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An additional appropriation is required to make a practicable road at all seasons, including the bridging of the Loup fork.
The estimate of the engineer officer is $108,000.
MILITARY ROADS IN OREGON AND WASHINGTON TERRITORIES.
Military road from Astoria to Salem, Oregon Territory.
During the present season, the work has been carried on with a view to open the route throughout its whole extent, in conformity with the original instructions of the honorable Secretary of War.
About forty miles have been opened this season; at the close of the last season nearly thirteen miles had been opened; there remains to be opened about sixteen miles, for which purpose the balance of funds on hand will be adequate.
Much labor will be necessarily expended in reducing grades before the road will be practicable for wagons. Lieutenant Mendell reports:
"For long distances there is literally no level ground-the hills are generally steep, and require much grading; added to this, the whole route is densely timbered with a huge growth of fir, hemlock, &c., and in the bottoms are found very thick tangles of undergrowth.'
"It is thought that $600 per mile, for fifty miles of the line opened this season, will construct a fair road from Astoria to the Tualatin plains-in all $30,000.”
Military road from Columbia barracks to Fort Steilacoom, Washington Territory.
The portion of this route from Cowlitz plains to Fort Steilacoom will be completed this season, furnishing a good ordinary wagon road. There remains the construction of the road from Cowlitz Landing to the Columbia river at Monticello, a distance of thirty miles. Much hazard and delay are experienced on the present route from the overflow of the Cowlitz river in periods of freshets. It is thought that a route may be located that will lie above high water mark on the west bank of the Cowlitz river, and that a good road may be opened for about $15,000.
This route is the mail route for the greater portion of the inhabitants of Washington Territory, and is also of eminent importance for military purposes in facilitating transportation of troops and supplies between Oregon Territory and Puget sound.
Military road from Columbia barracks to Fort Dalles, Oregon Territory.
This road was completed last season. During the heavy rains of the past winter much injury was sustained from land slides. The balance of funds on hand was expended in repairs.
It furnishes an excellent summer road, but a recurrence of slides is anticipated from the rains of winter. The government trains have made constant use of it since its construction.
Road from Steilacoom to Bellingham bay, Washington Territory.
The appropriation for this road by the last Congress was not available until the month of July. The reconnaissance of the route was commenced in August, and it is believed that the surveyor will return by the 15th of October to prepare the map and memoir.
Roads in southern Oregon.
Lieutenant Mendell reports: "It has not been in my power to visit the lines of operations of these roads. It is suggested that the two roads, viz: Camp Stewart to Myrtle creek, and Myrtle creek to Scottsburg, should be assigned to one officer. They are too distant from this point, and the facilities for reaching them too poor, to be under the direction of an officer whose attention is frequently requisite on roads on Puget's Sound."
Road from the Great Falls of the Missouri river to the Territory of Nebraska, to intersect the military road now established leading from Walla-Walla to Puget's Sound.
The appropriation for this road is $30,000, a sum inadequate for its construction; in fact, little more than a reconnaissance under the protection of a large government escort could be accomplished by it. Respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. JOHN B. FLOYD,
J. J. ABERT, Colonel Corps Top. Eng.
Secretary of War.
WASHINGTON, November 19, 1857.
SIR: I have to report in relation to my duties of the past season as follows: On the 25th May I was relieved from the superintendence of the survey of the northern and northwestern lakes. On the 21st of July I was ordered to take charge of the survey of Lake Ontario, and have continued on that service to the present time. A visit to Lake Ontario, on that duty, during the past autumn, satisfied me that the preparations necessary for carrying on the work in the field, conformably with the system sanctioned by the department for several years with reference to the other lakes, and which alone can give value to the work, was such as to forbid the hope of prosecuting it with advantage, or of arriving at results commensurate with their cost. Upon that subject, however, I propose addressing a report to the bureau, intended to recommend the necessary preparations during the coming winter and spring.
Assuming that the small steamer "Surveyor," belonging to the
survey of the lakes, and now in ordinary, may be spared for this lake next year, I would advise her transferred to it, so as to avoid this very serious source of expense-the hire of vessels. The astronomical and other instruments, which might possibly be spared from the service of the upper lakes, would also relieve the appropriation for Lake Ontario very considerably. It might not be prudent, however, to calculate upon such a saving, and I would therefore assume that this special work should be charged with the cost of its own instruments. This being granted, the expenses of the survey of Lake Ontario for the coming year might be set down at some fifteen thousand dollars, which should be included in the general item of appropriation for the survey of the northern and northwestern lakes, so as to enable the department to apply any surplus, if surplus there should be, to the work of the upper lakes, after satisfying the wants of Lake Ontario. Respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
Colonel J. J. ABERT,
JAMES KEARNEY, Lieutenant Colonel Topographical Engineers.
Bureau Topographical Engineers.
LOUISVILLE, September 1, 1857.
SIR: In compliance with your instructions of the 20th of May last, I have the honor to submit my annual report of this date, and to request that it may be regarded as supplementary to my last preceding annual report, (dated September 1, 1856,) which appears never to have been published. The reasons of this request are that the report mentioned exhibits a compendious showing of the affairs and condition of my superintendency at the close of the fiscal year ending on the 30th of June, 1856, and more especially because it contemplates and provides for a series of works and operations then and still deemed appropriate and necessary to the further prosecution of western river improvements.
A brief account of the operations and disbursements which have occupied my attention during the fiscal year, beginning on the 1st of July, 1856, and ending on the 30th of June, 1857, first claims attention.
The works confided to my superintendence and remaining under my charge at the beginning of the year just designated are the following, viz: The improvement of the Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas, and Ohio rivers; in relation to which I have served not only as superintendent but as a disbursing agent. Moreover, the improvement of Red river at and near the Raft, the improvement of the rapids of the Upper Mississippi, and the improvement of the harbor of Dubuque, were included within my superintendence merely while the disbursements on account thereof were entrusted to special agents appointed by order of the War Department. The same is true also of the im
provement of the Illinois, which is here noticed merely on account of a small balance still remaining in the possession of its late disbursing agent, George A. Dunlap, esq.
Agreeably to an order from the War Department, dated December 11, 1856, the office of the superintendent of western rivers, then and previously under my control, was abolished, and the superintendence of the works at the rapids of the upper Mississippi and at the harbor of Dubuque was transferred to the charge of Captain W. R. Palmer. By the same order the works for the removal of obstructions from the mouths of the Mississippi, for the execution of which specific contracts had been entered into with the sanction of the War Department, were placed under my supervision. The other improvements above mentioned still remain under my charge as before, no assignments of them to the charge of others having been contemplated in the order.
With respect to the receipts and expenditures incurred on account of the works and operations above mentioned, in so far as they were brought about by my control and supervision, they are as follows:
Receipts by Lieutenant Colonel Long in his capacity of disbursing agent. From the annual report first above cited it appears that
the amount in my hands on the 1st July, 1856, for disbursement during the fiscal year ending on that date, was ...
To this amount should be added sundry sums received on various accounts since that date and within the year, which are as follows:
Net proceeds from the sale of craft, &c., employed in the improvement of the Illinois river, sold on the 1st of January, 1857.......
Remittance from United States treasury on my requisi-
Total amount of receipts......
Expenditures by same as disbursing agent.
For western river improvements at large, 3d quarter 1856
Total amount of expenditures for the year....
$813 55 1,015 19
249 33 559 91 537 20 823 25
Amount in the possession of Lieutenant Colonel Long, at the end of the last fiscal year and thereafter, to be accounted for....
The disposition made of the several sums composing this amount is as follows:
Deposited in sub-treasury at St. Louis.....
Deposited in sub-treasury at New Orleans.........
Total as before....
The amount as above is derived in part from sales of public property appertaining to the improvement of the western rivers, and is composed in part of sundry unexpended balances of appropriations, and remains applicable to the following objects in the sums annexed thereto, respectively, in subjoined schedule, to wit:
Improvement of western rivers at large.
Improvement of the Mississippi river.
Improvement of the Missouri river.....
Improvement of the Arkansas river..
Improvement of the Ohio river, &c.
Improvement of the mouths of the Mississippi..
Total as before...........
Agreeably to a circular from the topographical bureau, dated June 11, 1857, I am directed to present a statement of all arrearages remaining due on account of the improvements under my charge. In reply I can only state that, with the exception of a few cases of forfeiture, by reason of desertions, no claims have arisen under my personal superintendence that have not been duly adjusted and cancelled. I have been informed, however, that sundry unsettled accounts for services, &c., rendered under the superintendence of my predecessor, together with a claim of considerable amount, set up by one of the Falls pilots of this city, for the removal of obstructions from the Indiana chute of the Falls of the Ohio, remain unsettled. The names of the claimants, and the nature and extent of the claims, to the best of my knowledge, are as follows:
Jesse Vansickle, for blasting and removing rocks from the
Hugh Findreu, for expenditures incurred on account of the improvement of the Mississippi, about.......
Andrew Ferguson, deceased, on account of the improvement of the Missouri river.....
Rodgers & Noel, for articles furnished on account of the improvement of Missouri river...
Kingsland & Cuddy, for articles and services furnished on account of improvement of Missouri river