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Operations of the Engineer Department, during the year ending Norem
ber 15, 1835.
1. FORTIFICATIONS. In consequence of no appropriation having been made for this branch of service at the last session of Congress, the operations at the several works have been limited to the application of balances of former appropriations, and contracted to the degree necessary for placing in security and in a state of preservation those parts already commenced, rather than in continuing the constructions then in progress.
1. Fort Independence, Boston Harbor:-The tunds available for this work have been applied during the past season in procuring stone for the face of the scarp wall; and 36,431 superficial feet of the 55,000 required for the modified plan have been prepared.
2. Fort Warren, Boston Harbor.--As soon as the preparatory measures for commencing the masonry of this fort, were completed, as large a force of masons as could be procured was employed on its construction. It is anticipated that, by the close of operations this year, from 4,000 to 5,000 cubic yards of masonry will have been laid, and about two-fifths of the entire excavations and embankment have been effected.
3. Fort Adams, Narragansett Roads, Rhode Island, Nothing has been done at this work since last March. The balance of the funds available last fall, was employed very efficiently in closing operations for the winter. In consequence of no appropriation being made for a recommenceinent in the spring, it was found necessary to dispose of the stock of horses and oxen, and make such other dispositions as practicable for the preservation of the works.
4. Fort Schuyler, Throg's Neck, East River, New York.-It was hoped from the ample preparations made last year, and the funds available for their application, that the construction of this fort would have been prosecuted the present year with much vigor.
But, though materials and facilities of every description have been in waiting, it has been impossible to procure a sufficient force to carry on the works with the progress that was desired. No exertion has been spared to facilitate the operation, either by letting parts on contract or by hired labor, and unavailing efforts have been made to collect the necessary force in Boston, Newport, Connecticut, and the western part of New York. The foundations of the sea wall have been laid from its commencement at the southern redoubt to its extremity at the northern. The superstructure of about one-third of this extent has been built to its full height, and that of the remainder to about one-third; the most difficult parts of the foundation of other parts of the work have also been laid. A large crane, a number of trucks,scows, &c., have been added to the facilities prepared last year, and a rail road at the quarry at Horse-neck is now constructing. It is hoped that much work may still be done the remainder of the season.
5. Fort Columbus and Castle William, Governor's Island, New York. The repairs of these works have been prosecuted with as much rapidity as the force at the command of the officer in charge wouid permit; should he be able to increase it sufficiently, the former fort will be entirely completed this fall, except the laying some of the gun traverses, which must be postponed until funds for that purpose can be obtained. The measures deemed necessary for repairing the latter work have been attended with difficulty and delay. The exterior wall of the battery has been confined by tension braces to the interior, to prevent its inclination outwards, from the weight of the arches of the casemates above. Arrangements have been made for laying the platforms for the second tier of guns, and the repair of the roofs has been commenced. Nothing has yet been done to the south battery, except to remove the old walls farthest from the parade that supported the platforms, and, with the materials thus procured, to build the foundation of the traverses ; the wall next the parade has been left as an interior revetment of the rampart. The constant employment afforded to mechanics and laborers of every description in the city of New York renders it very dif ficult to procure their services on the island, which has operated very unfavorably to these works the past season.
6. Fort Delaware, Delaware Rirer.-The walls of the old fort have been razed, and the materials applied to strengthening the dikes around the island. The quarters of laborers, overseers, master-workmen, and superintendent are completed, as also workshops, storehouses, lime sheds, and stables; the canals and necessary roads have been constructed and the drainage of the whole island rendered perfect. The wharves have been repaired; several thousand bricks cleaned for future use, and the cranes necessary for the reception of stone, completed. A supply of excellent building stone, a large quantity of piles and square timber for the grillage and foundations of the new work, have been received. The bydraulic machinery, with a steam engine for propelling it, together with three pile engines, have been constructed. The position to be occupied by the new work has been examined by boring, and the nature of the soil ascertained. All the arrangements were perfeeted at the close of last year for receiving materials in large quantities, and for commencing and rapidly progressing with the foundations of the fort in the spring; but it then became necessary to suspend the work, and to confine operations to the receipt of such materials as had been contracted for, keeping the laborers employed, when not otherwise engaged, in tearing up the old foundation, and excavating one front of the new work.
7. Fort Calhoun, Hampton Roads, Virginia.- As contemplated in my last report, the balance of the stone required for the formatior of the mole has been received, and deposited over the foundations of the walls of the fort, so that there is now acting along their whole extent a greater weight by upwards of 20,000 tons than is estimated will be brought upon them when the fort is completed and garrisoned. Though an accession of weight continues
to cause subsidence, it is in a continued decreasing ratio; and should there be no evidence of a contrary nature by next spring, it is proposed to resume the construction of the walls, for which purpose an estimate is submitted.
8. Fort Macon, Beaufort, North Carolina.—This fort has been completed, and is now garrisoned.
9. Fort Castell, Oak Island, North Carolina.-This work was reported last year to be in readiness to receive a garrison. Since that time the department has been informed that, in the storms so frequent on that coast, inroads bave been made in the dikes by the sea, and a breach finally created, which even threatens more damage than has yet taken place. The walls of the fort bave also had some motion since they were erected, causing injuries to the arches of the caponniers and crenated galleries, and give indication of insufficient stability to resist the weight, tending to their overthrow. The funds originally available were not sufficient to construct the breast-height walls, the parapets, furnaces, &c., which are necessary for its completion.
10. Fortifications in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.- Operations in this harbor have consisted in applying the balance of the appropriation of 1834 to the prosecution of the plan for prtecting the site of Fort Moultrie. This plan, so far as tested, has answered the desired end, and a large accumulation of sand has taken place on the shore, before exposed to the abrading action of the sea. For want of funds the operations were abruptly arrested last March, the works brought to as favorable a close as circumstances would permit, and the officer charged with their superintendence otherwise disposed of.
11. Fort Pulaski, Cockspur ?sland, Georgia.-On the 30th of September, 1834, the piling and construction of the grillage for the foundation of this work was completed, and ihe masonry commenced. Since that time the available funds have been applied in laying 5,165 cubic yards of masonry; to the completion of all the counter-arches and cross walls of the rampart to a height of seven feet above the grillage, and to the completion, generally, of the counter-arches of communication; and the piers, scarp, and rear walls, and counterforts of the north, northeast, and southeast fronts, to a height of more than twelve feet above the grillage. The work is represented by the local engineer to be in a favorable con dition for a vigorous recommencement of operations so soon as further means are provided.
12. Fort Marion, $t. Augustine, Florida.-Nothing has been done at this work the past year for want of funds.
13. Fort Pickens, Pensacola Harbor, Florida.-This fort was completed in October last, and occupied by a garrison. It has since been necessary to give increased dimensions to the scarp walls of the two faces of the northeast bastion, to insure their permanence against the immense pressure of the sand ramparts. It is satisfactory to state that all parts of the wall supporting these heavy embankments are now in excellent condition, as proved by the severe test to which they have been subjected, from the unusual and heavy rains of the past summer.
14. Fort on Foster's Bank, Florida.-In September 1834 the construction of the platform foundations of this work was in progress, and, owing to the exposed position of the site, required great labor and activity to lay the masonry in a secure and proper manner. The funds arising from the appropriation of 1834 were at this time exhausted; but seeing the great injury, if not complete destruction that would result to the works, should they be suspended at that stage of their progress, it was determined by Captain Chase, the local engi. neer, to continue them, on his own credit, in anticipation of the appropriation of 1835. When he became aware of the
non-appropriation for fortifications, the works had been in progress nearly four months after the available means had been exhausted; the safety of ibe foundations had been secured, and the whole structure raised to fire feet above high water level. But, under the previous appropriations, a large quantity of materials had been collected, and were then deposited in the narrow strip of land comprising a part of Foster's island, which were necessarily much exposed to injury, and, indeed, to total loss, from the changes produced by storms on the recently formed island. It was, therefore, very desirable they should be used in the walls of the work as rapidly as possible; and Mr. Strong, the contractor, did not hesitate to proceed with the construction on his own responsibility, relying upon the appropriation of 1836 to remunerate him for his services. The work is now raised two feet above the tops of the lower tier of embrasures, and all tlie piers and casemates are raised ten feet above the parade.
15. Fort Morgan, Mobile Point, Alabama.- Arrangements were made in obedience to the instructions of the Secretary of War, to fit up thirteen casemates of this fort for officers' quarters, store and guard rooms. The first of these are nearly completed, and the balance of the funds, as far as they go, will be applied to the others.
16. Fort Livingston, Grande Terre, Louisiana.-Nothing has been done at this work. The expenditures hitherto made have been principally for the construction of the temporary buildings. A person is placed on the island for the purpose of taking care of the materials and houses ; and one laborer, ander his direction, is engaged in cutting the ditches that are considered beneficial to future operations.
II. HARBORS AND RIVERS. 1. Chicago Harbor, Illinois.-Notwithstanding the difficulties attendant upon procuring supplies of materials and workmen in a country whose whole energies are necessari:y exerted for the accommodation of a numerous and rapidly growing population, the work's at this place have been successfully prosecuted, and to an extent commensurate with the available means. The piers forming the artificial harbor bave been extended about 500 feet, and enclose a channel of 200 feet in breadth, varying from three to seven feet deep, ready for the operations of a dredging machine, hy which a free passage will be opened to the channel of the river. The north pier now extends into the lake 1,260 feet, and to twelve feet water; the south, 700 feet, and to seven feet water. In their present incomplete state, great protection has already been afforded to the increasing commerce of the place, and as many as five schooners have, at one time, discharged their cargoes under their shelter. Since the opening of navigation, to the 30th of September, upwards of 200 vessels have arrived at this port, showing that its speedy completion wiil confer gaat advantages, not only on Chicago and its immediate neighborhood, but on the whole country to the west and south, as far as the shores of the Mississippi.
2. River Raisin Ship Canal.-On the 2d of May last, the work was con menced by erecting barracks for the laborers, and commencing the construction of the machinery necessary for excavation, and removing and keeping off the water. From that time to the present the work has been advancing as the weather would allow, encountering occasional difficulties from iil.health among the laborers, and delay and trouble in preug others. The driving of piles was commenced at the lake, on both sides of the intendid cut, and ten feet from each one to the next. These are now driven (350 in buniber, along 1,750 feet of the work : on the tops of these piles strong tenons are cut, and caps of square timber, 12 by 10 inches, framed and placed. From these caps of timber, land-ties of tim. ber, 20'feet long, and placed 20 feet apart, extend at right angles under the einbankment, being strongly keyed to the caps. On the back side of the caps and piles, pile-planniks, 9 feet in length, are driven, (the piles being driven 14 feet into the earth,) being previcus y well jointed. The plank dam is then made water-tight by the usual process of pudrling with clay from four io six feet in depth; cross dams are then made, and the water and from a section of the canal, and the dry excavation is made. The caps are now framed and placed, as above, on both sides of the work, 1,750 feet in length; the land-ties placed, and pile-plank driven on each side for 1,500 feet of the distance; and the excavation entirely completed, 100 feet wide at the surface by 68 at the bottom, 11 1-2 deep, in a distance of 452 feet of the very worst portion of the work, and is commenced and now in progress in another section of about 500 feet in length. 'It is expected that one-haif of the length of the whole canal will be excavated this fall, and that enough of the last appropriation wili be left on hand to commence the piers in the month of December, is no doubt exists that the latter work can be far better and cheaper done in the winter than when no ice is on the lake.
3. Black Rock.-Two hundred and sixty-three feet of crib work have been added to the pier, projecting from the main shore, at the entrance into the Black Rock basin, making ihe whole lergth of the work 350 feet. Its object is to arrest the sand in its progressive omotion along the beach, and prevent it froin filling the basin, and obstructing the rnuance into the Erie mal, where the latter leaves the sin to go towards Buffalo. This oljeci has so far been fully obtained. During the last fall and winter, the sand acrtimulated against tlie south side of the pier, making a dry beach for a width of 170 feel, while's before, the water was froin ten to eighteen feet deep. This beach continues to increase, but more slowly than at first. The mole on Bird Island has been rebuilt for a length of 165 feet, leaving 300 feet still to be executed, part of which will be done this fall, and the remainder in the spring. The supply of stone was for some time cut off, and the weather, during the latter part of the season, has been remarkably unfavorable; but for these causes, both the pier and the mole would, by this time, have been completed.
4. Bufalo.-The operations for the year have been as follows:-1st Removing with the diving bell the ruins of old cribs which obstruct the channel, nearly the whole of which has been accomplished. 2d. Dredging out the curved point which projecttd into the creek at the inner end of the United States works. The whole of the sand which could be reached by common road scrapers has been removed, and the floating dredging machines now move over every part, and have been kept constantly employed when the weather would admit. 3d. Placing about 150 feet of crib work to support the towpaih extending from the inner end of the mole to the boundary of the United States land. 4th. Removing the timber work of the tow path along the mole, and replacing it by a heavy wall laid with hydraulic mortar. Nearly the whole length of this wall has been raised out of water, and several hundred fett of towpath flagging have been laid. As far as completed, t' é works are of stone, and executed in a permanent and workmanlike manner.
5. Dunkirk Harbor.–The piers at this place have been extended 382 feet by sinking new cribs, building them to the surface of the water, and filling them with stone. This has added 322 feet to the east end of the west pier, and 60 feet to the east pier, or breakwater. or work previously raised to the surface of the water, a length of 580 feet has been wholly or partially completed. To finish what has been commenced, more or less remains to be done for å length of 482 feet, as also the repairs on the break water, specially VOL. XIV.
authorized by the act of last session of Congress. Materials have been provided for these purposes, and the available funds are supposed to be sufficient. Should the weather be favorable during the fall, it is hoped that before the end of the present year the whole
may be accomplished. The length of the west pier will then be 1,920 feet, and that of the breakwater, or detached pier in front of the bay, 1,340 feet.
6. Erie or Presqu' Isle Harbor.-Since the last annual report, the operations at this harbor have consisted, 1st. In completing the repairs at the breach which was formed at the junction of the south break water and the south channel pier. This was effected last fall, and the place where the break existed is now occupied by the most substantial part of the whole work. 2d. In forming against the piers and breakwaters throughout their
entire extent on one side, and at certain places on both sides, a bank or mound of stone, thrown into the water at random, rising next the pier to the surface, and sloping outwards so as generally to have a base equal to the depth of water at each particular point. 3d. In thoroughly repairing the whole of the timber work, and where, as it is generally the case, the planking has rotted or been washed off of the top of the cribs, supplying its place by
a pavement of large flagging stones, carefully wedged to secure them against the action of the waves.
7. Conneaut Creek. The works at this place have been entirely completed according to the original plan, and no expenditures have been made here during the past year.
The sand accumulating against the west pier begins, as usual, to pass around its outer extemity, and to form a bar across the channel; the wood work above water is decaying, and at one or two places the piers seem to be threatened with being undermined, but no immediate measures appear to be necessary to guard against these evils. The depth of water in the channel is now nine feet, and the harbor has proved of great value to the commerce of the lake. Within a month, as many as twenty-six vessels at one time have taken shelter bere during a gale of wind.
8. Ashtabula Creek.–The method devised in previous years for the removal of the rock which obstructs the entrance into this creek having promised favorably, it was this summer considered expedient to construct a machine specially for that purpose ; which, however, from a variety of causes, could not be got into regular operation before the 2d of September. Since that period the weather has been very unfavorable; but enough has been done to increase the confidence previously felt as to its success. The dredging machine has been constantly in operation when the weather would admit, and has laid bare all the rock which it will be necessary to remove: the depth of water in the shallowest part of the channel is about seven feet. Materials have, in part, been collected for the extension of the western pier. Preparations have been made for commencing the foundation of the beacon light-house, and should the weather prove favorable, it will be sunk this fall, in which case the light-house will be completed early in the spring:
9. Cunningham Creek.-Nothing has been done at this place this year. The light-house is completed, but it still remains isolated from the rest of the work, and further expenditures are necessary to properly secure its base.
10. Grand River.-The west chann-l pier has been lengthened 300 feet, to guard the channel from being obstructed by the sand which is constantly accumulating on that side, at this and all the other harbors on the lake. This extension removes all danger from that cause for many years, and greatly facilitates the entrance into the harbor. The beacon has been lighted all summer.
11. Cleaveland Harbor.-The operations at this important point have consisted in depositing stones against the outsides of the piers for their permanent security ; in placing an additional crib, and depositing stone for securing the base of the beacon light; and in driving outside the west channel piera line of contiguous piles, to support the foot of the slope of the permanent stone mole intended to be formed.' These operations will be continued as long as the weather will admit.
12. Genesee River.-From 1829 to 1834, there has been constructed at the mouth of this river, 5,240 feet in length of pier, of an average width of eighteen fert, and from ten to seventeen feet deep, forming a double line of docks that receive between them the Genesee river, which work has fuifilled the purpose for which it was constructed, namely, it has cleared out a crooked channel of fioni six to seven feet in depth of water, that could not be entered in a dark night, so as to have formed, at the preseni time, a channel of thirteen feet depth of water, that can be entered and passed through at any time of night.
13. Genesee River Beacon light.-Upon the west pier in the lake, at the distance of 2,700 feet from the shore, a beacon of stone has this year been erected, twenty-five feet high, an octagon,of twenty feet in diameter, upon a foundation of forty feet square, in fifteen feet depth of water, the beacon tapering to a diameter of ten feet at the top.
14. Big Sodus Bay:- From 1829 to 1834, the work constructed amounts to 5,900 feet of length of pier, sixteen fiet wide, and from six to seventeen feet in depth. These docks enclose the entrance of the bay from Lake Ontario, excepting the channel that is to be dredged out between the two branches or T's that extend'into the lake. The piers are upon the same plan, and formed of similar material to those at the Genesee river, but they have subsided very little into the bed of the lake, in consequence of the hard pan at the bottom, and consequently exhibit a more uniform straight line than those ai Genesee. The timber above water is also beginning to decay.
15. Beacon Light at Sodus Bay.- A structure of stone of the same form, dimensions,