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galleries, and a special appropriation is required for constructing them. After the breaking out of war the needful time would be lacking, and this matter cannot be urged in too strong language. The cost will be small-probably $200,000 would cover the more important stations on the Atlantic coast-and it is recommended that a special item for this purpose be inserted in the bill for the coming year. These preparations are as necessary to our torpedoes as triggers are to our rifled muskets; in fact, they may perform a like function.

I beg leave to quote from the same report the views of the Board of Engineers for Fortifications respecting the necessity for increasing the number of enlisted men in the Battalion of Engineers:

Before any reasonable expectation of successfully defending our coast with torpe does can be entertained another matter should receive attention. Torpedoes will not plant and operate themselves. This must be done by soldiers specially trained in the use of electricity and instructed in certain difficult and delicate mechanical operations. In every nation this duty is devolved upon the Engineer troops, and Congress has made the same provision for our service. The Battalion organization provided by law is sufficient for the purpose; but the restriction of the total enlisted force of the Army to 25,000 men, and the pressing need of troops to perform police duty among the Indians on the plains, has so reduced the authorized strength of the Battalion that only about 100 men are under instruction for defending our whole sea-coast and lake frontier. This difficulty is best met by the plan suggested by the General of the Army in 1879, viz, to place the Engineer troops upon the same footing as to recruiting as the Signal Service men. The latter are not included in the 25,000 men to which the strength of the Army is restricted by law. A provision to this effect would allow the President to recruit the Battalion to a maximum strength of 752 men, which would be sufficient for present needs. These men are excellent soldiers, thoroughly instructed and disciplined, and inferior to no others in the service. In the competition last year for the Nevada trophy, offered for excellence in marksmanship, and open to the entire Army, one of the Engineer companies took the second place. These troops are as available as any others for use as infantry in any sudden emergency, while their special training and knowledge as the Torpedo Corps of the Army would make them of inestimable value should our coasts be attacked by a maritime power. This increase would be restricted entirely to enlisted men, and would involve an expense insignificant in proportion to the interests involved.

The foregoing opinions of the Board of Engineers for Fortifications on the important questions just referred to, have my hearty concurrence.

I should add that for some years past the sum of $175,000 has been annually appropriated for the protection, preservation, and repair of our fortifications, which more than any other national structures, with the exception, perhaps, of light-houses, are subject to the destructive and deteriorating effects of the sea. The same amount will be found in the estimates for the next fiscal year.

FORTIFICATIONS.

DEFENSES OF THE NORTHERN FRONTIER.

Fort Wayne, Michigan, in charge of Maj. Walter McFarland, Corps of Engineers. This work is situated on the west bank of the Detroit River, within the limits of the city of Detroit, and commands the passage of the Detroit River. It is a square bastioned work, commenced in 1841, with a brick and concrete scarp replacing the original timbered scarp, detached parapet on the curtains and faces, an unfinished demilune on the water front, and unfinished water batteries on the up and down stream sides.

Nearly $8,000 have been expended here during the last year in doing the following work, which was very much needed :

Repairing top of scarp wall: This, which consists of a brick paving, was very much cracked, broken, and loosened by water and frost over its whole surface of about 2,000 square yards, so that a good deal of damage had been done to the brick masonry beneath by the water which

DEFENSES OF THE NORTHERN FRONTIER-Continued.

leaked or ran through. About 7,600 brick had to be cut out and replaced. In places the whole surface had to be taken up and relaid. A large part of the joints had to be cleaned out, caulked, and pointed, and in many places where the joints and cracks were too small for the admission of mortar they were filled with red-lead putty.

The brick coping at the salient and shoulder angles, twelve in all, being weak from its position and much damaged, it was replaced by cut stone, the stones weighing from 1 to 1 tons each, and extending back about 4 feet on the wall.

Sally-port. The salient angle at the turn inside had been much damaged by passing carts. This was cut smooth and the masonry was pointed. The masonry of the sewer cesspools was relaid and gratings supplied. Six casemate pent-houses were built of heavier pattern than the old ones, and were covered with water-proof canvas. The old ones were very leaky.

A new roof was constructed to the magazine. Wire screens were placed in the ventilators; the floor of the passage-way around it raised with concrete, so as to throw off the water and melted snow that formerly settled there, and its walls and the retaining walls connected with it were pointed.

Repairing and pointing scarp-wall. This wall was in an exceedingly bad condition, the leakage through the damaged coping having washed out and loosened the mortar in the brick facing to a very great extent. The loose mortar was removed often for a depth of 3 inches, and the joint was then caulked, and pointed with pointing mortar, made of one part of Portland cement and one and a half parts of fine-screened sand, the method of application being that prescribed in Gillmore's work on Limes and Cements. The masons of the present day don't understand this process, as it seems to have been confined almost exclusively to fortifieation work, and they had to be taught, and the work therefore was slow and expensive, costing for labor and material about $1.30 per square yard of brick surface. Many of the brick were so much broken, worn, and disintegrated that they had to be cut out and replaced by new ones. After completing the work already described under the first seven items, there remained only money enough to point one of the fronts, the northwest, and one face of the adjacent bastion, the north. As it was evident that the whole expenditure could not be made before the close of the fiscal year, authority was given to form a contract for the completion of the pointing so far as the funds available would allow. Calls for proposals, accompanied by specifications, were sent to a number of masons, and, in consequence thereof, a contract was formed with John Ratigan, of Oswego, who had had experience in this kind of work; the amount of the contract being about $1,240, and the work to be finished probably in July.

The northwest front, which has been completed, was in a worse condition than any of the others. To complete the other fronts in the same way and to point the interior faces of the detached parapets and the flank casemates will cost about $9,000 more. There has been some settlement of the earthwork behind the detached parapet, so that rainwater does not run off, as it was intended that it should, through the stone gutter that passes through the wall, but soaks in and damages the wall. This should be rectified.

These changes being made, the work would be in a very good con

DEFENSES OF THE NORTHERN FRONTIER-Continued.

dition, and would probably require nothing more to be done to it for many years to come.

Fort Wayne is now garrisoned by four companies of the Tenth Infantry, and is the beadquarters of the regiment.

No appropriation was made for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1883.
No appropriation asked for next fiscal year.

Fort Porter, Black Rock, near Buffalo, N. Y., in charge of Maj. Walter McFarland, Corps of Engineers.-This work, commenced in 1842, is situated on the Niagara River, within the limits of the city of Buffalo, and consists of a square stone tower or keep, in ruins, surrounded by a square barbette battery.

The keep was nearly destroyed by fire many years ago, and the entire work is, in its present condition, useless for offense or defense.

By joint resolution of Congress, approved July 11, 1870, published in General Orders 93, July 22, 1870, permission was granted to the city of Buffalo, through its park commissioners, "to improve and beautify the grounds known as Fort Porter, situated in said city, and belonging to the United States, in connection with a public park to be laid out on land adjoining the said grounds, the plans for the same to be approved by the Secretary of War: Provided, That this resolution shall not be construed to pass any title in the said grounds, but that the ownership and control of said grounds shall remain entirely in the United States, and shall be subject to such changes and uses for military purposes as the Secretary of War may direct."

Under this authority the larger part of the United States grounds at Fort Porter have been handsomely laid out and improved by the authorities of the city of Buffalo.

The fort is garrisoned by two companies of the Tenth Infantry, living in quarters outside.

No appropriation was made for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1883.
No appropriation asked for next fiscal year.

Fort Niagara, mouth of Niagara River, New York, in charge of Maj. Walter McFarland, Corps of Engineers.-This work, commenced in 1839, is situated at the mouth of the Niagara River, on the south shore of Lake Ontario, about 40 miles from and east of its western extremity.

It is an irregular work, having one strong land front running nearly north and south, extending from Lake Ontario at its northern extremity nearly to the Niagara River at its southern extremity. This front is half bastioned, with detached parapet, demilune, and four casemates for howitzers in each flank. The rest of the tracé is irregular, following the general course of the river and of the lake shore.

The work contains two masonry block-houses, built by the French about 1757, and other buildings begun by the French and finished by the English after its capture by them during the French and Indian war. No money has been expended on this work since 1871, except for slight repairs.

The work has no armament and no gun platforms, excepting a timber one in the south bastion for a 44-inch siege gun. The allotment for this work from the appropriation for protection, preservation, and repair of fortifications, 1882, was partly applied during November and December to the repair of the jetties protecting the shore line, which were much decayed. It was the intention to apply the balance of this allotment to the repair of the scarp-wall, replacing the damaged brick, relaying the

DEFENSES OF THE NORTHERN FRONTIER-Continued.

coping, and repointing the surface, in the spring, after the work at Fort Wayne should be completed. This latter work, however, took a longer time than had been anticipated, so that it was impossible to do the proposed work at Fort Niagara before the close of the fiscal year, and the money was applied to the Fort Wayne work. The scarp-wall is in need of pointing, and the coping needs repair in many places.

The fort is garrisoned by one company of the Third Artillery living, in quarters outside.

No appropriation was made for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1883.
No appropriation asked for next fiscal year.

Fort Ontario, mouth of Oswego River, New York, in charge of Maj. Walter McFarland, Corps of Engineers.-This work, commenced in 1839, is situated at the mouth of the Oswego River, on its east bank, and on the south shore of Lake Ontario, and lies within the limits of the city of Oswego.

It is a bastioned work, pentagonal in shape, with one front facing the lake, one facing the river, and three land fronts, the middle one of which has a demilune. The scarp, which is unfinished, is of masonry; the counter-scarp is revetted with timber. The sally port passes through the curtain of front 4, which is that one of the three land fronts which lies nearest the river, with bastion D on its left, and bastion E on its right. The flanks which cover this entrance are furnished with three casemates each for howitzers. The faces adjacent to these flanks are partly furnished with scarp galleries loop-holed for musketry. All the other flanks are to be provided with scarp galleries loop-holed for musketry; but five of them are not yet built. No money, except for slight repairs, has been expended upon this work since 1872, and its condition is now essentially the same as it was shown to be in the annual report for that year, excepting that some minor repairs have been made, and tight board fences, seven feet high and flush with the face of the scarp walls, have been constructed at and over those points where the scarp wall is unfinished and so low as to admit of easy access to the interior of the work from the ditch. The work has no armament, and no preparations for any except the flank casemates on front 4. It has no garrison, and has been transferred to the Engineer Department for repairs, under instructions from the General of the Army, concurred in by the Secretary of War.

The Board of Engineers for Fortifications recommend that this work be left as it is for the present.

No appropriation was made for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1883.
No appropriation asked for next fiscal year.

Fort Montgomery, outlet to Lake Champlain, New York, in charge of Col. Henry W. Benham, Corps of Engineers.-This casemated work, commenced in 1841, occupies a strategic point of great importance, and commands the entrance to Lake Champlain from the Richelieu or Saint John River.

The casemates of this work were reported as having been always damp and unfit for quarters. Operations, therefore, during the past fiscal year were mainly conducted with a view of repairing these defects as far as they could be discovered and as the available means allotted from the general appropriation for the preservation and repair of fortifications would permit.

In excavating to the arches it was found that the asphalt covering

DEFENSES OF THE NORTHERN FRONTIER-Continued.

was much more injured than anticipated, and that this was partly due to a separation of the scarp wall from the arches, it is believed from the effects of frost, leaving, often, spaces of an inch or more in width for the water to pass to the casemates below. Many of these cracks were directly under the gun-platforms and difficult to get at; and the ground being still frozen hard during the latter part of April, the excavating of the earth cover could only be proceeded with slowly. Even as late as the end of May the vertical conductors were one mass of ice, as reported, and so were also the blind drains in the valleys of the arches; and, of course, the water, instead of being readily carried off by the means provided, would remain stationary over the arches, and eventually find its way through defects in the asphalt covering to the masonry underneath; an evil which will be difficult to remedy in that severe climate, as the common asphalt covering now in use has failed to make the casemates waterproof. Besides these repairs-principally made on bastions A, D, and E, and on curtains I, II, III, and V-depressions in the terre-plein have been filled to prevent the settling of water in such spots; but the water flowing over the coping of the parade wall, a gutter there, as at Fort Hamilton, might much aid in keeping this part of the masonry dry.

The brick arches of the embrasures of the second tier and the breastheight wall have been repaired and repointed, as have also the under sides of the arches of bastion D. On curtain III the slopes of the breast-height wall have been resodded, and the wooden covers of the barbette magazine and the thresholds of the casemate doors renewed. Necessary repairs have also been made to the bridge in the causeway. To complete the modifications or repairs of this work as at present planned and approved, the following sums are required, viz:

For strengthening casemate arches, curtains I and V.
For thickening magazine walls .

Total

No appropriation having been made, no work was done at this fortification during the last fiscal year beyond its protection, preservation, and repair, as far as was possible with the general appropriation made for this purpose, and no other work is contemplated during the current fiscal year for the same reason.

Appropriation asked for next fiscal year................

DEFENSES OF THE PENOBSCOT.

$12,000 00

18,000 00

30,000 00

30,000 00

Fort Knox, Bucksport, Penobscot River, Maine, in charge of Lieut. ColC. E. Blunt, Corps of Engineers.-This work, situated at the narrows of the Penobscot River, furnishes a defense for the city of Bangor, 18 miles above, and other towns bordering the river, and renders it available as a secure harbor of refuge for the shipping of the extensive eastern coast.

The work, which was commenced in 1843, consists of a casemated main work and exterior earthen batteries, both requiring extensive modifications. It remains in an unchanged condition, no operations having been carried on during the fiscal year except for the necessary care and preservation of the property.

No appropriation was made for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1333.

No appropriation asked for next fiscal year.

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