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NEW YORK, June 22, 1892.

SIR: The Mississippi River Commission has the honor to submit this, its annual report, for the current fiscal year. Owing to the departure in June of its president, upon temporary duty in a foreign country, the history of its operations is brought down to May 31, instead of June 30, as usual.

Since the last annual report there have been no additional appropri tious or legislation affecting the Commission. The distribution of the appropriations of last year, as given in that report, has been modified by the transfer of various sums from one object to another from time to time during the year, as the demand for funds in the various branches of the work became more or less pressing. To the previous allotments for levees was added the sum of $135,000, of which $75,000 was taken from Lake Providence Reach, $40,000 from general service, and $20,000 from the harbor at Helena, these latter allotments of $60,000 being made in the exigencies of the recent flood for the purpose of protecting the levees. To the previous allotments for harbors was added $48,000 for Greenville and $11,000 for Memphis, all taken from works of channel improvement, and $8,000 for New Orleans, taken from the Red and Atchafalaya rivers. Among the works of channel improvement the principal changes were the transfer of $247,000 from the previous allotment for Lake Providence Reach, of which $75,000 was given to levees, $50,000 to Plum Point Reach-diminished by $11,000 subsequently transferred to Memphis-$48,000 to Greenville, $48,000 to Ashbrook Neck-diminished by $6,000 subsequently transferred to Lake Bolivar Front-and $26,000 to plant, Third district. The sum of $1,000 was transferred from Helena to surveys, gauges, and observations, Fourth district, and $6,000 from Ashbrook Neck to Lake Bolivar Front. In the early portion of the year there had been a balance of $18,670 remaining unexpended of an allotment to Lake Bolivar from the appropriation of August 11, 1888. This was applied to levees, in addition to the sums already mentioned. Detailed financial statements accompany the report of the secretary of the Commission hereto attached.

Between July 1 and May 31 there were three meetings of the Commission-one in New York City, July 15-17, 1891, one on board its inspection steamer between St. Louis and New Orleans, November 5-18, 1891, and one on the same steamer between the same places May 4-10,



Engaged in the general survey of the river, there were in the field at the date of the last report one triangulation and two leveling parties. The first party had reached a point 4 miles above Burlington, Iowa, working northward. It continued its work until July 28, 1891, when fieldwork was suspended at Port Louisa, Iowa, the additional distance covered being about 35 miles of river. This party was also charged with the establishment of lines of permanent bench marks across the valley. Triangulation work was resumed at Port Louisa, April 26, 1892, the party working northward. By the 31st of May it had reached Fairport, Iowa, a distance of about 22 miles from Port Louisa, making the total distance covered by new triangulation during the year about 57 miles. The triangulation is now completed from Donaldsonville, La., to Fairport, Iowa. Of the two leveling parties one had started from St. Paul, Minn., and working southward had reached Alma, Wis., and the other had started at Duluth, Minn., and working toward St. Paul had reached Sturgeon Lake. The former party continued its work until October 20, 1891, when fieldwork was suspended at Savanna, Ill., the additional distance covered being about 206 miles. The latter party continued its work until September 28, 1891, when fieldwork was suspended at St. Paul, the additional distance covered being about 102 miles. The line of precise levels had in previous years been made continuous from Biloxi, Miss., to Savanna, Ill., and thence to Chicago, Ill., connecting with Lake Michigan. The new work makes the line continuous to Duluth, and connects the whole with Lake Superior.

A party for topography and hydrography took the field early in August, beginning work near Alton, Ill., where the work of 1889 had terminated. They worked northward as far as Hannibal, Mo., a distance of about 118 miles by river. A considerable number of years having elapsed since the survey was made of the portion of the river below Cairo, it had become desirable to investigate the condition of the permanent marks. A party was sent out for that purpose in November, 1891, and between that time and March, 1892, went over the ground between Cairo, Ill., and Donaldsonville, La. Advantage was taken of this opportunity to make a reconnoissance and approximate location of the present shore lines, with a view to showing the amount of caving which has occurred since the general survey. A comparison of the two surveys gives the following interesting facts, viz: The total length of caving banks between Cairo and Donaldsonville, a distance by channel of 885 miles, is 921 miles. The rate of caving bears no relation to the degree of curvature of the bends, the maximum rate being found in comparatively straight reaches; nor is it influenced by the character of the vegetation on the banks, the shore line in a caving bend which is partly cultivated and partly timbered being smooth and regular, showing that the bend is eroded under both circumstances with equal facility. The quantity of soil thrown into the river by caving annually averages 9 acres by 66 feet depth for each mile of river, or a total for the river between Cairo and Donaldsonville of 10 square miles by 86 feet in depth annually. Erosion does not necessarily mean a widening of the bed. The eroded bank is generally followed by an equivalent fill on the opposite bank, and in some localities of excessive erosion the bed has actually grown narrower. Further details of the comparison will be found in the report of Mr. J. A. Ockerson, assistant engineer, hereto appended. (See Appendix 4 F.)

In the office good progress was made in the preparation of the detail charts, scale 1:10,000, and of the topographical maps from Cairo north

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