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1873, showed that the river, throughout its length of 105 miles, had a
channel not less than 6 feet deep. The channel was, however, much
obstructed by the accumulation of logs and snags brought into it by
the freshets in the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers and by the trees
which had fallen from its own heavily timbered banks. At Moccasin
Slough the river had been obstructed by piles driven by Confederate
authorities during the war. Drift had accumulated against these piles,
forming a dam across the river, which had then forced a narrow and
very crooked channel through its banks and into the river Styx.
Navigation was difficult at the upper and lower Elbows on account of
the abrupt bends and narrow channel.

The original project for the improvement of the river provided for
securing a channel 100 feet wide and 6 feet deep, by the removal of snags
and overhanging trees and widening and straightening the channel at
Moccasin Slough and the Elbows, at an estimated cost of $80,333.

In conformity with the act of September 19, 1890, this project was in
that year modified by adding thereto the securing of a channel 60 feet
wide and 5 feet deep through the Cut-off, Lee Slough, and the Lower
Chipola River, at an estimated cost of $7,500.

The expenditure between 1874 and June 30, 1893, of $49,565.90 had
resulted in clearing out the great accumnlation of logs and snags and
overhanging trees which originally obstructed tlie Apalachicola River,
and in annually removing the new logs and snags brought in by the
winter freshets.

A partial improvement had also been effected at Moccasin Slough
and the Elbows, but navigation at these points was still difficult. A
large quantity of drift and many overhanging trees were removed from
the Cut-off and the Lower Chipola River, and steamboats were enabled
to reach the landings above and below Lee Slough, through which



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198 REPORT OP THE CHIEF OP ENGINEERS, U. S. ARMY.

steamboat navigation was completely obstructed by drift, sunken logs,
and trees.

During 1893 many snags, sunken logs, and overhanging trees were
removed from the Apalachicola River, the Cut-off, and Lower Chipola
River, and a practicable but narrow and crooked channel was opened
through Lee Slough. Steamboats can now, with some difficulty, pass
through the Cut-off, Lee Slough, and Lower Chipola River on the
upstream passage. These waterways afforded the only practicable
means of transportation for the products of this section of country,
which is being rapidly settled by fruit-growers, and it is very desirable
that a sufficient appropriation shall be made to enable a safe channel
to be opened through Lee Slough.

There having been no funds available, no work was done during the
past fiscal year. The condition of the improvement is about as reported
June 30, 1893.

The Cut-off is a navigable waterway about 3 miles long, connecting
the Apalachicola River with the Lower Chipola River near the Dead
Lakes. The Chipola River empties into the Apalachicola River about
14 miles below its junction with the Cut-off. *'Lee Slough'^ is simply
a local name for a portion of the Lower Chipola River, about 3 miles
long (see map at page 1697 of the Annual Report of the Chief of Engi-
neers for 1891). It is therefore suggested that the wording of the next
appropriation for this river be changed from '* Apalachicola River,
including Lee Slough," to "Apalachicola River, including the Cut-off
and Lower Chipola River," in order that tbe work required to be done
may be correctly designated.

Amount appropriated by act of August 17, 1894 $5, 000. 00

i Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending June 30, 1896 11, 000. 00
^ Submitted in compliance with requirements of sections 2 of river and
( harbor acts of 1866 and 1867 and of sundry civil act of March 3, 1893.

(See Appendix P 2.)

3. Flint Eiver, Georgia. — Before the improvement wa« begun the
river was only navigable at low water from its junction with the Chat-
tahoochee River up to Bainbridge, and the channel over this portion
was narrow, crooked, and much obstructed by logs, snags, and over-
hanging trees.

The i)resent project for the improvement of this river was adopted
in 1873 and modified in 1879, the object of the original project being to
afford a channel 100 feet wide and 3 feet deep at low water, from its
mouth up to Albany, Ga., an estimated distance of 105 miles, and of
the modification to provide a navigable channel for light-drafb steamers
at moderate stages of water, from Albany to Montezuma, an estimated
distance of 77 miles.

Previous to the act of June 18, 1878, $70,00D was appropriated for
the "Chattahoochee and Flint rivers," of which $18,000 was expend^
on the Flint River.

The expenditure up to June 30, 1893, was 8180,423.18.

Above Albany the channel had been partially cleared of logs and
snags and overhanging trees, and to a limited extent of loose rock.

Below Albany some loose rock excavation had been done at all the
shoals between Albany and Bainbridge. There was a completed and
permanent channel from Albany to ^Newton, 33J miles. From Newton
to Bainbridge, 21 miles, the channel was passable, with care, at moder-
ate stages of water, but it was impracticable at many places during low
water. From Bainbridge to the mouth of the river, 36 miles, the river

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RIVER AND HARBOR IMPROVEMENTS. 199

was navigable throughout the year, and required but little improve-
meut aside from the removal of drift logs and snags brought in by the
winter Hoods.

During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, $7,500.76 was expended
in removing rock bowlders and snags from the bed of the river and in
altering and improving the snag boat.

Between the mouth of the river and Bainbridge, Ga., an estimated
distance of 36 miles, the river is in fairly good condition, and requires
little more than the annual clearing of snags and drift brought in by
the winter freshets. On this portion of the river many steamboats
plying on the Chattahoochee and Apalaehicola rivers make regular
trips and do a large business, and the maintenance of the navigation
is therefore of great commercial benefit.

Between Bainbridge and Albany, Ga., an estimated distance of 65
miles, the improvement consists mainly in excavating a channel through
the many rock shoals and reefs and in depositing the excavated mate-
rial in spur dams. The improvement, when completed, will be of a
I)ermanent character, but for its preservation and for the annual
removal of the snags and drift it will be necessary to maintain a snag
boat on the river, at an estimated cost of $6,000. A considerable river
trade had been developed on this section of the river in consequence
of the improvements already effected. The business will probably be
much increased as low-water navigation is facilitated by further work.

Above Albany, for a distance of 38 miles, to Warwick, Ga., low-water
navigation is prevented by a series of rock shoals, on which the low-
water depth varies from 6 to 18 inches. The loose bowlders have been
partially i emoved from the channel on this portion of the river. Exi^eri-
ence in the work shows that a practicable and useful navigation of this
I>ortion of the river at moderate stages of water can probably bo secured
only by providing slack- water navigation, by the construction of locks
and dams at great expense.

Between Warwick and Montezuma, an estimated distance of 39 miles,
the imiirovement consists mainly in the removal of logs and drift and
overhanj^ing trees, and has been sufficiently accomplished to permit
navigation at moderate stages of water; but no commercial use has
been made of this section of the river since July, 1890, when the Mon-
tezuma Steamboat Company disx>osed of their small steamer. It Is not
believed that any commercial benefit has since been derived from con-
tinuing the improvement of the Flint River above Albany. Two
bridges, without draw openings, at distances, resi>ectively, of 16 and
41 miles above Albany, obstruct steamboat navigation, but no measures
have been taken to require the owners of the bridges to provide them
with draw openings, for the reason that no complaints have been made
against them.

It is useless to continue the improvement above Albany for commer-
cial purposes unless these bridges are provided with draw openings,
and it seems to bo an unnecessary hardship to compel the owners to
provide draw openings to accommodate a commerce which does not
now exist and of which there is no immediat-e prospect. For this rea-
son, and on account of the improbability of being able to secure a sat-
isfactory navigation without the construction of locks and dams at a
cost entirely incommensurate with any prospective commerce to be
developed thereby it is recommended that no further allotments be
made, for the i)resent at least, for the improvement of the Flint River
above Albany, but that the whole appropriation be expended in con-
tinuing the useful and important work below Albany.



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200 REPORT OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, U. 8. ARMY.

Julyl, 1893, balance unexpended $9,606.83

June 30, 1894, amount expended during fiscal year 7, 560. 76

July 1, 1894, balance unexpended J 2, 046. 07

Julyl, 1894, outstanding liabilities 252.33

July 1,1894, balance available 1,793.74

Amount appropriated by act of August 17, 1894 8, 000. 00

Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1895 9, 793. 74

( Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal vear ending June 30, 1896 36, 000. 00
< Submitted in compliance with requirements of sections 2 of river and
( harbor acts of 1866 and 1867, and of sundry civil act of March 3, 1893.

(See Appendix P 3.)

4, Chattahoochee Eiver, Georgia and Alabama. — The river was origi-
nally much obstructed by logs, snags, and overhanging trees and by a
number of rock and marl shoals and sand bars, so tbat navigation was
difficult and dangerous. Steamboats could only run by daylight, and
not unfrequently lay for weeks at a time awaiting a rise in the river.
Very many were sunk by striking obstructions.

The present plan of improvement, adopted in 1873 and modified in
1882, contemplates a low-water channel 4 feet in depth and 100 feet in
width from Columbus, Ga., to Chattahoochee, Fla., a distance of 224
miles, by the removal of snags and other obstructions from the channel
and overhanging trees from the banks, by the excavation of rock shoals,
and by works of contraction and shore protection.

Previous to the act of June 18, 1878, $70,000 was appropriated for the
"Chattahoochee and Flint rivers," of which $52,000 was expended on
the Chattahoochee liiver.

The expenditure of $256,861.81 up to June 30, 1893, had resulted in
securing and maintaining a fairly good channel between Chattahoochee,
Fla., and Eufaula, Ala., except at Eock Island, at all seasons of the
year; and between Eufaula, Ala., and Columbus, Ga., except during,
low water, when considerable trouble was experienced at St. Francis
Bend, Shell Creek, Upatoie, and Woolfolk bars, and at the shoals imme-
diately below Columbus, on account of the lack of funds for keeping in
repair and extending the contraction and shore-protection works at
those points. The shore-protection and contraction works placed at
Mound Bar during 1893 improved the channel, so that vessels no longer
have trouble there.

Trouble is also experienced at low water at Francis Bend, Shell Creek,
and Upatoie bars, above Eufaula, and at Eock Island, about 200 miles
below Columbus.

If sufficiently large appropriations were made to improve these local-
ities by substantial works, it is believed that thereafter the navigation
of the river could be maintained in good condition throughout the
year by annual appropriations of $10,000 for the operation of an effi-
cient snag boat and for the maintenance of the contraction and shore-
protection works.

The snag boat Chattahoochee is no longer fit for use. The wheel and
the shear frame have been removed and put up on the bank so that the
hull, having no longer to support these loads, may remain afloat.
Urgent repairs are needed to other parts of the plant. The sum of
$15,000 is necessary for urgent repairs.

For the above reasons an estimate of $100,000 is submitted for this
improvement for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1896.



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EIVEB AND HARBOR IMPROVEMENTS. 201

July 1, 1893, balance unexpended $8, 156.40

June 30, 1894, amount expended during fiscal year 7, 049. 60

July 1, 1894, balance unexpended 1, 106. 80

July 1, 1894, outstanding liabilitiea 141.67

July 1, 1894, balance available 965.13

Amount appropriated by act of August 17, 1894 25,000.00

Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1895 25, 965. 13

( Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending June 30, 1896 100, 000. 00
< Submitted in compliance with requirements of sections 2 of river and
( harbor acts of 1866 and 1867 and of sundry civil act of March 3, 1893.

Between West Point and Franklin^ Oa. — This section of 38 miles of
the river consists of a series of pools, varying in length from one-half
to 5 or 6 miles and separated by rock shoals and rapids, in some of
which the fall is as great as 8 feet to the mile. In the pools the width
of the river is from 300 to 600 feet, with a channel nowhere less than 4
feet deep. At the shoals the river is much wider, with numerous
islands, and low- water depths in many places of only a few inches.
The bottom is generally of rock and the banks are stable. There are
few, if any, sand or gravel bars and but few snags.

The river and harbor act of September 19, 1890, provided for a pre-
liminary examination of the Chattahoochee Eiver between West Point
and Franklin. This examination was made in i^ovember, 1890, and
reports of results are printed at page 1756 of the report of the Chief of
Engineers for 1891.

The river and harbor act of July 13, 1892, provided for " improving
Chattahoochee River, Georgia and Alabama; continuing improve-
ment, twenty-five thousand dollars, of which five thousand dollars are
to be used on that portion of the river between West Point and
Franklin."

The project for the improvement of this section of the river,
submitted July 26, 1892, and approved August 4, 1892, contemplates
removal of the lesser rock shoals, sand and gravel bars by excavation
and by works of contraction, removal of overhanging trees from the
banks and snags, logs, and other obstructions from the channel, and
the construction of locks and dams to overcome the more serious
obstructions to give a minimum depth of 3 feet at low water in the
channel between West Point and Franklin, a distance of 38 miles.

During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1893, $2,759.61 was expended
in procuring the necessary plant, in rock excavation at certain of the
shoals above West Point, and in depositing the excavated material in
training dams, and in making a survey for a short canal and lock
around the 6-foot milldam at Bentley Mill.

During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, a channel 50 feet wide
and 3 feet deep was secured through Flat Rock Shoals. A similar
channel was begun at Roberts Shoals, but was left incomplete, the
appropriation being exhausted. As a useful navigation for this section
of the river can only be had by means of locks and dams at a cost
which the traffic of the stream does not justify, no estimate is submitted
for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1890.

July 1, 1893, balaDce unexpended $2,240.39

June 30, 1894, amount expended during fiscal year 2, 145. 72

July 1, 1894, balance anexpended 94.67

Amount appropriated by act of August 17, 1894 5,000.00

Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1895 5,094.67

(See Appendix P 4.)



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202 REPORT OP THE CHIEF OP ENGINEERS, U. 8. ARMY.

5. Choctawhatchee River, Florida and Alabama. — When work on the
improvement was begun, in 1874, the river, notwithstanding an aver-
age width of 300 feet, was almost totally obstructed by the accumula-
tion of logs and snags, and navigation was only possible by flatboats
of light draft. The channel, if a channel existed at all, was exceed-
ingly dangerous to navigation, particularly during the lower stages of
water.

The project for improvement adopted in 1880 provided for obtaining
a low- water navigable channel from its mouth to Geneva, Ala., an esti-
mated distance of 125 miles, and a navigable high-water channel from
Geneva to ll^ewton, Ala., an estimated distance of 37 miles.

In 1800 the project was amended to provide for securing a low- water
channel from Geneva to ^Newton.

The imi)rovement consists in the removal of logs, in deepening band
bars by works of contraction and shore protection, and in excavating
a channel through th^ rock and marl shoals.

The expenditure, up to June 30, 1893, of 8111,700.94 had resulted in
removing the obstructions from the river between its mouth and Cary-
ville sufficiently to meet the requirements of the present commerce on
that section of the river, in giving a fairly navigable channel, except at
extreme low water, from the crossing of the Pensacola and Atlantic
Bailroad at Cary ville, Fla., to Geneva, Ala., a distance of 25 miles, and
a partially improved channel from Geneva to Pate Landing, 25 miles
above, and in providing a plant for carrying on, at the troublesome
bars, works of contraction and shore protection, of which some were
applied at Buzzard Bar, Gumfield Shoals, and Busby Shoals with such
successful results that boats have exx>erienccd no trouble since then in
passing them.

Steamboats now run with considerable regularity from Geneva, AJa.,
to the railroad at Caryville.

During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, $8,315.82 was expended
in snagging, in the construction of a shore protection near Caryville,
in cutting off the Old Eiver, and in building contraction works and
shore protection at Harveston Whirl. These works answer their object.
They have made the passage of boats, even carrying large amounts of
freight, safe by night and by day.

Geneva is a thriving town, the trading and shipping center for arich
agricultural region surrounding it. The river affords the only practi-
cable means'of transportation to this district. During recent years
the work has, therefore, mainly been directed to improving this section
of the river, and has resulted in clearing out a large number of the
accumulated logs and snags. Low- water navigation is impeded by
several sand bars, which can be readily deepened by works of contrac-
tion and shore protection if sufficient funds are appropriated for the
purpose.

When freight offers steamboats occasionally run to Pate Landing at
favorable stages of water.

Since the completion of the Alabama Midland Bailroad from Mont-
gomery, Ala., to Bainbridge, Ga., which passes through I^ewton, the
urgent necessity for improving the upper portion of the river no longer
exists, and it is doubtful if this section would now be much used even
if the improvements were completed.

The plan, therefore, contemplates completing the improvement
between Geneva and Caryville, and then between Geneva and Pate
Landing before beginning any work upon the marl shoals which now
obstruct navigation between Newton and Pate Landing. It is very



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RIVER AOT> HARBOR IMPROVEMENTS. 203

donbtfal whether a safe low-water navigation of this section of the
river can be secured except by the construction of locks and dams, to
provide slack-water navigation, at a cost not warranted by any pros-
pective commerce to be developed thereby.

July 1, 1893, balance unexpended $10,239.06

June 30, 18W, amount expended during fiscal year 8, 175. 12

July 1, 1894, balance unexpended 2,063.94

July 1, 1894, outstanding liabili ties 140. 70

July 1, 1894, balance available 1,923.24

Amount appropriated by act of August 17, 1894 6,000.00

Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1895 r. . 7, 923. 24

( Amounttbat can be profitably expended in fiscal yearendiug June 30, 1896 30, 000. 00
< Submitted in complianco Tvitb rennirement? of sections 2 of river and
( barbor acts of 1886 and 1867 ana of sundry civil act of March 3, 1893.

(See Appendix P 5.)

6. Harbor at Fensacola^ Fla, — In 1878 the channel was much
obstructed by wrecks, and a survey made in 1879 showed that the
inner bar had shoaled to a least depth of 19.5 feet at mean low water.
This depth was not suflQcient to accommodate the large number of
vessels seeking entrance to the port. The western shore of the
entrance to the harbor, which is the site of old Fort McEee, was fast
washing away, and a large portion of the fort had disappeared. Cor-
responding changes in the direction of the channel and of the tidal
currents had occurred, and to this was attributed the shoaling of the
inner bar. The removal of the wrecks was begun in 1878.

The plan of improvement adopted in 1881, in accordance with the
report of The Board of Engineers, contemplated dredging a channel 300
feet wide and 24 feet deei) at mean low water across the inner bar, for
the temporary relief of the navigation of the harbor and protecting
the shore line near Fort McRee from further abrasion, with the view
of i)reventing injurious changes in the tidal currents, and retaining
this position for defensive purposes.

A channel 120 feet wide and 24 feet deep at mean low water was the
result of dredging done in 1886. This channel filled up so that in June,
1891, it was only 19 feet deep. It was then dredged out again to a least
depth of 20.5 feet, but this depth was reduced to 19.2 feet in November,
1892.

Two ^oins, built near the site of Fort McRee, stopped further abra-
sion of the shore line. They were 360 and 220 feet long, respectively.
They were finished in April, 1890.

Up to June 30, 1893, $266,706.15 had been expended on the improve-
ment of this harbor. A contract was made with Mr. Eittenhouse
Moore, on October 29, 1892, to dredge the channel at a cost of 63 cents
per cubic yard. The contract required work to begin not later than
January 1, 1893. This time was extended to May 11, 1893. The
dredge arrived on May 13 and began work on May 24. Compara-
tively little was done up to the close of that fiscal year.

The beginning of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, found the
dredging going on. It was continued until August 15, when it came to
an end for lack of funds. The work done was a channel dug between
the 24-foot curves inside and outside of the inner bar. The channel is
1,400 feet long and 225 feet wide. Up to June 30, 1894, the channel had
again tilled up, by an average amount of 3.7 feet. A part of the channel



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204 REPORT OP THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, U. S. ARMY.

160 feet wide has, at the close of the year, 21.5 feet of water; the
remainder is only 19.5 feet deep.

On January 17, 1891, a Board of Engineers was appointed to assemble
at Pensacola, Fla., for the purpose of considering and reporting upon
the improvement of the harbor. The report of the Board, dated July
16, 1891, is printed in the Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers for
1891, page 1723, and extracts therefrom, describing the proposed method
of securing a permanent deep channel at the entrance to Pensacola
Harbor by means of two jetties, starting from the shores near forts
Pickens and McRee, respectively, at an estimated cost of $1,830,000,
are given in the rei)ort of the oflftcer in charge.

July 1, 1893, balance unexpended $83,293.85

June 30, 1894, amount expended daring fiscal year 80, 770. 53

July 1, 1894, balance unexpended 2, 523. 32

July 1, 1894, outstanding liabilities 70. 48

July 1, 1894, balance available 2,452.84

Amount appropriated by act of August 17, 1894 100, 000. 00

Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1895 102, 452. 84

( Amouuttbat can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending June 30, 1896 500, 000. 00
< Submitted in compliance with requirements of sections 2 of river and
( harbor acts of 1866 and 1867 and of sundry civil act of March 3, 1893.

(See Appendix P 6.)

7. Escambia and Conecuh rivers, Florida and Alabama. — These rivers
are really one river, that portion of the river from its headwaters in
south Alabama to the Florida and Alabama State line being called the
Conecuh River, and the portion in Florida, 61 miles long, being called
the Escambia River. It emi)ties into the Escambia Bay. Fully 60
per cent of the immense quantity of timber shipped from Pensacola
Harbor is cut on lands tributary to the Escambia River and floated



Online LibraryUnited States. War DeptAnnual report of the Secretary of War, Volume 1 → online text (page 30 of 113)