Washington, Sept. 22.- The enginser and ordnanee departments of the army are preparing for the execution of the legislation oí the last congress looking to the improvement and strengthening of fortifica tions and coast defenses of this country. Plans for these important works have been formulated and in most instances the approved projects are under headway. The appropriation of $12,000,000 made by the last congress has been allotted so as to aceomplish the greatest good with the means and facilities at hand. A big slice of the appropriation wlll be devoted to the protection of New York and San Francisco, as the most important ports on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts respectively, and the remainder has been allotted to the principal exposed ports along the two coast lines. Although tbe general plan for the defense of the United States was approved several months ago, it is deemed prudent to keep the main details an official secret. One reason for this ís the desire to keep foreign countries in ignorance of the various fications. Contracts, lnvolving the expenditure of $5,000,000 or $6,000,000, are to be awarded soon for the furnishing of gun forgings, the manufacturing of kJ s. number of rifles. under private contract, and the purchase of material -vvith which to begin the preparatlon of the various sites for the batteries determined upon. Land for the emplacements in the majority of cases has already been purchased, and where it has not condemnatory proceedings are being taken to secure it. All the larger fortifications will include in their armament a number of 16-inch rifles, the heaviest type of gun -ever atempted in this country, and cf which there are but ■ few abroad. Re■cently the war department purchased forgings to begin a trial gun of this calibre, and if it proves successful twenty will be manufactured for the larger cities. Construetion of this line of defense, extending along the Atlantic seaboard from Portland to Jacksonville and around the gulf to New Orleans and Galveston, means an increase in the standing army in a few years, and especially of the artillery Ibranch, to which will fall the work of manning and carine for them.