sooner received this invitation to act in the matter himself, than he proceeded to Washington
to confer with General Totten
, the distinguished head of the Bureau of Engineers
, and General Ripley
, chief of the Ordnance Bureau; and in his address to the Legislature upon its assembling in January, 1862, he called their attention to the defenceless condition of our coast, and recommended that certain fortifications should be at once undertaken by the Commonwealth
, which would involve an outlay of $400,000, in addition to what might be required to provide the necessary ordnance for their armament.
It had already become apparent, however, that our greatest and most pressing want was of guns for the works already completed; and on the 14th of February, 1862, the Legislature, by a resolve, authorized the Governor
to contract for the manufacture of suitable ordnance for the coast defence of the State
, to an amount not exceeding $500,000, after advertising for proposals, and providing that the work should be done under supervision of officers to be appointed by the United States
In March, 1862, General Totten
reported, that to arm the works on the coast of Massachusetts
, contemplated as necessary for its defence in case of a foreign war, there would be required some 916 guns of the calibres of eight, ten, and fifteen inches, and some 427 thirty-two-pounders and lighter guns; while, from the information derived from the Ordnance Bureau, it was ascertained, that, during the next two years, all we could expect to receive of the larger guns would be some 140, or about two-sevenths only of the number required for the permanent works already completed or near completion, and no portion of these required for the other class of works; and the cost of completing the armament of the Massachusetts coast
was estimated at $1,220,000, after making allowance for all the guns we might expect to receive from the United States
during the years 1862 and 1863.
Of the thirty-two-pounders and smaller guns, the United States
were supposed to possess a sufficient supply.
Experience soon proved that nothing could be done under the resolve of the Legislature.
The United States
could spare no ordnance officer to superintend the work, and no contractors could be found to undertake it; besides, the amount appropriated