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country the types demanded by modern progress. Thanks to the recent action of Congress in granting liberal appropriations to prepare the needful factory and to epable our steel manufacturers to procure the needful plant, this inability no longer exists.
By existing contracts the new gun-factory buildings at Watervliet Arsenal, capable of turning out 12-inch and smaller guns, will be completed by December, 1889; and by December, 1890, plant capable of fabricating annually ten x-inch, six 10-inch, and four 12-inch guns will be in place. The development of steel industries of the country in the line of heavy ordnance construction has made satisfactory progress; and contracts are now let for supplying the steel for fabricating twenty-four 8-inch, twenty-four 10-inch, and fifteen 12-inch guns, that required for forty-four guns, including all three calibers, to be delivered by August, 1892.
Evidently emplacements should be ready to receive this armament as soon as completed. No funds have been appropriated for this purpose, and even if granted at the coming session of Congress they will probably not become available before July 1,1890. At the estimated rate of fabrication at Watervliet Arsenal ten 8-inch guns will be well advanced toward completion by May, 1891, and three 10-incl guns by May, 1892, while by January, 1803, twenty-four 8-inch, seven 10-inch, and four 12-inch guns should be ready for service.
The Corps of Engineers will thus have only nine months to prepare emplacements for ten 8-inch guns; twenty-one months for three 10-inch guns; and thirty months for twenty-four 8-inch, seven 10-inch, and four 12-inch guns. Fully this time will be required, and no further argument can be needed to prove that the requisite funds should be graüted at the next session of Congress.
The necessity for immediate action is hardly less in the case of mortars. Contracts for the material and for finishing and assembling thirty cast-iron steel-hooped ritled 12-inch wortars are now let, the whole to be delivered by August, 1892, and they will thus be on hand for mounting by the time the batteries are ready to receive their armament.
The Board on Fortifications, organized under the act of March 3, 1885, and the permanent Board of Engineers have made a careful study of the whole problem, and an efficient system of defense has been prepared and is awaiting construction. It only remains for Congress to give life to the project by making the necessary appropriations.
The main features of this project are:
(1) Armaments of the heaviest rifled guns mounted on disappearing carriages, which, while widely dispersed, can concentrate their fire on the enemy's vessels, and which, in range and penetration of projectiles, will equal if not exceed the heaviest fire that can be brought against them by the most powerful fleet, thus keeping the latter at a safe distance or destroying. it while attempting to pass the mined areas.
(2) A well developed system of submarine mines planted in the channels and roadways for the purpose of holding the vessels of the enemy under the fire of our guns and preventing their running the batteries and reaching the harbors and cities.
(3) The protection of these mined areas from counter-mining and removal by batteries of rapid-firing guns of small caliber and wide field of fire.
The great increase in effective range of the present heavy rifles over those of former years bas greatly changed the extent and character of the defense. Where formerly 1,000 yards was deemed a safe allowance for the position of fortifications in advance of the city or depot to be defended, 14,000 to 17,000 (8 to 10 miles) is now considered not too far for the exterior line of defense. The city of New York is a fair example. The Battery for an interior and Castle Williams and works on Bedloe's Island for an exterior line, were at one time ample for protection; with the increase in range and accuracy of fire, the Narrows became the necessary exterior line, and now it has advanced to Sandy Hook and Coney Island.
Detailed projects for the defense of our principal sea-board cities and roadsteads have been or are being prepared. Those relating to the gun
defense provide for five classes of works mounting the heaviest rifled ordnance :
(1) Mortar batteries, with and without scarp walls and flank defenses.
(2) Barbette batteries armed with guns mounted on disappearing carriages.
(3) Barbette batteries armed with guns mounted on vertical lift carriages.
(4) Iron-clad casemated batteries. (5) Iron or steel turrets.
The efficiency and economy incident to the first three classes are so well determined that I am prepared to recommend their immediate construction at Boston, New York, Hampton Roads, San Francisco, and Washington, D. O., as the commencement of a comprehensive system of defense, which should be extended to other localities from year to year.
It is not to be understood, however, that the estimates submitted cover the whole project for these places. The complete projects provide for the following ultimate expenditures for batteries, casemates, and turrets, exclusive of armament and platforms for guns, and of guncarriages and plant for the manipulation of the armament, viz: Boston: Masonry and earth-work
$4, 877, 882 Armor and structural metal
San Francisco :
5, 935,000 Project involving use of armor and structural metal not yet pre
pared. Washington : Masonry and earth-work
520,000 The estimates submitted are to be applied to earth-work and masonry covered by earth-work for mortar and barbette batteries for the above places, these being considered the character of works which should receive the earliest attention.
The necessity for a wide distribution of the batteries which concentrate their fire in one channel, and the greater distance at which the exterior line of defense must now be located, render it essential in many places that land now held by private parties should be acquired by purchase or condemnation.
As any initiative towards purchase known to be taken by the Government may result in an undue enhancement in price, and as a contract for purchase at a fixed price can not be made without a specific appropriation, I would strongly recommend the passage by Congress
of an act similar to those of April 24 and August 1, 1888, by which land necessary for the permanent defenses of the country may be obtained by condemnation.
The act of September 22, 1888, appropriated $200,000 “for torpedoes for harbor defenses,” which included submarine mines and material; casemates and cable-galleries for operating them; continuing torpedó experiments; practical instruction of engineer troops; movable submarine torpedoes.
This sum was allotted as follows: For casemates and mining galleries...
$102, 000 For submarine mines and appliances for operating them.
68,000 For continuing torpedo experiments..
15, 000) For instruction of engineer troops
10,000 For purchase of motors for movable torpedoes...
5,000 These sums have been expended or pledged for the purposes indicated. Casemates and cable.galleries at Forts Wadsworth, Schuyler, and Warren have been begun and are now well under way. The act of March 2, 1889, appropriated $230,000 for casemates and cable.galleries for operating submarine mines. This sum has been allotted to coinplete the above casemates and galleries and to begin work on casemates and galleries at Fort at Willets Point and Fort Lafayette, New York, Fort at Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and at Alcatraz Island and Point San José, California, and will be expended or pledged by the close of the present fiscal year. The estimates presented under the head of casemates, cable-galleries, etc., are for completing the above works and construct ing others in tbe more important of our defensive works.
Attention is again invited to the advisability of providing for the repair and preservation of Fort Marion, one of the defensive works of St. Angustine, Fla. It is the oldest and most interesting of all of our fortifications, having been begun by the Spaniards about 1665 under the name of Fort San Marcos. It is a relic of the Spanish occupation and one of the few existing models of its type of fortification, and is well worthy of preservation. St. Augustine is visited every winter by thousands of people from all parts of the United States, and Fort Marion is one of the most attractive features of the place.
An estimate is herewith submitted.
The act of September 22, 1888, made an appropriation of $117,000 for the construction of sea-walls and for earth embankments. With the approval of the Secretary of War and the Board of Ordnance and Fortification, this was allotted as follows: For the preservation of site of Fort Niagara ...
$20,000 For sea-wall and earth embankment at David's Island, New York harbor... 47,000 For sea-well at Governor's Island, New York barbor..
50,000 Owing to the stago of water in the lake, the work at Fort Niagara had not been begun at the close of the last fiscal year. It is expected that the work will be soon undertaken and that the amount allotted will be sufficient to complete the repair of the damages to the site which obtained at the time the estimate was submitted. As the encroachment of the lake on the site has since been continuous, it is probable that a further appropriation will be necessary to secure the whole site.
The work at David's Island bas been begu!! and carried well towards completion. The amount allotted will be sufficient to finish the work.
(See Appendix 1 A.)
The work at Governor's Island has also been begun, and will be completed, as far as the funds will permit, during the present season, The
original estimate for this work was $100,000, of which $50,000 has been allotted as recited above.
An estimate for the completion of the work is submitted. (See Appendix 1 B.)
ESTIMATES OF APPROPRIATIONS REQUIRED FOR 1890–91.
For construction of gun and mortar batteries at Boston, New York, Hampton Roads, San Francisco, and Washington.
$7,000,000 For protection, preservation, and repair of fortifications.
175,000 For preparation of plans for fortifications
5,000 For repair and preservation of Fort Marion, Florida, and for construction
of sea-wall to preserve the site For purchase of submarine mines and necessary appliances to operate
15, 000 them for closing the chanvels leading to our principal sea-ports
250,000 For needful casemates, cable-galleries, etc., from which to operate sub
marine mines For continuing torpedo experiments, and for practical instruction of En
250,000 gineer troops in the details of the service For completing sea-wall at Governor's Island.
REPORT OF THE BOARD OF ENGINEERS.
At the date of the last report the Board consisted of the following officers of the Corps of Engineers: Col. Thomas Lincoln Casey, president; Col. Henry L. Abbot, Col. William P. Craig hill, Col. C. B. Comstock, Lieut. Col. D. C. Houston, and Maj. William R. King.
On July 6, 1888, Colonel Casey was appointed brigadiergeneral and Chief of Engineers, and on July 25, 1888, Colonel Abbot was designated president of the Board.
By General Orders No. 2, Headquarters, Corps of Engineers, January 30, 1889, the Board was reconstituted and now consists of the following officers of the Corps of Engineers: Col. Henry L. Abbot, president; Col. C. B. Comstock, Col. D. C. Houston, and Lieut. Col. George L. Gillespie.
The Board has considered the various subjects referred to it during the past year by the Chief of Engineers, and the following is a brief sum. mary of the reports rendered thereon:
1888, July 10. Upon Senate bill 3250 and House bill 10642, for the construction of a bridge across Hudson River, between New York and New Jersey. July 20. Upon torpedo invention of William Brown, Edinburgh,
July 20. Upon proposed bill regulating the acquisition of lands for defensive purposes.
September 26. Upon plan of George J. Murdock for a hydraulic mask for batteries.
September 26. Project for the expenditure of $200,000 appropriated for submarine mines, torpedoes, cable.galleries, etc.
September 28. Upon the defense of Hampton Roads, Virginia.
October 9. Upon Maj. M. B. Adams's project for expenditure of appropriation of $35,000 for Burlington Breakwater.
October 9. Upon project of Lieutenant Hunker, U. S. Navy, for establishing rules and the expenditure of $30,000 under act of June 29, 1888, for the port of New York.
October 9. Estimate of expenditures for The Board of Engineers for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1889.
October 27. Upon request of Treasury Department for quarantine station at Garden, Bird, and Loggerhead Keys, Florida,
October 27. Upon House resolution 176, Fiftieth Congress, first session, for the use of Governor's Island as public park.
November 13. Upon communication of Massachusetts State Board of Health relative to fortifications projected on Deer Island, Massachusetts.
November 23. Upon letter of Pneumatic Dynamite Gun Company relative to number and location of dynamite guns for coast defenso.
November 23. Upon plan of military bridges invented by Schneider & Co., of Le Creuzot, France.
December 24. Upon project of Lieut. Col. J. A. Smith for improve. ment of Kennebec River, Maine.
December 24. Upon letter from Interior Department relative to the boundaries of the San Juan Reservation for military purposes.
December 24. Upon changes necessary or desirable to adapt to our proposed system of fortification the disappearing carriage for a 10-inch breech loading gun submitted by the Pneumatic Gun Carriage and Power Company.
1839. January 5. Project for expenditure of appropriation for torpedloes for harbor defense under act of September 22, 1888.
February 5. Uporr project of Lieut. Col. J. A. Smith for improvement of Saco River, Maine.
March 1. Upon project of Lieut. Col. J. A. Smith for improvement of Penobscot River, Maine.
March 6. Upon Lieutenant-Colonel King's report of operations for 1888 and probable operations for 1889 at Willets Point, New York.
April 8. Upon application of Treasury Department to remove build. ings of life-saving station to new location at Sandy Hook, New Jersey.
April 20. Upon subject of location of dynamite guns on the Pacific coast.
April 22. Upon location for counterpoise battery to be erected at Fort Hamilton by Mr. Beverly Kennon.
April 22. Relative to location of dynamite guns at Sandy Hook, New Jersey.
April 22. Upon project of Maj. William Ludlow for the use of sand in lieu of stone filling for cribs.
May 4. Upon certain harbors in the Gulf of Mexico and on the South Atlantic coasts, for the information of the Navy-Yard Commission.
May 22. Upon project of Lieutenant-Colonel Barlow for testing new metbod of maneuvering valves for locks on Muscle Shoals Canal.
May 22. Project for allotment of $250,000 for torpedoes for harbor defense. (Act of March 2, 1889.)
May 25. Upon location of dynamite guns at Sandy Hook, New Jersey.
June 4. Submitting estimate for the expenses of The Board of En. gineers for fiscal year ending June 30, 1890.
June 15. Upon the system of ballooning invented by Mr. Eugene Goddard, of Brussels, Belgium.
June 17. Upon communication of Lieut. Col. J. A. Smith of June 10, 1889, relative to Frost Point Breakwater.
June 17. Upon location of dynamite guns at Forts Schuyler and Warren.
June 21. Upon Maj. M. B. Adams's proposed modifications of project for Gordon's Landing Breakwater.
June 21. Upon the defense of the southern entrance of New York Harbor.
June 27. Upon Colonel Mendell's project of September 17, 1885, for a torpedo-shed for San Francisco Harbor.