southward of Savannah river,) to the city is not much greater than from the mouth of the river, and an enterprise may proceed the whole distance by water, or part of the way by water and part by land, from either inlet or from both. As in the case of like channels in the neighborhood of Charleston, it cannot now be determined where they can be defended most advantageously. It is hoped, however, that the localities will permit the defences to be placed near the inlets, because thus placed they will serve the double purpose of guarding the city of Savannah and covering these harbors, which, in time of war, cannot but be very useful.

The defence of Savannah river is not difficult. A fort on Cockspur island, lying just within the mouth, and perhaps for additional security another on Tybee island, which forms the southern cape at the mouth of the river, would prevent the passage of vessels up the channel and cover the anchorage between Tybee and Cock-pur.

Old Fort Jackson, standing about four miles below the city, should be maintained as a second barrier, both as respects the main channel and the passages which come into the river from the south, which last would not at all be controlled by works on Cockspur or Tybee. Fort Pulaski, on Cockspur island, is well advanced, and to a certain extent is even now efficient, measures being now in hund for mounting the lower tier of guns; $215,000 are required to complete the works and the outworks and appendages.—(Statement 1, table C.) To fortify Tybee island may require $120,000, (statement 1, table E,) and to repair Fort Jackson $50,000.-(Statement 1, table A.)

I'assaw sound, Ossabaw sound, St. Catherine's sound, at the mouth of Jledway rir+r; Sapelo sound, Doby inlet, Altamaha sound, at the mouth of Alta. maha river ; St. Simon's sound, at the mouth of Buffalo creck ; St. Andrew's sound, at the united mouths of the Scilla and Santilla rivers; and Cumberland lound, at the mouth of St. Mary's river.-All these communications with the mean are highly important as regards the line of interior navigation, and several

f them as affording access to excellent harbors. The last, and one or two thers, are known to be navigable to the largest sloops-of-war and merchantman, and some of the others are but little inferior, as regards depth of entrance of safety of anchorage.

All these openings have yet to be surveyed; some of them are probably easily insible by forts and batteries, while others may require the aid of floating defences.

It is an important principle, bearing peculiarly on the defence of the whole sonthern coast, that on a shore possessing few harbors it is at the same time nore necessary to preserve them all for our own use, and more easy to deprive an enemy of that shelter without which a close blockade cannot be maintained. This principle is enforced in the instance of our southern coast by the two folI sering weighty considerations, namely: first, its remoteness from the nearest naval rendezvous, the Chesapeake, which is on a mean 600 miles distant, and to leeward both as to wind and current; and second, its being close upon the larboard hand as they enter the Atlantic of the great concourse of vessels passing at all seasons through the Florida channel. While, therefore, this part of Le coast, from the concentration of vessels here, is in great need of protection of some sort, naval aid can be extended to it only with difficulty, and at the risk ( being cut off from all retreat by a superior enemy.

Accurate and ininute surveys, which will enable our vessels, whether pursued by an enemy or suffering by stress of weather, to shun the dangers which beset to navigation of these harbors, and properly arranged defences to cover them w bien arrived, seem to be indispensable.

When these harbors shall be fortificd, the operation of investing the coast 3d watching the great outlet of commerce through the Florida passage will be a difficult and hazardous one to an enemy, to whom no perseverance or skill can avail to maintain a continuous blockade, while, on the part of our small vessels-war, steam frigates, and privateers, the same sort of supervision will be at all times easy and safe.

Nothing better can now be done than to assume $200,000 as the average cost of defending each of the nine entrances; giving a total of $1,800,000.-(Statellent 1, tables E and F.)

St. Augustine, Florida.—This, the most southern of the harbors on the Atlantic, and the key to the eastern portion of Florida, is accessible to the -maller class of merchantmen, to privateers, and to steam vessels, and requires & Certain amount of protection from attacks by war. It is, therefore, proposed " put that part of the old Spanish fort (Fort Marion) that commands the harbor in a serviceable state, which will require $50,000.—(Statement 1, table A.)

Having now passed along the whole Atlantic coast, from Passamaquoddy to Cape Florida, pointed out every harbor of any consequence, and specified every

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work that a thorough system of defence will require, we will, in order to give a comprehensive view of the number, cost, armament, and garrisons of the works

, refer to statement 1, accompanying this report. In that statement the works are divided into tables, showing separately, 1st, (table A,) the old works already repaired and those proposed to be repaired and retained in the system of defence; 2d, (table B) new works completed; 3d, (table C,) works under costruction; 4th, (tablé D) works to be first cominenced ; 5th, (table E,) works to be commenced next after those in table D; 6th, (table F,) works to be last commenced.

The most essential works on the Atlantic coast are included in the first fire tables, and, it appears from the recapitulation, that for these there will be paquired, for garrisons, in time of war, 28,720 men; for the armament, 5,745 pieces of ordnance of every kind; and for the expense yet to be incurred, 89,476,767.

We consider it to be our duty to estimate for the last class of works ala. (table F,) although it must be a long time before permanent works for the positions can be commenced. For these there will be required, in addition, fer war garrisons, 25,545 men; for armament, 4,790 pieces of ordnance; and for the expense of erection, $14,241,824.

It must be here stated that, as to a few of the works in table F, fuller information may require them to be elevated into some of the earlier classes.

SEA-COAST FROM CAPE FLORIDA TO THE MOUTH OF THE SABIXE.

The first positions that present themselves, on doubling around Cape Florida into the Gulf of Mexico, are Key West and the Dry Tortugas.

This board concur in the opinions heretofore expressed in favor of these fine harbors, and they beg leave to refer, for very interesting statements, in relat.on to the latter harbor especially, to a letter from Commodore Rodyers to the Steretary of the Navy, July 3, 1829, (Senate documents, 1st session 21st Congress, vol. I, No. 1, page 236,) and letter from the Secretary of the Navy, March 25, 1830, (Senate documents, 1st session 21st Congress, vol 2, No. 111, page 1.)

A naval force, designed to control the navigation of the Gulf, could desire no better position than Key West or the Tortugas. Upon the very wayside of the only path through the Gulf, it is at the same time well situated as to all the great points therein. It overlooks Havana, Pensacola, Mobile, the mouths of the Mississippi, and both the inlet and outlet of the Gulf.

The Tortugas harbors in particular are said to afford perfect shelter for vessels of every class, with the greatest facility of ingress and egress. And there can be no doubt that an adversary in possession of large naval means would, with great advantage, make these harbors his habitual resort and his point of gilla eral rendezvous and concentration for all operations on this sea.

With an enemy thus posted, the navigation of the Gulf by us would be imminently hazardous, if not impossible

, and nothing but absolute naval superiority woul avail anything against him. Mere military means could approach no near i than the nearest shore of the continent.

It is believed that there are no harbors in the Gulf at all comparable with these that an enemy could resort to with his larger vessels. To deprive him of these would therefore be interfering materially with any organized system of naval operations in this sea. The defence of these harbors would, however, do much more than this. It would transfer to our own squadron, even should it be inferior, these most valuable positions, and it would afford a point of refuse to our navy and our commerce at the very spot where it would be most nettä. sary and useful.

In this report, already too much extended, we forbear to enlarge on this topic,

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merely adding that the complete and certain defence will not be difficult. By occupying two, or at most three, small islands, the harbors of the Dry Tortugas ithere being an inner and an outer harbor) may be thoroughly protected. The works must be adequate to resist escalade, bombardment, and cannonade from vessels, and to sustain a protracted investment; but as they will not be exposed to any operation resembling a siege, there can be no ditticulty in fulfilling the conditions. They must have capacious store-rooms, be thoroughly bomb-proof, and be heavily arined.

The fortification of Key West should be of a similar character.

So details can be given until all these positions have been minutely surveyed with reference to defence.

The sum of $3,000,000 was, some years ago, assumed by the engineer departinent as necessary to provide defences for the Tortugas and for Key West, and this estimate may now be taken as ample.—(Statement 2, table F.) Turning now to the shore of the Gulf, we find a portion, namely, from Cape Florida to Pensacola, that has never been examined with particular reference t'u the defence of the harbors. Within this space there are Charlotte harbor, Espiritu Santo bay, Apalachicola bay, Apalachie bay, St. Joseph's bay, and Santa Rosa bay. Nothing better can now be done than to assume for these the estimate fornerly presented by the engineer department, viz: $1,000,000 for all.—(Statement 2, table F.)

It may be remarked, as applying to the whole Gulf coast, that, from the miative geographical position of this part of the seaboard, and the country inrrested in its safety, from the unhealthiness of the climate, nature of the adjacent country, and mixed character of the inhabitants, it will be some time before hat portion within supporting distance, whose welfare may be endangered by in enemy, will be competent, of itself, to sustain a serious attack from without. (pon the Atlantic seaboard the Alleyhanies crowd the people down upon the bure, every important point on the coast being surrounded by a population inse now and every day rapidly increasing in numbers, while the ocean and be interior parallel communications transmit rapid aid to the right and left. The coast of the Gulf, however, is thinly peopled in itself, is remote from succor rom behind, and is almost inaccessible to lateral assistance. Those reasons, herefore, which tend to establish the necessity of an organized, permanent, nd timely system of defence for the whole seaboard of the United States, als to this part of it with peculiar force. We now pass on to the remaining points of defence on the Gulf. Pensacola bay.—The upper arms of this considerable bay receive the Yellow W zes or Pea river, Middle river, and Escambia river. The tributaries of the i-t, interlocking with the Alabama and the Chattahoochie, seem to mark the muis whereby, at some future day, canals will convey a part of the products these rivers to Pensacola, while the qualities and position of the harbor and Le favorable nature of the country have already marked out lines of railroad - tl munication with a vast interior region.

Santa Rosa sound extends eastward, from the lower part of the bay, into Sata Rosa bay. 'On the west the lagoons of Pensacola, Perdido, and Vlobile 198, respectively, interlock in such a manner as to require but a few miles of airing to complete a navigable channel from the first to the last named bay, il thence, through an existing interior water communication, to the city of Six Orleans.

Pensacola bay has rare properties as a harbor. It is now accessible to trisites, and there is reason to hope that the bar may be permanently deepened.

The bar is near the coast, and the channel across it straight and easily hit. The harbor is perfectly landlocked, and the roadstead very capacious. There are excellent positions within for repairing, building, and launching vessels, and tor docks and dock yards in healthy situations. The supply of good water

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is abundant. The harbor is perfectly defensible. These properties, in connexion with the position of the harbor as regards the coast, have induced the government to select it as a naval station and place of rendezvous and repair.

An excellent survey has been made of the bay of Pensacola, sufficing to form the scheme of defence for the town and harbor. Regarded, however, as an important naval station and place of rendezvous and repair, which it now is. further surveys, extending greater distance back from the shores, delineating accurately the face of the country and showing the several avenues by lani and water, are found to be

necessary The detences of the water passage, as projected, are nearly complete, $22.00 being asked to finish them. A work is just begun at the position of the Bu

It is indispensable, in connexion with one or two other small works designed to cover the navy yard from a lateral attack through the west-ru bays. The Barrancas work may require $100,000, and the others $200,00; making a total tor Pensacola of $322,000.-(Statement 2, tables A, C, and F.

Perdido bay.- This bay is intimately related to Pensacola and Mobile bays both as regards security and intercommunication, and should be carefully sur veyed with a view to these objects. It must be fortified, and the cost may be $200,000.-(Statement 2, table F.)

Mobile bay.—The plan of defence for this bay comprises a fort (now netdinz some repairs) for Mobile Point. Another fort is projected for Dauphin islaid. and a tower for the defence of Pass-au-Heron. The estimates for all require $915,000.-(Statement 2, tables A, E, and F.)

New Orleans and the delta of the Mississippi.—The most northern water communication between the Mississippi and the Gulf is by the passage

cailed the Rigolets, connecting Lake Borgne and Lake Pontchartrain. The next is the pass of Chef Menteur, also connecting these lakes. Through these passages an enemy, entering Lake Pontchartrain, would, at the same time that be intercepted all water communication with Mobile and Pensacola, be able to reach New Orleans from the southern shore of the lake; or he might continue onward through Lake Maurepas, Amité river, and Iberville river, thereby reaching the Mississippi at the very head of the delta; or, landing within the mouths of the Chef lenteur, he might move against the city along the ridge of the Gentilly road.

To the south west of Chef Menteur, and at the head of Lake Borgne, is Bay.u Bienvenue, a navigable channel, (the one followed by the English army in the last war,) not running quite to the Mississippi, but bounded by shores of such a nature as to enable troops to march from the point of debarkation to the city,

These avenues are defended by Fort Pike at the Rigolets; by Fort Wood at Chef Menteur; by a small fort at Bayou Bienvenue, and by a tower at Baria Dupré.

The defences of the Mississippi are placed at the Plaquemine turn, about seventy miles below New Orleans--the lowest position that can be occupirul Fort Jackson is on the right bank, and Fort St. Philip, a little lower down, u the left.

All these forts have been abandoned for several years, and, having received no attention in the way of timely repairs, now require repairs somewhat extensive, especially Forts Jackson and St. Philip, on the Mississippi. The following suns, it is believed, will be required to place all these works in perheet order, viz: Fort Pike, $5,000; Fort Wood, $3,580; fort on Bavou Bienvenios $2,500 ; Tower Dupré, $400; Fort Jackson, $20,000, and Fort St. Philips $3,300.—(Statement 2, table A.)

The most western avenue by which New Orleans is approachable from the

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