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Indians; all these the officer learns from experience alone, at a disadvantage to himself, and to the detriment of the service, from the blunders he commits in acquiring his experience.

With regard to military history (the campaign of Frederic and Napoleon,) as it is inseparable from general history, and as it must be studied as a part of the latter in a previous course (that of ethics,) it appears unnecessary to consume any time with it in the present one. As, however, the Russian war will not probably be included in the course above referred to until time has rendered it classical, a condensed history of it will be necessary, in illustration of whatever modern principles of warfare that may be inculcated.

The numerous examples from the campaigns of Napoleon that are indispensable to this course, may be referred to by the aid of maps without much preparation, for there is no reason why the cadet should not have a proper acquaintance with them before arriving at the last year's course.

With regard to the unwritten art of war, or those principles which have developed themselves since all the present text books were written, there is more of importance in it than in any exposition of the art as it existed in the times of Frederic or Napoleon, either of those epochs being as distinct from that in which we live as from each other.

The last war has demonstrated that the magnetic telegraph and the introduction of steamships and railroads have greatly changed the principles of warfare; and the long range rifle and the improved cannon have had a great effect in modifying them.

All the rules of strategy and warfare must be altered to suit the new order of things; and it is a brief essay on modern war which ought to form the chief part of this course. An important feature of this should be a chapter or two demonstrating the existing reciprocal support which fortifications, active armies, and fleets, lend each other, and the theory of the defence by fortifications, the regular army, and the militia and volunteer troops of the sea-coast frontiers of the United States should be carefully elaborated.

Though the above programme appears at first extensive, still, considering that history is here only referred to and explained from maps by the instructor, and not to be recited by the cadet, (except the short account of the Russian war,) and since the principles of strategy are few and simple, and the practical treatises recommended need be but very concise, the student may be sufficiently instructed in the elements of the course of the art of war, &c., in one month.

Synopsis of proposed course of engineering.

Second class year : Civil engineering, total.

41 months.

First class year:
A.-Fortification. (a.) 1st period, history of field and

permanent works: 1st part up to 1815; 2d part up to
1850; 3d part up to 1856.......


1 month.


(6.) 2d period. Discussion of existing systems; fortifi

cation and of two theoretical ones...... (c.) 3d period. American fortification, field and perma

nent, as it exists, and as it will probably be during

the current military epoch........ B.- Art of war, &c. (a.) Manual of instruction for

subalterns; (6.) History of the Russian war, (brief, especially as the sieges have been described above ;) (c.) a brief treatise on the art as deduced from Napoleon's campaigns; (d.) one on the art as it will probably be during the present epoch.......

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NOTE.- Prepared for the use of the Board of Visitors of 1857, at the United States Military Academy, and respectfully submitted to them by

JAS. ST. C. MORTON, First Lieutenant Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army. JUNE, 1857.


Of the works of river and harbor improvement under the charge of this department, only such as have been prosecuted during the past year are noticed in the special reports which follow.

The control of the works for “reopening a communication between Albemarle sound and Atlantic ocean, "improving the Cape Fear river,” and “removing obstructions to navigation in the mouth of the Mississippi river at the Southwest Pass and Pass à l'Outre,” has been transferred to the topographical bureau by the direction of the War Department.

Improving the Kennebeck river from the United States arsenal in Augusta, Maine, to Lovejoy's narrows; in charge of Captain John D. Kurtz.— The operations of last fall were restricted to blasting a rock near Naumkeag island, and resulted in deepening the channel upon it to six feet nine inches at the lowest tide, and fourteen feet at high water. The balance on hand and the means resulting from the sale of machinery, &c., have since been applied to removing troublesome and dangerous rocks from Gage shoal, Governor'e Grave shoal, Brett's shoal, and Hinckley's point, and operations have been closed for want of funds.

The result of the application of the appropriation of $6,000, made for this improvement in 1852, has been to afford a channel from the United States arsenal at Augusta to the south line of Hallowell, free from the dangerous rocks, snags, &c., which previously obstructed it. To make the navigation from Sheppard's wharf to Hallowell and Augusta as good as it now is below that point will require an expenditure of about ten thousand dollars.

Protection of the Great Brewster island in the harbor of Boston, in charge of Colonel S. Thayer.—No operations have been undertaken since September, 1854, for want of funds. The work, which in its present unfinished state, falls short of accomplishing the object designed, and is moreover exposed to be severely injured by gales of wind, should be completed at once. An appropriation for this object is urgently recommended.

Protection of Lovell's island and sea-wall on Deer island, Boston harbor, Massachusetts, in charge of Colonel S. Thayer:--The walls built for the protection of these islands need repairs, for which no funds are available.

Improvement of the Patapsco river from Fort McHenry to mouth of said river, in charge of Major H. Brewerton.—Operations were suspended last year on the 15th December, and resumed this year on the 21st of May; the very boisterous weather in the spring preventing the laying out the channel at an earlier date. Both sides of the new channel were buoyed out this year—the eastern side with red buoys and the western side with white. Two new steam dredges with eight dumping scows and one steam tug have been added to the working apparatus this year, making the present force to consist of three steam dredges, twelve scows, one lighter, and one steam tug. The quantity of matter removed from the line of the new channel the last season, to include the 30th of September, is 80,150 cubic yards. Balance in treasury October 1, 1857.....

$38,000 00 Probable amount to be expended by June 30, 1858....... 38,000 00

Removing obstructions at the mouth of the Susquehanna river, near Havre de Grace, Maryland, in charge of Major H. Brewerton.-For the reasons stated in former reports, no progress has been made in removing obstructions in this river.

Improvement of the Appomattox river, below the city of Petersburg, in charge of Colonel J. L. Smith.The city of Petersburg having purchased a powerful dredging machine, and entered into a contract with the United States to deepen the channel, the work done during the several months they have been engaged upon it must be considerable, and sufficient perhaps, or nearly so, to absorb the unexpended balance of the appropriation. No settlement on account of the contract has yet been made, and no report respecting the work has been received recently.

Improvement of the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, in charge of Captain G. W. Cullum.-Operations toward the opening of Sullivan's island channel under the contract between the United States and the commissioners of the fund appropriated by the State of South Carolina, referred to in my last annual report, were commenced in February last, and have been as steadily prosecuted as the unfavorable nature of the late working season and the imperfections incident to a new and hitherto untried machine would permit. The progress of the work and the results obtained have been very satisfactory, a sensible impression having been made on the shore constituting the bar of this channel, thereby much facilitating the passage of vessels through this entrance to the harbor. At the present rate of progress the channel might be opened in about a year; or by the substitution of certain new machinery in the dredger, the work might be accomplished in five or six months. The balance of the appropriation still available is, however, only about half sufficient for this object.—(For report of officer in charge, &c., see appendix A.)

Removal of obstructions from Savonnah river', below the city of Savannah, in the State of Georgia, placed there during the revolutionary war for the common defence, in charge of Captain J. F. Gilmer.- Early in the month of October, 1856, the work of dredging was resumed at the upper part of the wreck bank, where a sand bar had formed, filling, to some extent,. the excavation that had been previously made by the machines ; when this was removed, a greater width was given to the channel way dredged through the wrecks, making the total passage about three hundred feet wide, as proposed in the plan of the commission. Having perfected the dredging at this point, and at others in the vicinity, a revolving drag, attached to the tow boat, which had been used for towing mud flats, was worked along the excavated channel to give uniformity of depth, while the engineer of the dredge, assisted by a part of the crew, was employed in making essential repairs to the machinery preparatory to future operations. The results obtained by means of the revolving drag have been very satisfactory; first, by giving great uniformity of depth, and second, by gaining a small increase in depth of channel at all points over the obstructions. At the close of this operation, the soundings showed that there was no point of less depth than twelve feet at mean low water ; or full eighteen feet at mean high tide.

Under authority from the War Department, the dredge, tow-boat and flats, with the working force, have been employed in excavating a channel through the “knoll” off Cockspur island ; and all current expenses and wear and tear of machinery, were paid by the city of Savannah. Satisfactory results have been obtained at this point, and a few weeks' work during the calm weather of next summer will give the desired depth and width of channel through this obstruction.

Arrangements have also been made for the delivery of timber and other materials required for the construction of the deflecting work just above King's island, and the dredging machine has removed in part the southern edge of Garden bank.

During the coming year, the construction of the work above King's island will be pressed forward, with a view to get an increased flow of water down Front river at the earliest practicable day, as this is all important to the preservation of the channel which has been excavated through the wrecks. The dredging machinery will be employed in removing the shoals in Front river at the points indicated in the report of the commission, February 11, 1853. Balance in treasury October 1, 1857..........

$83,000 00 Probable amount to be expended by 30th June, 1858...... 83,000 00

Improvement of the river St. John's, Florida, in charge of Captain J. F. Gilmer.-A resurvey of the entrance was made, under an arrangement with the Coast Survey office, to determine the character of the changes which had occurred during the past year; but with the small means available for this work, no other operation has been undertaken since the last annual report. A proposition has, however, been recently made for maintaining for a time a depth on the bar which will accommodate the class of vessels at present employed in the trade of the river, and a contract will probably be entered into on the terms offered, which do not exceed the means at disposal.

Repairs of the United States sea-wall at St. Augustine, Florida, in charge of Captain J. F. Gilmer.—The three or four coping stones, displaced by storms from the main wall, and a portion of the coping on the walls of the basin near the market, have been reset, and some minor repairs to the work made during the past year. Generally, this wall is in good condition, and requires no further immediate expenditure.

Improvement of the harbor of Mobile, Alabama, at Dog river bar and the Choctaw pass, in charge of Captain D. Leadbetter.— As no funds were available for the preservation of the machinery belonging to this service, it was, in compliance with orders from the Secretary of War, sold on the 15th of October, 1856. The net proceeds of the sale were $1,082 82, the greater part of which has been applied in the payment of liabilities incurred on account of the work. No work has been done during the past year except the removal of six or eight snags from the channel. The superintendent urges the importance of continuing this improvement. (For report of officer in charge, &c., see appendix B.)


WASHINGTON, D, C., October 20, 1857. GENERAL: I have the honor to submit, herewith, my annual report for the improvement of the harbor of Charleston, S. Č., for the year ending September 30, 1857.

After interminable delays, for which, as you are fully aware, I, the engineer in charge, have been in no manner responsible, the opening of Sullivan's island channel into Charleston harbor was finally commenced in February last, under the contract of July 11, 1856, with the commissioners appointed by the State of South Carolina “ for the examination and improvement of the port of Charleston.” Owing to stormy weather, inexperience in working the new dredging ma

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