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[82]

Later, General Scott asked, “Where are your centers?” and received the reply:

There are three, General. First, the Capitol, where have been stored some two thousand barrels of flour, and where Major McDowell remains every night with from two to three hundred of my volunteers. Second, the City Hall hill, a commanding point, with broad avenues and wile streets connecting it with most important points, having in its vicinity the Patent Office and the General Post Office, in each of which I place a force every night. In the General Post Office we have stored a large quantityy of flour. Third, the Executive Square, including the President's house, the War, Navy, State, and Treasury departments, in each of which, and in Winder's building, I place a force every night after dusk.

The citadel of this center is the Treasury building. The basement has been barricaded very strongly by Captain Franklin of the Engineers, who remains there at night and takes charge of the force. The front of the Treasury building is well flanked by the State Department building, and fifty riflemen are nightly on duty there. The building opposite is also occupied at night. The outposts at Benning's Bridge and the pickets in that direction will, in case of attack in force, retire, fighting, to the Capitol. Those on the northeast and north will, if pressed, retire by Seventh Street to City Hall hill, while those on the northwest and west will, in case of attack, fall back and finally take refuge in the Treasury building, where they will be joined by the detachments guarding the river front when the attack shall have become so marked and serious that only the centers can be held. In the Treasury building are stored two thousand barrels of flour, and perhaps the best water in the city is to be found there. The city is so admirably laid out in broad avenues and wide streets centering on the three points chosen, that concentration for defense on any one of the three is made easy.

The field-battery can move rapidly toward any outpost where heavy firing shall indicate that the attack there is serious,

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