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Mr. BYRNS. Has that been finally decided upon?

Gen. CROZIER. It has been finally decided upon. You can see just how that island is situated. It is about 14 miles long.

Mr. Cannon. Does it commence there [indicating] ?

Gen. CROZIER. Yes; and it runs down to there (indicating). We can get along without taking the whole island. You can see that the island is cut into parts which are almost islands by two, very considerable in length but narrow, stretches of water that run up into it. We make our boundary line this short line that runs over the narrow part of the island; the part of the island to the west will give us as much land as we think we need.

Mr. Cannon. Is this the island down here [indicating]? Gen. CROZIER. Down here [indicating]. We want the whole length of the island to the westward of this short line drawn here. This little part of the island [indicating] we do not need.

The CHAIRMAN. How many acres?

Gen. CROZIER. About 17,000 acres. Here is a map on a larger scale and here is the boundary line [indicating] which we think we need. We will fire from up here [indicating] and will fire the length of the island. The island is about 14 miles long.

Mr. Sissox. Is the land level from where you fire down to the end?

Gen. CROZIER. I do not think there is any part of the island that is over 25 feet.

Col. HOFFER. A 20-foot contour is the highest we can find.
Mr. ByRXS. How wide is it across there?

Gen. CROZIER. The scale is about 1 inch to a mile. We would not need so much width, as much as I have marked there, if it was not for this danger of ricocheting that I spoke of. Our firing will all be down here [indicating], and we could take this line across here were it not that firing from here and striking about here a projectile might ricochet over on to this tongue of land, and therefore we make the boundary line here sindicating]. For seacoast firing we have a range over water and we have an advantage which is impossible at Sandy Hook under any circumstances; that is to say, we can fire in opposite directions; we can fire down the bay or up the bay. That has this significance: In firing at long ranges for heavy artillery the projectile goes way up in the air and gets up into a condition of atmosphere that we do not know about. We do not know which way the wind is blowing up there, and therefore we can not make any allowance for deviation so as to regulate the accuracy of the shot. When it comes down not exactly at the point aimed at we do not know what the deviation is due to-how much is due to the shifting of the projectile, to which we know some of it is due, or how much is due to currents it may have met with up there. Now, if we can fire one shot in one direction and then turn around and fire another shot in exactly the opposite direction, we have eliminated the effect of those currents, because in one case they have diverted the projectile to the left and in the other case to the right.

Mr. Sissos. Provided the atmospheric conditions are the same in each direction?

Gen. Crozier. Yes; and we presume they are. We can not do that at Sandy Hook, because we can not fire, of course, toward New York.

This being an interior waterway, it has not anything like the traffic on it that the ocean has in the vicinity of Sandy Hook, and there is not nearly the danger of interruption and not nearly the same difficulty in seeing. The island is remote, but at the same time it is accessible. It can be reached from Washington by our people who are engaged in the designing of artillery here, where all the designs are made. They can get to Kent Island very easily by going to Annapolis and taking a boat across. It is only 6 or 7 miles across by boat. We can get all our heavy material there either by water or by land, because there is a railroad down there which runs right on to the island; and that is highly desirable, because it permits the inexpensive transportation to the island of the heaviest kinds of guns. They can be run right down on the cars and run right under the crane that we have there to pick them up, and in that way we have no expensive handwork with men whom we have to pay $2.50 a day and whom we would have to employ in great numbers. The land is not expensive land. I think the amount which we have optioned, which is something like six or seven thousand acres, is optioned at a figure of something like $70 an acre. I think the whole of it can be gotten for less than $100 an acre. There has been some claim made on behalf of some people who do not wish the Government to take the island that it is a very productive island; that it is a garden spot.

In this part of the world you can not get garden spots for $100 an acre. It is near a good labor market. For ordinary labor there are people around in the vicinity and for more skilled labor or for labor in greater amount than the immediate neighborhood affords there is the city of Annapolis, not very far off, and the city of Baltimore, not very far off. Sandy Hook is directly on the ocean, and it is subject to the danger of something like a raid with landing parties, which would have to be looked out for, and also subject to bombardment from the sea. We think we can always defeat hostile vessels in a stand-up fight between them and the shore fortifications which we have at Sandy Hook, but if it was a case of raid and an attempt to do damage and interrupt work, Sandy Hook is subject to attack and this place is not.

Mr. Carson. What is your estimate for the purchase of the land? You want an appropriation of $3,000,000?

Gen. CROZIER. Yes, sir. I think that not much more than half of that will be required for the purchase of the land, if as much as that, and the other will be for buildings and butts and craneways and gun platforms and houses for people who will have to live there, and that sort of thing.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you know what the assessed valuation of the land is?

Gen. CROZIER. I think the assessed valuation of it, from the indications I have been able to get, is not over two-thirds of what I have stated to you.

The CHAIRMAN. The statement has been made that the assessed valuation is about $1,500,000, and that would average up about $80 an acre.

Gen. Crozier. That may be, but I think not.

The CHAIRMAN. And a representative from the district has furnished information here to the effect that there are over 3,000 people on the island; that they produce there 150,000 bushels of wheat and about 200,000 bushels of corn, and they ship to the market 800,000 bushels of oysters and have over 1.200 acres of tomatoes. Now, if that is true, you are selecting a relatively populous and thriving place.

Gen. Crozier. I do not think the statement as to the population is an overstatement. I think there are in the neighborhood of 3,000 people on the island, but there are not 3,000 property owners.

The CHAIRMAX. Oh, of course, the relative number of owners of land in any community is very considerably less than the total popuJation.

Gen. CROZIER. Yes; of course. As far as the value of the products of the island is concerned, I, of course, have not examined the statistics and I do not know what ones are available to determine what the products are; but as a food-producing region it seems to me we do not need to say anything more about that than that it can be obtained for less than $100 an acre to show that it is not particularly Valua! for that purpose, because it has a railroad on it, there is direct communication by steamer between it and Baltimore, the steamers landing at the upper end of the island, and the distances are short to these very populous regions, and under those circumstances, if it is a productive island, the land ought to be worth very much more than the statement I have here.

The CHAIRMAN. The statement is made that there are 2 tomato canneries, 23 stores, 1 high school, 10 rural schools, 8 churches, 4 hotels, a State bank, 3 post offices, 2 coal and lumber yards, 4 sawmills, a planing, finishing, and grooving mill, a gristmill, and numerous other enterprises. It seems to me to go into a place with developments of that character which would have to be demolished--I would imagine you could secure some sparsely settled place which would be of little use for any other purpose where you could have a proring ground.

Gen. CROZIER. Mr. Chairman, the best measure of those considerations vou have named is the sum they have brought the thing to as a matter of value. No matter what you count there, if the value of it is only $1,500,000, it is not a very big thing.

The CHAIRMAN. But it might be. If it is true that they supply the amount of foodstuffs that they say, it is a factor that should be considered when we are taking such exartordinary steps to conserve the food supply of the United States. It must be of some value. According to these figures it produces on an average 20 bushels of foodstuffs to every acre there, and, of course, a great deal of it can not possibly be used. It has been suggested that a site was proposed known as Point Lookout, which is a sparsely settled community, the land of little value, being the land which separates the Potomac from the Chesapeake Bav. Are you familiar with that?

Gen. CROZIER. I have been down there and looked about it. I do not remember that Point Lookout has been offered to us. I know very well where it is. There is no roilroad that runs anywhere near it. Under those circumstances what would it cost to get your guns and ammunition down there and back, and what would it cost in time to get this ammunition tested that we are going to fight this European war with? It is way down at the mouth of the Potomac River, 100 miles from Washington and about 75 miles from Annapolis down the Chesapeake Bay.

The CHAIRMAN. How far is it from Hampton Roads?
Gen. CROZIER. About 70 miles north of Hampton Roads.

The CHAIRMAN. Another site that has been mentioned is one that is called Atlantic City Beach, is it not?

Gen. CROZIER. I presume you mean Ocean City. Ocean City has all the disadvantages of Sandy Hook, as far as being on the ocean is concerned. It is on the ocean, about opposite Kent Island, and it is subject to attack from firing and is subject to fog in firing over the water; and, while there is a railroad running to it, it is true, it is more inaccessible from Washington here, which is the headquarters for the designing of artillery, than Kent Island; but the great disadvantage of it is that it is on the ocean.

Mr. SHERLEY. How about Yorktown?

Gen. CROZIER. I do not know of any satisfactory length of land that has been offered at Yorktown. I do not know of any good water range at Yorktown. To be true, Yorktown is on the York River, but no satisfactory place has been offered to us there.

Mr. SHERLEY. The York River there is a rather wide river.

Gen. CROZIER. Yes; right at that point is is rather wide. I have been at Yorktown and have examined it on the map, and I think you would find more difficulty in getting '14 miles range there in regard to people than we have here. You understand that this being an island, there is not the difficulty in extinguishing rights of way across it that you would have in a great many strips of land of the length of 14 miles, because there would be roads across the land which it is difficult to close up, and this island has not any.

Mr. Sisson. I understand that at Yorktown there is a beautiful stretch of tableland which is practically uninhabited except for just a few minor houses.

Gen. CROZIER. I think that is a farming country around there, Mr. Sisson.

Mr. Sisson. But I understand there is a portion of the country there which is not very valuable as farming land; but my information, of course, may not be accurate. I have been to Yorktown and around the monument grounds, but was never back in the country at all.

Gen. Crozier. That is a pretty well inhabited peninsula between the York River and the James River down there.

Mr. Sisson. But I understand there is a portion of that country which is rather poor in fertility.

Gen. CROZIER. I do not see any reason why that land right about Yorktown should be worth any less than the land on Kent Island.

The CHAIRMAX. General, I think if this land is productive, as it is said, and it is proposed to oust 3,000 people or over from their settled habitations, it ought not to be done except under the most pressing conditions, and it ought to be shown very conclusively that there is no other available site that could be utilized. I think it is a pretty serious matter to go and drive 3,000 people out of their homes.

Mr. Cannos. It is a very serious matter unless it is a necessity.

The CHAIRMAN. The statement has been made that the department for a number of years has practically had it in mind to acquire this place, and that no other site has been actually considered and no real effort made to locate one.

Gen. CROZIER. Well, that is not so.

The CHAIRMAX. Of course, I do not know whether it is or not, and I am telling you the statement that has been made. What attempts have been made to locate sites?

Gen. CROZIER. There have been several boards on the subject within the last 20 or 25 years. The Navy Department has been hunting around for another site for some time and they had an option on the site which you just mentioned near Ocean City, and they gave it up because it was not suitable. This searching has been going on for a long time. Last fall my officers announced to me that they had finally found a suitable place, which was Kent Island, which had the advantages which we wanted and needed. Before they had never been able to find a site that they would be willing to take.

Mr. BYRNs. I understood you to say, General, that the Government had options on six or seven thousand acres of land on Kent Island. What proportion is that of the whole amount of ground which the Government would take over?

Gen. CROZIER. The amount of land that we would take over is in the neighborhood of 17,000 acres.

Of that I believe 3,000 acres is owned by minors and can not be optioned, and would have to be bought by condemnation, so that taking the amount that we have under option and the amount that can not be optioned together, that amounts to about ten-seventeenths of the whole island.

Mr. Byrns. I asked you that question for the purpose of leading up to another question, and that is as to whether or not these options were taken from large or small land owners? In other words, I have heard the statement made that practically all the inhabitants of Kent Island were very much opposed to having this proving ground located there and giving up their homes, and I was just wondering whether or not any considerable number of the inhabitants had voluntarily given options.

Gen. CROZIER. I have not here a list of the number of people who have given options. I have here a petition against taking the island. There are some people who genuinely do not want to go from the island, and some of those have interested themselves in getting up petitions, and here is one of them. In looking over this petition you can see that a number of the signatures are in the same handwriting.

The CHAIRMAN. What is it a petition for?

Gen. CROZIER. It is a protest against the taking of the island for Government purposes.

The CHAIRMAN. It looks like one person had written the names of his whole family.

Gen. CROZIER. Yes. Some of those people who have been most active in working up these petitions and in making representations against the taking of the island are people who have resided there but a very short time and are people who have offered their land for sale comparatively recently. Now, I do not mean to say that there is nobody there who is not willing to leave. I am informed by some who know the country that there are not more than 20 or 30 or 40 of

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