Imagens das páginas

in seamnade for id succ

within supporting distance of the more exposed parts of the frontier.

Turning our views inland in search of some single position at which preparations might be made for extended operations on this frontier, and from which aid and succor could always be speedily derived, some position which, while it shall be equally near to many important points of the enemy's possessions, shall afford, at no time, any indication of the direction in which our efforts are to be made; which will, if it be possible, unite the opposite qualities of being at the same time remote and proximate, far as to distance, but near as to time; which, while it brings a portion of the military resources of the country to the support of the inland frontier, and places them in the best attitude for operations in that quarter, whether defensive or offensive, at the same time takes them not away from the seacoast. Looking for these various properties, we find them all united, in a remarkable degree, in the position of Albany.

From this place, by steamboat, canal-boat, or railroad car, troops and munitions could be transported, in a short time, to Buffalo, or onward to Detroit, to Oswego, to Sicket's Harbor, to Plattsburg, to Boston, and along the coast of New England; to New York by steamboat now, and soon by railroad also; and thence onward to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and the heart of the southern country, if necessary. In a word, Albany is a great central position, from which radiate the principal lines of communication to the north, to the scuth, to the east, and to the west; and combines so many advantages for a military depot, that the expediency of occupying it, and thus availing ourselves of those advantages, would seem to be manifesi.

Estimated expense of the purchase of land, and the construction of barracks and other buildings .


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The board beg leave to observe, in conclusion, that, in the preparation of the estimates submitted, they have not attempted to aim at precision. Hence the amounts stated for the various objects are to be regarded only as approximations. They could not be any thing more, on the data used, which, for want of minute surveys and reconnoissances, were necessarily vague. It is believed, however, that the results presented will be found sufficiently accurate for the general purposes contemplated by the resolution under which this report has been prepared. For the Board :


Col. Engineers.

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48 72

Tirane, TIL TRIAL 24-pounder guns.

18.pounder long Liri651 IOITTI


| 18-pounder mediHA ALI501 AEATA

um gups. 12-pounder long


| 12-pounder field A A A A A A A A A A A A III


6-pounder field
· 00 00 00 A A A A A A A A A A A A

Tiri 881111111 Cartonades

24-pounder howit

zers. i 12-pounder howit.


| 8-inch howitzers, LIITI CO1 IIIIIIII


| 10-inch heavy morLITT MAMAT NUOTI


| 8-ingh light mor. NA MADONNA N





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and one hundred rounds of ammunition for each piece, Estimated cost of ordnance of all kinds, required for the armament of the northern frontier, embracing cannon mounted,


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16 | 16

38 | 16 555 132 40

| 9 248


Total number of

cannon. For 24-pounders. For long 18-pound

ers. For long 12-pound

ers. | For medium and

field cannon. For carronades. tor 8-inch howit


For 10-inch heavy


| For 8-inch light ONA A LA CANNON





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13,200 10,800 5,700 7,200 5,400 1,600 8,000 3,600 197,600 106,400 145,030

51,372 39,520 342,322

WASHINGTON, April 23, 1840.

For the Board :


Colonel of Engineers.





The principles which should govern in fortifying the seaboard are not considered applicable to our inland frontiers, which will very rarely be found to call for regular fortifications. Hence, in relation to that portion of the frontier now under consideration, the duty of the board will be performed by indicating the military positions or stations which should, in their opinion, be occupied by troops, in order to accomplish the objects in view, and in presenting estimates of the probable cost of constructing the necessary barracks, quarters, and storehouses, combined with such works of defence as circumstances may appear to require, to insure their protection against the attacks to which they may be exposed.

The want of personal knowledge, on the part of the board, of our extensive western frontier, and the very limited surveys which have been made in that quarter, have somewhat embarrassed them in the selection of positions; but they desire to be understood as merely designating places in a geographical sense, leaving the particular sites on which the works should be erected to be determined hereafter, by minute examinations of the coun. try at and around those positions, which become the more important, inasmuch as the original locations of some of the places that will be recommended to be retained have been considered faulty. .

The southern section of this frontier, extending from the Sabine bay to the Red river, borders all the way on Texas, and has, it is believed, little or nothing to apprehend from Indian aggressions. The Cumanches, the only tribe of any power in that quarter, are represented as gradually receding to the westward, and the progress of the Texian settlements will tend to push them farther from our border. But our relations with the Texian republic, however amicable they may be at present, would seem to require that some military force should be stationed on or near the boundary-line; and the board therefore recommend the establishment of two small posts on the Sabine river, suppressing Fort Jesup, which is considered too far within the frontier, or retaining it merely as a healthy cantonment.

As these would be posts of observation, having reierence to national police more than to military defence, they ought to be established on the river where the principal roads cross it, by which we should be enabled to supervise the chief intercourse with our neighbors by land, and, at the same time, control the navigation of the Sabine. The points where the Opelousas and Natchitoches roads, leading to Texas, strike the river, are therefore recommended as the positions which should be occupied, and at which barracks for two or three companies, defended by light works, should be constructed.

. The middle section, which extends from the Red river to the Missouri, is by far the most important portion of the whole of our western frontier. It is along this line that the numerous tribes of Indians who have emigrated from the east have been located; thus adding to the indigenous force already in that region, an immense mass of emigrants, some of whom have been sent thither by coercion, with smothered feelings of hostility rankling in their bosoms, which, probably, waits but for an occasion to burst forth

in all its savage sury. These considerations alone would seem to call for strong precautionary measures; but an additional motive will be found in our peculiar relations with those Indians.

We are bound, by solemn treaty stipulations, to interpose force, if necessary, to prevent domestic strife among them, preserve peace between the several tribes, and to protect them against any disturbances at their new homes, by the wild Indians who inhabit the country beyond. The Government bas thus contracted the two-fold obligation of intervention among, and protection of, the emigrant tribes, in addition to the duty which it owes to its own citizens of providing for their safety.

It appears to the board that this obligation can only be properly fulfilled by maintaining advanced positions in the Indian country with an adequate restraining military force; and that the duty of protecting our own citizens will be best discharged by establishing an interior line of posts along the western border of the States of Arkansas and Missouri, as auxiliaries to the advanced positions, and to restrain the intercourse between the whites and the Indians, and serve as rallying points for the neighboring militia in times of alarm.

With these views they would recommend the maintenance of Fort Tow. son, on Red river, and Fort Gibson, on the Arkansas; and the establishment of a post at the head of navigation on the Kansas, and one at Table creek, on the Missouri, below the mouth of the Big Platte, as constituting the advanced positions on this portion of the frontier.

For the secondary line intended for the protection of the border settle. ments, the board would adopt the positions which have been selected by a commission of experienced officers, along the western boundary of Arkansas and Missouri; at some of which, it is understood, works are already in progress, namely, Fort Smith, on the Arkansas river; Fort Wayne, on the Illinois ; Spring river, and Marais de Cygne; terminating to the north at Fort Leavenworth, on the Missouri. They would also recommend the estab. lishment af one or two interinediate posts between the Arkansas and Red rivers, if, on further examination of the country, suitable positions can be selected near the State line. It is not deemed advisable to establish those posts on the route of the road lately surveyed, which (especially the southern portion) is considered too far in advance of the border settlements to accomplish the object in view; but if eligible positions cannot be found along the line, then a post on the road, where it crosses the Poteau river, which is not very remote from the settlements, might have a salutary influence.

On the northern portion of this frontier, extending from the Missouri river to Lake Superior, the board would recommend the establishment of a post near the upper forks of the Des Moines river; the maintenance of Fort Snelling, on the Mississippi; and the nltimate establishment of a post at the western extremity of Lake Superior. The last is suggested with some qualification, for want of the necessary information by which to determine the chaonel of communication to that remote position. Whether it shall be through Lake Superior, or by the Mississippi and its tributaries, it would, in either case, be difficult in peace, and next to impracticable in time of war. As the position has, however, important geographical relations, and would enable us to extend our influence and control over the Indians within our territory, and afford protection to our traders in that remote region, it would seem to be worthy of early occupation, if its maintenance can be

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