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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, 1891.
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 various 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, 1-90, balance unexpended..
Expended to June 30, 1891
July 1, 1891, balance available...
50, 140.33 32,823.58
For torpedoes for harbor defense, act of Mar. 2, 1889; no limit.
July 1, 1891, balance available.....
For torpedoes for harbor defense, act of Aug. 18, 1890, no limit.
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..
$296, 945. 25 189,608. 32
130,000.00 76, 242. 16 53,757.84
For engineer depot at Willets Point, N. Y., for the fiscal year ending
There will be required for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1893:
For incidental expenses of depot...
For purchase of materials for instruction of battalion.
For purchase and repair of instruments...
For purchase and binding of professional works for library.
For purchase of ponton material...
(See Appendix No. 5.)
RIVER AND HARBOR IMPROVEMENTS.
17, 000, 00
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,
being the water communication across Keweenaw Point, Lake Superior, from Keweenaw Bay to Lake Superior, in the State of Michigan, by way of the Portage River and Lake and the artificial cut made by said companies to render them available to commerce and navigation, together with the works of improvement on Portage Lake; the harbor works upon Lake Superior and Keweenaw Bay, with all lands and franchises connected therewith, free from all incumbrances, three hundred and fifty thousand dollars: Provided, That for the purpose of preserving and continuing the use and navigation of said canals, the sum of ten thousand dollars for each of the present and the next fiscal year be appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, or so much thereof as may be necessary, to pay the actual expenses of operating and keeping said canals in repair; and that an itemized statement of said expenses shall accompany the annual report of the Chief of Engineers: And provided further, That no money appropriated for this purpose shall be available until a valid title to all of said premises shall be vested in the United States, uor until the State of Michigan shall have ce led to the United States exclusive jurisdiction over the same, during the time the United States shall be or remain the owner thereof, for all purposes except the administration of the criminal laws of said State and the service of civil process on the lands and right of way so conveyed. The balance of the appropriation, to wit, five thousand one hundred and twenty-eight dollars and seventy cents, for examination of Portage Lake and Lake Superior Ship Canals, contained in the river and harbor act of August fifth, eighteen hundred and eighty-six, is hereby made available for each and every purpose connected with the establishment of new harbor lines in Portage Lake under the provisions of the act of June twentieth, eighteen hundred and ninety, authorizing and directing said establishment.
A valid title to all of said premises having been vested in the United States, and the State of Michigan having ceded the required jurisdiction over the same, the purchase money was paid to the said companies, and the United States assumed control of the canals August 3, 1891.
Under the authority given to the Secretary of War in section 12 of the river and harbor act approved September 19, 1890, harbor lines have been established at the following localities:
Lubec, Me.; Kennebec River at Bath, Me.; Boston, Mass.; New York Harbor and adjacent waters; Philadelphia, Pa.; New Castle, Del.; St. Augustine, Fla.; Duluth, Minn., Bay of St. Louis, Superior Bay and adjacent waters, Minnesota and Wisconsin; Portage Lake, Michigan; Chicago, Ill.; San Francisco Harbor and adjacent waters, California; San Pedro, Wilmington Harbor, California; Humboldt Bay, California; Astoria, Oregon.
Examinations were made, whenever required by the committees of Congress, of proposed bills authorizing the construction of bridges upon which the views of the War Department were desired. Of the bills so examined since my last report, to the close of the fiscal year, June 30, 1890, 25 originated in the Senate and 38 in the House of Representatives.
During the fiscal year examinations were made of such plans and locations as were submitted by parties interested, of bridges proposed to be built over navigable waters subject to the approval of the Secretary of War, as authorized by acts of Congress. A brief statement is given of the action had in such cases.
Under sections 4 and 5 of the river and harbor act approved September 19, 1890, persons, corporations, or associations owning or controlling bridges over navigable water-ways of the United States, which are unreasonable obstructions to the free navigation of such waters, after being given a reasonable opportunity to be heard, have been notified to so alter the bridges as to render navigation through or under them reasonably free, easy, and unobstructed. In each case the changes required to be made were specified in the notice, and a reason. able time was prescribed in which to make them. A detailed statement of the cases is given further on in this report.
Reports made in compliance with the requirements of section 2 of the river and harbor act of July 5, 1884, and section 4 of that of August 5, 1886, of instances in which piers, break waters, or other works built by the United States in aid of commerce or navigation, are used, occupied, or injured by a corporation or an individual, will be found in Appendix C CC.
The engineering works in the charge of this office are arranged in five divisions, and officers of the corps assigned as division engineers, to overlook the work, as follows:
West of the Rocky Mountains: Pacific Division, Col. George H. Mendell. East of the Rocky Mountains: Northeast Division, Col. Henry L. Abbot; Southeast Division, Col. Wm. P. Craighill; Southwest Division, Col. Cyrus B. Comstock; Northwest Division, Col. Orlando M. Poe.
South Pass of the Mississippi River.-During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1891, the legal channel was maintained through the Pass itself except for 3 days in April, when at one point the depth was 25 feet, and for 12 days the jetty channel had a central depth of from 27.5 feet to 29.4 feet.
COAST AND GULF OF MEXICO.
IMPROVEMENT OF RIVERS AND HARBORS IN MAINE AND NEW HAMPSHIRE.
Officer in charge, Lieut. Col. Jared A. Smith, Corps of Engineers. 1. St. Croix River, Maine.-In compliance with requirements of the river and harbor act of August 11, 1888, an examination and survey of the St. Croix River was made in 1888 and 1889, and a report with plan of improvement and estimate of cost was submitted by the engineer officer in charge. (See Report of Chief of Engineers, 1889, page 463.)
By act of September 19, 1890, Congress appropriated $35,000 for the improvement " upon the condition that the Government of the Dominion of Canada shall expend a like sum in the improvement of the said river."
As it is not yet known what action the Dominion Government is disposed to take in this matter, no steps have been taken towards the expenditure of the appropriation.
Amount appropriated by act approved September 19, 1890.
Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project..
harbor acts of 1866 and 1867.
(See Appendix A 1.)
245,000.00 50,000. 00
2. Lubec Channel, Maine.-This channel lies between the eastern extremity of Maine and Campo Bello Island, belonging to the Dominion of Canada.
Originally the channel was but 5 feet in depth at mean low water, and but 2 feet at low water of spring tides.
The project adopted in 1879, and subsequently modified, is for a channel 275 feet wide, 300 feet wide in the bends, and 12 feet deep at mean low water.
Amount expended to June 30, 1890, $157,213.03.
Expended in last fiscal year, $11,716.39.
As a result, the channel has been so nearly completed as planned that no further estimate is submitted.
While the channel thus made is of great service, yet it is not straight and has not its full width near the upper end, where width is much needed.
Under provisions of the river and harbor act of September 19, 1890, a report, setting forth the desirability for widening and straightening the channel, was submitted to Congress in January, 1891, and printed as House Ex. Doc. No. 158, Fifty-first Congress, second session.*
July 1, 1890, balance unexpended
June 30, 1891, amount expended during fiscal year...
July 1, 1891, balance unexpended......... (See Appendix A 2.)
$18,894. 07 18, 823. 49
3. Moose-a-bec Bar, Maine.-The project for this improvement was adopted in 1881, and modified in 1888, the object being to give a direct channel 300 feet wide and a depth of 14 feet at mean low water over the bar, and to remove ledges near and in the channel to a depth of 16 feet.
Amount expended to June 30, 1890, $53,417.68.
The channel over the bar had been dredged to a width of 300 feet and a depth of 14 feet at mean low water.
At certain stages of the tide strong currents set obliquely across the channel. To prevent these, a small breakwater is to be built from Pile of Ballast Ledge to Nova's Rock, and a beacon is to be built on the ledge at edge of channel.
Work upon the breakwater and beacon was commenced in June, 1891, under a contract. It will probably be completed before the close of the
Expenditures in the last fiscal year, $2,293.99.
July 1, 1890, balance unexpended....
Amount appropriated by act approved September 19, 1890..
July 1, 1891, amount covered by uncompleted contracts.
July 1, 1891, balance available...
16, 582.32 470.61
16, 111. 71
Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project...
harbor acts of 1866 and 1867.
(See Appendix A 3.)
4. Pleasant River, Maine.-In compliance with requirement of the river and harbor act of August 11, 1888, an examination of this river was made by the engineer officer in charge in November, 1888, and a survey was made in August, 1889.
The project adopted for the improvement is to mark the channel rocks by one stone beacon and one iron spindle, and to remove bowlders from the channel above Addison Point, at a total estimated cost of $3,500.
*See Appendix A 28.