« PreviousContinue »
March 2. On emplacements for guns provided for in the fortification act of February 24, 1891.
March 2. On communication of Lieut. Col. W. R. King, Corps of Engineers, recommending Harts Island as a site for fortification, instead of Cryders Point.
March 6. On expenses for the office of the Board for the year ending June 30, 1892.
March 11. On project of First Lieut. O. M. Carter, Corps of Engineers, of October 8, 1890, for expenditure of funds appropriated by act of September 19, 1890, for improving Cumberland Sound.
March 16. On project of Lieut. Col. J. A. Smith, Corps of Engineers, of January 5, 1891, for casemate and cable gallery at Portland Head, Me.
March 17. On modification proposed by Lieut. Col. S. M. Mansfield, Corps of Engineers, November 12, 1890, for emplacement for high-power gun at Fort Warren, Mass.
March 19. Project for expenditure of funds appropriated by act of February 24, 1891, for submarine mining defenses.
March 21. On bridge across Newark Bay to be constructed by the Jersey City, Newark and Western Railway Company.
April 4. On project of Lieut. Col. W. R. King, Corps of Engineers, of January, 1891, for mortar battery on Davids Island.
April 7. On project of Lieut. Col. S. M. Mansfield, Corps of Engineers, of March 31, 1891, for mortar batteries on Grovers Cliff, Mass.
April 8. On revised project of Lieut. Col. J. A. Smith, Corps of Engineers, of April 2, 1891, for casemate and cable gallery at Portland Head, Me.
April 22. On project of Capt. F. V. Abbot, Corps of Engineers, of February 11, 1891, for casemate and cable gallery at Fort Sumter, S. C. April 23. On bridge to be constructed by the North River Bridge Company across the Hudson River at New York under the act of July 11, 1890.
May 4. On projects of Lieut. Col. W. R. King, Corps of Engineers, of February 28 and March 30, 1891, for gun emplacement at Willets Point, N. Y.
May 16. On project of Lieut. Col. J. A. Smith, Corps of Engineers, of April 25, 1891, for improving Penobscot River, Maine.
May 16. On letter of the Chief of Ordnance of May 5, 1891, relative to emplacement for 12-inch B. L. rifle.
June 5. On project of Maj. C. W. Raymond, Corps of Engineers, of May 19, 1891, for casemate and cable gallery on Pea Patch Island, Delaware River.
June 6. On project of Lieut. Col. P. C. Hains, Corps of Engineers, of May 27, 1891, for emplacements for high-power guns at Fort Monroe, Va.
June 12. On construction of an additional casemate and cable gallery with balance of funds appropriated by act of February 24, 1891.
June 22. Project for the defense of Portland Harbor, Maine. June 26. On application of Hudson Tunnel Railway Company to deposit a layer of clay on the bottom of the Hudson River on the line of its tunnel near the left bank.
In the performance of the duties of the Board, the following personal examinations were made:
To carry out the instructions of the Chief of Engineers contained in an indorsement dated February 4, 1890, the Board on August 28 and
29, and September 26, 1890, conducted experiments with circuit closers at Willets Point, New York, to determine the working of the system of torpedo obstruction.
Under instructions of the Chief of Engineers, dated December 18, 1890, the Board visited St. Johns River, Florida, and Cumberland Sound, on February 2, 1891, and Savannah, Ga., on February 5, 1891, in connection with its report on the project of Lieut. O. M. Carter, Corps of Engineers, of October 8, 1890, for expenditure of funds for improving Cumberland Sound.
Under instructions of the Chief of Engineers, dated April 6, 1891, the Board, on May 26, 1891, inspected the sites for fortifications in the harbor of Portland, Me.
In addition to their duties with The Board of Engineers, the individual members of the Board have been otherwise engaged, as follows:
1. Col. Henry L. Abbot, the president of the Board, has continued in charge of certain experiments with torpedoes; as a member of the Board of Ordnance and Fortification; as president of the board to fix the harbor lines for the harbor of New York and its adjacent waters; as president of the board to fix the harbor lines for the port of Boston, and as division engineer of the Northeast Division. He has also served as president of boards for examination of officers of the Corps of Engineers with a view to promotion.
2. Col. C. B. Comstock has served as division engineer of the Southwest Division; as member of the board of visitors to the United States Engineer School; as president of the Mississippi River Commission; as member of the board to fix the harbor lines of New York Harbor and its adjacent waters; as member of the board to fix the harbor lines of Philadelphia; as member of commission of engineer officers to report on the value of the channel constructed by the Buffalo Bayou Ship Channel Company; as member of boards for examination of officers of the Corps of Engineers with a view to their promotion; as member of board to select a site for a naval dry-dock on the Gulf of Mexico; and as member of board to report on a project for improving harbor at Sabine Pass, Texas.
3. Col. D. C. Houston has been the disbursing officer of The Board of Engineers. He has conducted the various works of river and harbor improvement and of fortifications under his charge, and has served as a member of the board of visitors to the United States Engineer School; as a member of the board to fix the harbor lines for the harbor of New York and its adjacent waters; as a member of boards to establish harbor lines in the harbors of Stamford and Bridgeport, Conn.; as member of commission to consider and report on the improvement of Wilmington Harbor, Del.; and as member of boards for examination of officers of the Corps of Engineers with a view to their promotion.
4. Lieut. Col. G. L. Gillespie, in addition to conducting the various works of river and harbor improvement and of fortification with which he was charged during the year, has served as a member of the board of visitors to the United States Engineer School; of the boards on harbor lines of New York Harbor and adjacent waters, of Stamford and Bridgeport Harbors, Conn., and of the port of Boston, Mass.; of boards on obstructions to navigation in the Hudson River, and on deep-water harbor on the Pacific coast between Points Duma and Capistrano; and as a member of board for examination of an officer of the Corps of Engineers with a view to his promotion.
POST OF WILLETS POINT, NEW YORK-UNITED STATES ENGINEER SCHOOL-BATTALION OF ENGINEERS-ENGINEER DEPOT.
Officer in command, Lieut. Col. W. R. King, Corps of Engineers.
POST OF WILLETS POINT, NEW YORK.
At the close of the fiscal year the garrison consisted of 27 commissioned officers and 333 enlisted men, including officers and non-commissioned officers of the general staff, student officers, and enlisted men of the Hospital Corps. This is a net loss of 51 men in enlisted strength over last year's report.
Some repairs and improvements have been made during the year to the roads and buildings.
The fire-proof building for engineer models is completed and partly occupied, and the coal shed, built by the Quartermaster's Department, has been in use during the year.
Most of this work was done by enlisted men detailed for the purpose. Plans and estimates for lighting the public buildings and grounds by electricity were made last year; if these are not approved, the erection of a small plant for lighting the post by gas is recommended.
An allotment has been made for the construction of a new guard house and for a building to contain fire engines, etc.; these will be built during the year.
The necessity for new barracks, mess building and quartermaster and commissary storehouse has been so often reported that no further statement of the case seems necessary.
It is urged that the needs of this post and its garrison may be considered in the allotment of appropriation for barracks and quarters.
UNITED STATES ENGINEER SCHOOL.
During the year 3 engineer officers, 1 artillery officer, and 7 infantry officers completed the course, and 2 cavalry, 1 artillery, and 5 infantry officers who have completed the laboratory duty are still engaged in the practice work of planting and operating torpedoes, which it is expected will be completed October 1, 1891.
One infantry officer was, upon his own application, relieved from duty at the U. S. Engineer School on June 15, 1891, as per special orders No. 124, Headquarters Army, A. G. O., Washington, June 7, 1891.
It is believed tirat officers of fair intelligence and industrious habits, although lacking the benefit of a scientific education, can acquire a sufficient knowledge of electricity and high explosives to be useful not only in the torpedo service, but also in its simpler applications to military and civil engineering.
BATTALION OF THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS.
The legal strength of the Battalion of Engineers is five companies of 150 men each, with a sergeant-major and quartermaster-sergeant, and is officered by details from the commissioned officers of the corps.
The present strength is 20 officers and 417 enlisted men. The authorized strength of Companies A, B, and C, which are stationed at Willets Point, is 133 men each, and of Company E, stationed at West Point, 100 men.
The total losses from all causes during the year have been 160 and the total gains 130, making a net loss of 30 men.
The battalion has been employed during the year at engineer, ponton, and torpedo drill, infantry drill, rifle practice, and photography; and Company E, at West Point, has assisted in the instruction of cadets in military engineering and ponton drill.
Plans and estimates for a new fireproof building, to replace the engineer depot storehouse destroyed by fire on May 10, 1890, have been completed, and as an appropriation was made at the last session of Congress of $16,000 for this purpose, work was commenced on July 1,
Plans and specifications for a small steam tug for planting torpedoes were completed with the aid of a naval architect, but owing to other more important matters work has not been begun as yet.
The steam tug Star, which was sunk during a severe storm in December last, was thoroughly repaired and will soon be available for service.
A quantity of ponton and bridge materials and equipage was procured during the year for the purpose of drill and instructions, and some of the old ponton boats which were used in the late war were repaired and fitted up for further use.
A new building to contain engine, boiler, and dynamos for the trials of the new Sims-Edison electric fish torpedo, now under contract, was begun and will be completed during the month of July, 1891.
A large quantity of submarine mining materials was procured and was shipped for storage to such points as have been designated; also a large quantity of tool boxes, tools, electrical supplies, and other classes of torpedo materials was procured and stored at this post.
Quite a number of engineer instruments was added to the depot supply by purchase, all of which are of approved patterns. Nearly all of the repairs to instruments was done at the depot. A large number of instruments and tools was transfered to officers on public works.
Torpedo experiments, tests of explosives, tests of cut-off boxes, tests with various building materials, tests of circuit closers, and methods of loading torpedoes were made during the year. Detailed reports of some of these tests have been made, and others will be reported on hereafter.
The U. S. S. Quinnebaug was procured and experiments were made with her by towing her over the mines for the purpose of testing the torpedo mechanism under something like service conditions. These experiments were made under direction of The Board of Engineers, to whom reports have been submitted.
STATEMENT OF FUNDS.
Congress has at varions times appropriated as follows:
For engineer depot at Willets Point, N. Y., for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1891.
Expended and pledged.
For torpedoes for harbor defense, act of Sept. 22, 1888, no limit.
July 1, 1891, balance available...
50, 140.33 32, 823.58
For torpedoes for harbor defense, act of Mar. 2, 1889; no limit.
Expended to June 30, 1891.
July 1, 1891, balance available......
For torpedoes for harbor defense, act of Aug. 18, 1890, no limit.
Expended to June 30, 1891
$296, 945, 25
189, 608. 32
July 1, 1891, balance available
For torpedoes for harbor defense, act of Feb. 24, 1891, no limit.
Expended to June 30, 1891
July 1, 1891, balance available..................
For engineer depot at Willets Point, N. Y., for the fiscal year ending
June 30, 1892
There will be required for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1893:
For purchase and binding of professional works for library.
For purchase of ponton material.............
(See Appendix No. 5.)
RIVER AND HARBOR IMPROVEMENTS.
The funds with which the works for the improvement of rivers and harbors were prosecuted during the last fiscal year were derived from the appropriations by the river and harbor act approved September 19, 1890, appropriations in the sundry civil act approved March 3, 1891, for certain works on account of which contracts were to be made for completion as provided in the act of September 19, 1890, and such balances of former appropriations as were available.
A brief statement, derived from the reports of the officers in charge of the several works hereinafter given, sets forth the condition of each improvement, the extent of work performed during the last fiscal year, the amount expended, and estimate of amount required for its completion.
Reports are appended of the work accomplished in the removal of wrecks obstructing or endangering navigation, as provided for in section 4 of the river and harbor act approved June 14, 1880, and enlarged by provision in the river and harbor act of August 2, 1882.
Part of the examinations and surveys provided for by the river and harbor act approved September 19, 1890, have been made, and the results thereof reported to Congress from time to time during the last session; these reports and the reports upon such examinations and surveys as have been made since the adjournment are appended to this report, and such as are not yet completed will be submitted for transmission to Congress as soon as received.
In the river and harbor act approved September 19, 1890, provision is made
For the purchase of the two canals known as the Portage Lake and River Improvement Company Canal, from Keweenaw Bay to Portage Lake, and the Lake Superior Ship-Canal Railway and Iron Company Canal, from Portage Lake to Lake Superior,
ENG 91- -2