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Captain Sitgreaves, assigned to duty under the Treasury Department, is in charge of the construction of light-houses on Chesapeake bay.
Captain Woodruff is on duty at Washington as assistant to the bureau of topographical engineers, and in charge of the survey of the Georgetown channel of the Potomac river. His report is not yet completed.
Captain Palmer, assigned to duty under orders of commanding general, department of Texas, has presented certificate of disability. Captain Thom, stationed at St. Paul, Minnesota, is in charge of the construction of military roads in that Territory.
Captain Whipple, stationed at Detroit, Michigan, is in charge of the improvements of the St. Clair flats and flats of Lake George, St. Mary's river, and of construction of a light-house and of a beacon-light on St. Clair flats, and of light-houses on Lakes Ontario and Erie. His report is hereto appended, marked F.
Captain Meade, stationed at Detroit, Michigan, is in charge of the survey of the northern and northwestern lakes. His report, marked G, is hereto appended.
Captain M. L. Smith, stationed at Washington, is on duty under the Treasury Department as assistant to Professor Bache, and in charge of the office of the Coast Survey.
Captain Pope is on duty in northern Texas, connected with the sinking of artesian wells.
Captain Abert, with the troops in Florida.
Captain Franklin, stationed at Washington, is on duty, under the direction of the Treasury Department, as engineer secretary of the Light-house Board.
Captain Raynolds, stationed at Philadelphia, is on duty of construction of light-houses on the Florida reefs and in Delaware bay, under the direction of the Light-house Board. He is also subject to the orders of this bureau.
First Lieutenant W. F. Smith, stationed at Detroit, is on duty of construction of light-houses on Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron, under the direction of the Light-house Board.
First Lieutenant Bryan is in charge of military roads in Kansas. His report, marked H, is hereto appended.
First Lieutenant Derby is on duty of construction of light-houses on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, under the direction of the Lighthouse Board.
First Lieutenant Williamson is on sick leave.
First Lieutenant Michler is on duty connected with the survey of a ship canal in the Isthmus of Darien.
First Lieutenant Parke is on duty, under the orders of the State Department, as astronomer to the northwest boundary.
First Lieutenant Warren, in charge of explorations and surveys in Nebraska Territory.
First Lieutenant Mendell is under the direction of Major Bache, in charge of construction of military roads in Oregon and Washington Territories. His report, marked I, is hereto appended.
First Lieutenant Ives is in charge of the exploration and survey of the Rio Colorado of the West.
First Lieutenant Abbott, stationed at Washington, is on duty connected with Pacific railroad survey.
Second Lieutenant Turnbull is on survey of the northern and northwestern lakes, under Captain Meade.
Second Lieutenant Wheeler is on duty at the headquarters of the military department of the Pacific.
Second Lieutenant Poe is on survey of northern and northwestern lakes, under Captain Meade.
Brevet Second Lieutenant Joseph L. K. Smith, assigned as a graduate cadet to the corps in July, is on leave of absence, granted by law to graduates of the Military Academy.
Brevet Second Lieutenant Putnam, assigned as a graduate cadet to the corps in July, has been recently on duty under Captain Crane by order of the colonel of topographical engineers.
Brevet Second Lieutenant W. P. Smith, assigned as a graduate cadet to the corps in July, is on leave of absence, granted by law to graduates of the Military Academy. His orders are to report to Captain Meade.
It is not considered necessary to repeat in this report the general remarks in previous annual reports, but special attention is called to recommendations therein for enlarged appropriations for explorations and surveys of the vast country between the Mississippi and the Pacific coast; for the survey of the lakes, and for military roads; for an increase of the corps; for the repairs and preservation of the steam dredges on the lakes, and to an appropriation for the payment of
The appropriation in this last case would be for $25,000, and guarded with a proviso to settle claims by Third Auditor, approved by War Department.
The extreme delay which takes place in the printing of maps obliges me to bring the matter to your notice, and respectfully to suggest that maps furnished by a bureau of the War Department be printed under the direction of that bureau.
The reports of officers go much into detail in the several works in hand, exhibiting their progress and present condition, with estimates for continuation and completion; from which the following summary of operations is made out:
The office work during the winter and spring comprised the making of computations and projecting from the field notes, by the several parties, the detailed sheets of their work, of which eight sheets were to a scale of boo; one sheet was to a scale of 100; one sheet was to a scale of; and one sheet was to a scale of 128000.
In addition to the computation of the astronomical observations at the Charity islands, observations for the latitude and the longitude were made at Detroit.
The field observations of the present season have been conducted un
der the following organization of parties, namely: one primary triangulation and off-shore hydrography party; one astronomical and magnetic party; and three shore-line topography and hydrography parties.
One of the steamers has been in commission the entire season; the other steamer a portion of the season only.
The astronomical party has observed up to date of report twenty-one transits of moon, and moon-culminating stars, for the longitude, and two hundred and sixty-five pairs of stars with the zenith instrument, for the longitude of the observatory at Sand Point, Saginaw bay.
The shore-line topography and hydrography parties have been engaged upon the delineation of the shores of the main land and of the Sibonin islands, Saginaw bay, to the four-fathom curve.
These parties have already completed over two hundred square miles of topography and minute hydrography. Captain Meade adds: "At the close of the present season of field work, it is expected that the base line will be measured; the main triangulation extended from it to cover all of the bay above the Charity islands; that the latitude and longitude of one of the points of triangulation will be accurately determined by observation, and the azimuths of one or more of the lines of triangulation; that the topography and hydrography of the whole of the shore-line of the bay, both above and below the Charity islands, will be completed; finally, the hydrography of the bay, above these islands, not included in the shore-line work, will be finished.
"In other words, the data obtained for the final projection of the chart of this extensive and important bay, above the islands, comprising a space of over nine hundred square miles of work executed." One of the shore-line parties was detached from the organization in order to erect marks on the boundaries of the public lands at Mackinac island, the surveys at which had been made the previous season. This party was subsequently employed in revising a portion of the survey of Lake George, St. Mary's river.
During the past year five charts (one final and four preliminary) have been transmitted to the engraver, and considerable progress has been made in the preparation of additional charts.
An increase of the means in the department of drawing is seriously needed. Data for the charts of St. Mary's river, and three harbors on Lake Superior, are now in the office, and long before they can be prepared for engraving the data will be obtained for the chart of Saginaw bay.
The data is thus constantly accumulating, and a delay in the publication of the results of the survey necessarily occurs for want of adequate means to prepare them.
The list of charts published up to date comprises six final charts, and three preliminary charts; two final charts and one preliminary chart are now in the hands of the engraver; and four final charts are being prepared and nearly ready for engraving.
The importance of the lake surveys demands more liberal appropriations than have hitherto been made, that its beneficial results may be more rapidly extended.
"The survey of the lakes has for its object the delineation of the
shores and bottom of the great northern and northwestern lakes; the bringing to light all hidden dangers to navigation; the furnishing the evidence of the capacity and depth of water in all the harbors and rivers, and consequently the most practicable mode of improving them; the furnishing the evidence of the wants of navigation, in reference to light-houses, beacons, and buoys, and the proper sites for the same.'
"This cursory glance at the objects of the survey sets forth the field of usefulness that is covered by it, and the numerous and extensive interests it embraces."
DEEPENING CHANNEL OVER ST. CLAIR FLATS.
"For this operation a contract with Theodore D. Barton, of Buffalo, to excavate at 30 cents per cubic yard, was approved by the Secretary of War June 22, 1857. Operations were commenced on the first of July following. They were interrupted by much stormy weather.
"The total amount excavated in the month of July was 14,159 cubic yards, 1,158.5 being the greatest number of yards dredged in one day. "In August the excavation amounted to 9,261 cubic yards, 13,670.9 having been the greatest day's work. The material removed consists of course sand, fine sand, and an occasional mixture of clay or mud. A cut, between forty and forty-five feet in width and about fourteen feet in depth, has been excavated entirely through from the river channel to the deep water of the lake.
"This has caused an increase in the velocity of the current threading the cut. It is desired to complete this channel during the summer of 1858, and the contractor promises to put on the work sufficient machinery to accomplish it. For this purpose an additional appropriation of $23,421 will be required."
CONSTRUCTION OF FOUNDATIONS FOR A LIGHT-HOUSE AND A BEACON LIGHT ON ST. CLAIR FLATS.
"The plans for these structures have not been approved, and no expenditures will probably be made until the strata, upon which the foundations should rest, have been examined."
FOR DEEPENING THE CHANNEL OF ST. MARY'S RIVER.
"A contract for this improvement was entered into with Barton and Osgood, and approved by the Secretary of War April 24, 1857. The prices for excavations were
"1. For all earth, such as sand, gravel, stone, or clay, not cemented, the sum of 37 cents per cubic yard.
"2. For hard pan, or cemented sand and clay, $1 50 per cubic yard. "3. For rock measuring above one-half cubic yard, $10 per cubic yard.
"Dredging was commenced July 14; the material excavated proved to be partly fine clay, occasionally mixed with sand; partly sand without clay, and in some places so hard as to be dredged with con
siderable difficulty. In July the excavated material amounted to 7.226.44 cubic yards; the greatest amount in any one day being 1,036.24 cubic yards.
"In August the best day's work was 1,328.85 cubic yards, and the total removed 13,435.75. The United States sub-agent reports that there remains to be excavated from the extreme west channel about 480,000 cubic yards; of this there are about 40,000 cubic yards of hard material, for which the contractors will claim a greater price than for the rest. But at 37 cents per cubic yard, an estimate for the completion of the improvement of this channel would be as follows, viz:
480,000 cubic yards of excavation, at 37 cents.... Improvement of East Neebish rapids, (as per Captain Macomb's estimate)...
Ten per cent. for superintendence and contingencies....
Amount on hand
Additional appropriation required.................
9.440 00 18,704 00
REOPENING A COMMUNICATION BETWEEN ALBEMARLE SOUND AND THE ATLANTIC
The engineer officer in charge of the work reported against the practicability of the scheme, and recommended its abandonment, which was approved by the War Department. The engineer reports:
"The products of eastern North Carolina mostly find a market through the Dismal Swamp canal, which is too limited in its capacity; but the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal Company are now engaged in excavating a canal of larger dimensions, connecting Chesapeake bay with Currituck, Albemarle and Chesapeake and Pamlico sounds, and their tributary streams, which they anticipate completing within the next year, and, when accomplished, will obviate all necessityof a communication with the sea through Nag's Head."
IMPROVEMENT OF CAPE FEAR RIVER.
"The works for the improvement were suggested and recommended by a commission, at the head of which was Professor Bache, of the Coast Survey. They first proposed the protection of Bald Head from further abrasion by jettees, like those at Fort Caswell.'
"2d, is the filling up of the two small openings near New Inlet, about four hundred yards over, and four feet deep in the middle at low water; the other, about two hundred yards over, and two feet deep at low water."
This portion of the work has been accomplished. It was commenced under the direction of Lieutenant Woodbury. * * *
The work was completed under the direction of Lieutenant Whiting, of the corps of engineers.