retary of War, explaining the appropriations already made of one million dollars, for the floating defenses of the western waters, and asking a further appropriation of half a million dollars, to be used for the same purposes.
I recommend that the money be appropriated as requested.
Executive Department, March 24, 1862.
To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Sir: I herewith transmit for the consideration of the House of Representatives a communication from the Secretary of the Navy, with accompanying papers which afford the information sought by the resolution of the House of Representatives on the 17th inst.
I also suggest that these papers be regarded confidential and be considered in secret session.
Richmond, Va., March 25, 1862.
To the House of Representatives of the Confederate States.
In answer to your resolution of the 21st instant, calling upon the President for information in regard to the protection of our principal cities from iron-plated vessels by means of obstructions and submarine batteries, and whether any additional appropriations are needed for these objects, I have to state generally that the channels of approach to our principal cities have been and are being obstructed according to the means at hand; that submarine batteries have been and are being prepared, and that no additional appropriations for these objects are considered to be needed. Until recently the character of the enemy's iron-plated vessels was not well enough known to arrange obstructions specially for them, but the same principle obtains and the obstructions already prepared can be strengthened when necessary. For the want of insulated wire we are deprived of that class of submarine batteries exploded at will by electricity, which promises the best results.
- Relating to purchase and construction of ships and munitions of war, and purchase of vessels abroad.