Today in History:

141 Series I Volume L-II Serial 106 - Pacific Part II


Rodman guns and twenty Parrott rifled guns with depression carriages. Will you please insert in ink the number you decide upon, and do me the favor to forward the letter to the Chief of Ordnance and also notify me of your action. I trust that you will be able to forward it with such a letter from yourself as will stimulate the Ordnance Department to comply with the requisition. Agreeably to your verbal suggestion at our interview at San Francisco, I wrote on the 27th of August to the Chief of Ordnance, through the headquarters of the Department of the Pacific, requesting that thirty rifled cannon of heaviest caliber should be forwarded, and mentioned my conversation with you. I also requested that a requisition of Brigadier General George Wright (then commanding the Departmetn of Oregon), dated the 13th of October, 1860, should be complied with. It reached the Ordnance Office the 28th of November, 1860, and no doubt the secession movement caused it to be neglected. It asked for twenty columbiads, &c. My requisition of the 27th of August was (I am informed by Colonel Drum) favorably indorsed and forwarded by General Wright. Since that date I have received a letter from Lieutenant G. H. Elliot, of the Engineers, of the 26th of August, in which he has beenk kind enough to give me some of the results of his examination at the mouth of the river. These are referred to in the accompanying communication. As the erection of batteries at the mounth of this river would devolve upon your corps, it is proper that the supply of ordnance should be asked for on consultation with you. Therefore your name was mentioned in my first letter, and therefore I send this through you for your information and action. I am not informed, but suppose that the recent examination of the mouth of this river was made pursuant to the act of 20th of February last. It is certainly important that such fortifications should be as soon as practicable commenced, and I hope that the necessary made out and appropriations obtained. The batteries now erected need not necessarily be temporary, but could no doubt form a part of the permanent fortifications, and could as soon as convenient be made bombproof. I wrote on the 1st of September to the Secretary of the Navy urging in the strongest terms the importance of the construction of an iron-clad vessel of the character of the Monitor for this river. As stated in the accompanying letter, an officer who recently visited Esquimault, Wash. Ter., says that the British naval authorities are landing 68-pounders to establish a battery at the mouth of Esquimault Harbor. We ought not to postpone to the actual breaking out of hostilities preparation for a time of war. The armament, too, of such remote posts should have the heaviest and best improved guns. A post on the Atlantic sea-board can easily be furnished with new ordnance, whereas in this remote region such change would be impossible or difficult. I inclose herewith a copy of a letter dated the 3rd of November, 1860, to Lieutenant J. dixon, of Topographical Engineers, giving the order of Colonel George Wright, then commanding the Department of Oregon, to that officer to procure information concerning the military reservations at Cape Disappointment near Point Adams. The replies and the report of that officer are not here, but you will find them on file at the headquarters in San Francisco. I send this copy to you, as it is possible you have not been furnished with the information thus obtained. Please be good enough to whow this letter to Lieutenant G. H. Elliot, of Engineers.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding District.