The Endicott and Taft Board Reports, 2007 CDSG reprint of the 1886, 1906, and 1915 Fortification Board reports, CDSG Press reprint hardcover, with the Endicott Report plates included as a separate bound paperback.


Originally published by the Government Printing Office in 1886 and 1906 to report to the United States Congress the recommendations reached by two civilian-military boards on the future of U.S. coastal defenses.

The Endicott Board Report was formally known as the Report of the Board on Fortifications or other Defenses Appointed by the President of the United States under the Provisions of the Act of Congress Approved March 3, 1885, House Executive Document No. 49, 49th Congress, 1st session (GPO, Washington D.C.,1886). This report marked the start of the modern era of the U.S. coastal defenses. This board report reviewed the state of American harbor defenses in 1885 and recommended a completely new system of harbor defenses based on the emerging technology of rifled breech loading cannons and armor. The major harbors of the U.S. were ranked in terms of military and economic importance. When Congress began to appropriate money for the construction of the new defenses in the late 1880s, this report was cited as the authorization source for the harbors to be defended.

The Taft Board Report was formally known as the Report of the National Coast Defense Board . . . on the Coast Defenses of the United States and the Insular Possessions, Senate Document No. 248, 59th Congress 1st Session (GPO, Washington D.C., 1906). This report surveyed the progress in harbor defenses made since the Endicott Report and recommended a number of technical improvements. It also recommended the fortification of key harbors in the newly acquired overseas possessions such as Hawaii and the Philippines.

As a bonus we have also included the Report of the Board of Review of the War Department to the Secretary of War (November 26, 1915) on the Coast Defenses of the United States, the Panama Canal, and the Insular Possessions, House Document No. 49, 64th Congress, 1st Session (G.P.O., Washington D.C., 1916). This report marks the transition from disappearing guns as the major weapon in American harbor defenses to the longer range 12- and 16-inch barbette carriage guns of the post World War I era.

If you could find original copies of these reports, the cost would be over a hundred dollars. All serious students of seacoast defenses should have a copy.