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ring and passing preparatory measures, the Governor was not idle. A constant correspondence was kept up with our members of Congress and the Governors of other States. Leading merchants, and other gentlemen of experience and wisdom, were daily consulted. The militia was strengthened. A cipher key was arranged, to be used in transmitting messages which required secrecy. The defenceless condition of the forts in Boston harbor was considered. In Fort Warren there was but one gun; in Fort Winthrop none at all; and, in Fort Independence, hardly twenty guns, and most of them were trained on the city itself. The casemates were unfit for human occupation. The grounds inside the forts were covered with workshops and wooden shanties; and, instead of being a defence to the city and harbor, the fortifications of Boston were a standing menace to them, and invited seizure by the enemy. The entire coast of Massachusetts was open to attack from sea; not a fort or an earthwork or a gun was
Island, in Boston harbor, with a battalion of infantry of one hundred and fifty men; and shall have another battalion of the same strength in Fort Warren, on George's Island, on Monday morning. I have a third battalion, which I can station at Fort Winthrop; and there are from two to three thousand volunteers, whom I wish to place under drill and discipline, in these forts. In Fort Independence, there are none of the casemate guns mounted, and no barbette guns on the face which vessels entering the harbor approach. In Forts Warren and Winthrop there are no guns. This important harbor, therefore, seems to be almost entirely undefended. I would therefore request you to order Captain Rodman [Watertown Arsenal] to supply these forts with the guns and carriages necessary for their defence, and detail an officer of engineers to put the works in proper condition. If an officer of artillery could also be detailed to give the necessary instruction, the garrison would soon be able to use th
s in Boston Harbor, and the strength and condition of the garrisons, I visited yesterday Forts Warren, Independence, and Winthrop, and Long Island, and had an interview with the several commandants. Colonel Dimmock states the ordnance at Fort Warren howitzers, dismounted. 3 8-inch Columbiads, miserable. Total, 107 From Fort Independence I crossed over to Fort Winthrop to see Major Blunt, but he was not there. I found him, however, last evening, at his residence, No. 22, Chestnut Street, Charlestown. The condition of Fort Winthrop is as follows:— Mounted. 18 10-inch Columbiads, latest pattern (Rodman), throw 125-lb. solid shot. 4 10-inch Columbiads, old model. 7 8-inch Columbiads, latest pattern (Rodman), carry 65-lb. shot. 7 24-pounders, old. Major Blunt is ready at Fort Winthrop for sixty-seven 10-inch guns, and one 15-inch. He will probably be ready this fall for eighty 10-inch guns, and ten 15-inch. He is unable to say when these guns will be rec
militia to occupy the forts in Boston Harbor, in which, since the withdrawal of the garrison from Fort Independence for service in the South, the United States had left only one or two elderly ordnance-sergeants. These detachments were sufficient to guard the forts from being seized by a surprise, and held by the enemy; but the armament of the fort was so defective, that they could not have been defended against a serious attack. In Fort Warren there was only one old condemned gun; Fort Winthrop was equally manned; and, though Fort Independence appeared to be better protected, yet its few guns were so old, and of such small calibre, as to be in reality of little value. The other important points of the Massachusetts coast were either not at all or still worse prepared for defence. Earnest and unceasing efforts were made to induce the United-States Government to remedy, as speedily as possible, this dangerous condition of affairs; but, under the immense pressure of matters at