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No estimate is included in the above for dredging, but it is because, if slackwater navigation is determined on there will be sufficient depth on these bars, and by closing ditches and turning drainage in the other direction, the bars will probably disappear. It may be found that on deepening the upper portion of the bayou by raising the water surface there will be some little dredging of bars needed below the lower dam to make the increased depth above available; but if so, and if a change in the class of boats to stern-wheel boats should not of itself remedy the evil of these bars, it will be soon enough then to dredge the few lower bars when the locks are made.

A chart of the survey is made on a scale of you, as far down as Saint Martinsville, below which the chart made by Mr. Duke gives all the available data. Yours, respectfully,

H. C. COLLINS,

Assistant Engineer. Maj. C. W. HOWELL,

Corps of Engineers, U. S. A.

EXAMINATION OF TCHEFUNCTE RIVER, LOUISIANA.

UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,

New Orleans, February 27, 1880. GENERAL: I have the honor to submit herewith report of Assistant Engineer W. H. Hoffman of an examination of Tchefuncte River, Louisiana, provided for in act of Congress approved March 3, 1879.

Tracing of chart, drawn to a scale of zobo, will be forwarded in a separate package.

Recommendations of Mr. Hoffman as to plan of improvement are set forth in his report and are concurred in. His estimates are also approved and can be expended to advantage on the work during the ensuing fiscal year, viz, $5,460.

I am unable to furnish valuable information concerning the commercial importance of the work. It is not susceptible of permanent completion. The nearest light-house is on the Tchefuncte River, near Madisonville, La.

Mr. Hoffman was also directed to make an examination of Bayou Castain, which the citizens of Mandeville, La., solicited me to have made with a view to its improvement by the general government, that it might serve as a harbor of refuge for vessels plying on Lake Pontchartrain. The result of the examination is appended to Mr. Hoffman's report on the Tchefuncte, and his recommendations as to plan of improvement of Bayou Castain and estimates are approved.

The amount, $3,410, can be expended to advantage on the work during the ensuing fiscal year. The collection-district and nearest light-house are the same as for the Tchefuncte

River.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant. w. HOWELL,

Major of Engineers. Brig. Gen. H. G. WRIGHT,

Chief of Engineers, U. S. A. P. S.—Tracing of chart, drawn to a scale of zoo, will be forwarded in a separate package.

REPORT OF MR. W. H. HOFFMAN, ASSISTANT ENGINEER.

NEW ORLEANS, LA., January 31, 1880. MAJOR: I have the honor of submitting to you the following report on the examinatia of the Tchefuncte River, Louisiana.

A survey of this river was made in 1871, by the late Lieut. E. A. Woodruff, United States Engineers, and a tracing of the chart made by him was used on which to note all changes which have taken place since that time. Cross-sections were taken at the most important points, following lines of soundings made by Lieutenant Woodruf nearly as possible. Covington is at the head of navigation on the Bogue Falaya, which is only navigable for small schooners to this point, steamers stopping at Covington Landing, 2 miles below. There are many snags and overhanging trees on the partion of river between the steamboat landing and Covington, and the channel is very crooked: bends are very sharp; banks are of sharp sand and almost constantly changing in freshets. Many bars are found with too little water to allow larger Tessels to pass than the small schooners at present found. No other improvement than removal of snags and overhanging trees is advisable, as cut-offs, which captains of schooners so much wish, would only result in increasing the caving of the bank and wonld probably injure the river below, where it is now good. Below the mouth of the Abita, the bank has a gentle slope towards the river, and is nowhere caving; there is a wide, deep channel, fully sufficient for any possible want of navigation. The banks on the lower part of the river are sea marsh, covered at high tide. The entrance of the river into Lake Pontchartrain has a bar on which is found but 51 fert at a common low-tide. During northers there is fully 1 foot less, and at such times the harbor is most needed as a harbor of refuge for vessels from all coast ports as far east as Pensacola, coming into Lake Pontchartrain during a norther.

The entrance to New Orleans basin canals, on the lake, is a very difficult one, and Fery dangerous indeed with a norther blowing. The chief business of the steamers inning in this trade is carrying passengers to and from the sea-side watering-places, and for them some safe harbor on the north side of the lake is very important. The barbor to which improvement of this bar would give these access is one of the best possible for such purposes. The river is several hundred feet wide and 20 to 30 feet deep, for 2 miles, up to Madisonville, where steamers can tie up at the bank at any time. The bar is made of sand and shell washed from the lake and not from material carried out by the river, which is a clear-water stream. The constant progress of the point and the bar to the southwest, and the washing away of the west side by the tertent, shows that the bar is the effect of the washing of the sand of the lake beach to westward along the coast. The winds affecting this shore blow from southeast, and a jetty to protect the entrance from this wash of sand from eastward may be found necessary to retain the channel, even if one should be dredged out, as can be rasily done.

Estimate for the improvements is as follows: Removal of all snags to Covington..

$300 Removal of all overhanging trees..

500 Dredging on bar 15,000 cubic yards, at 25 cents..

,750 Add for engineering and contingencies, 20 per cent..

910

Total.......

5, 460 At the urgent solicitation of the citizens of Mandeville, an examination was made of Bayou Castain, the mouth of which was formerly their harbor, on Lake Pontchartrain, bat its entrance from the lake is now so filled as to be useless. The bayou drains about 10,000 acres of timbered land, and during rains there is sufficient current to wash at the sand from the entrance and give a channel across the bar at times as deep as 4 feet, but unfortunately, with the first blow from the southeast it is filled with sand;

dom remaining open for a week, and filling so as to leave but f a foot of water over the sand. This washing-ont process gave the idea of making a permanent entrance, and a charter was secured from the State; cribs were made and slightly ballasted with bork, placed on each side of the entrance. A few of these cribs remain, and as far oft as they go the channel remains, but most of the cribs washed ashore and the work was abandoned from want of money for continuing it. The success of this crib EĚ, so far as it went, shows that a jetty properly built would keep the sand from tling the channel, the filling all being made by sand washed along shore to westward. There is a depth of 6 to 7 feet in the bayou, and were the entrance so improved as to

te a depth of 5 or 6 feet on the bar, the commerce of the town would be greatly Petited, and the harbor thus made would be available as a harbor of refuge on this sath shore during the gales of the fall and winter months. Mandeville is one of the coast watering places and during the summer and fall from

to three steamers stop there every day, and one daily during the remainder of the jaz There are also many schooners.

The estimated cost for the improvement to be made is as follows: 12,400 cubic yards dredging, at 25 cents.. Add 10 per cent. for contingencies.

$3, 100

310

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UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,

Nero Orleans, February 27, 1880. GENERAL: I have the honor to submit herewith report of Assistant Engineer H. C. Collins of an examination of Tickfaw River, Louisiana, made by Civil Assistant H. S. Douglas, as provided for in act of Congress approved March 3, 1879.

Tracings of chart, drawn to a scale of zuvo, will be forwarded in a separate package.

Recommendations of Mr. Collins as to plan of improvement are set forth in his report and are concurred in. His estimates are also approved; the total amount of which can be expended to advantage on the work during the ensuing fiscal year, viz, $10,230.

The commercial importance of the work is given in the report of Mr. Collins.

The work is not susceptible of permanent completion. It is located in the collection-district of New Orleans. The nearest light-house is at the mouth of Pass Manchac, Lake Pontchartrain. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. W. HOWELL,

Major of Engineers. Brig. Gen. H. G. WRIGHT,

Chief of Engineers, U. S. A.

REPORT OF MR. H. C. COLLINS, ASSISTANT ENGINEER.

NEW ORLEANS, LA., January 31, 1880. MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the examination of Tickfaw River and its navigable branches. The Tickfaw River rises in the State of Mississippi and empties into Lake Maurepas. North of the beginning of this survey the river is at low-water but a succession of pools, connected by ripples, over which in long droughts but little water flows, and its banks are high rolling pine woods land, or a bottom once washed out by the stream and heavily timbered, covered in freshets by the river.

Tbe survey was made by H. S. Douglas, assistant engineer. He began at the crossing of the Baton Rouge and Ponchatoula road, where the stream is 60 to 80 feet wide and 5 to 10 feet deep at low-water; but there are bars where but 3 feet is found. The first 6 miles, above Mr. Chapman's place, is so choked by old logs, snags, and trees blown in by the gale of September last, as to be almost impassable even for a skiff, and there is an almost continuous line of overhanging trees on one side or the other. On the fourth mile from the beginning is Whetmore Island, where the river divides, one part passing to the west of the island, having at its head much the largest crosssection, is entirely blocked by raft of sags, trees, and drift, and the other part, passing to eastward of the island for nearly a mile, is but 2 feet deep and less than 30 feet wide in places, and much obstructed by timber standing and fallen. This island and its two obstructed channels are probably the dam which makes the 4-mile pool above, and at low-water any improvement of these channels will probably draw off the water above; but below the island the character of the river changes to a tidal stream, with a current depending entirely on the tide, except at freshets.

From Chapman's place to Mr. Settoon's place is 4 miles, and, though the depth is Dowhere less than 4 feet and the width great enough, so that schooners or steamers could easily navigate it, they are entirely prevented by the great number of logs and the overhanging trees. Mr. Chapman made one cut-off many years ago, and attempted to make another one, but failed to turn the river through the second, and it can yet be easily closed and saves half a mile of river and 4 bends of 240° or more each, while his ent wonld give a long, straight reach. The first cut-off which he succeeded in making was an unimportant one, shortening the river so little as not to appreciably change the slope, and these, so far as could be learned, were the only attempts to interfere with the river. The banks are nowhere caving, and once cleared the channel would probably remain good. The bottom-land is so low that it is covered with every freshet, and is not liable to be cleared so as to form cut-offs; a growth of cane protects it from washing. The water is almost absolutely free from any earthy material in stuspension, but is colored to a dark coffee-color by cypress and gum. Mr. Settoon's place is now the head of navigation for schooners, which they find great difficulty in teaching from the great number of trees blown in by the September gale. There were many old snags and some overhanging trees forming obstructions before. Below this there is nowhere less than 9 feet depth in the channel; 8 miles below Settoon's Blood River enters from the north; it is but a tidal stream so far up as it is navigable (about 4 miles), and the width is 80 feet or more and the depth about 10 feet. There are many old spags and trees and some overhanging trees. "Bluffs touch the river sufficiently often to afford landing places. From the mouth of Blood River to the Natalbany is 6 miles, and from thence to Lake Maurepas is 2 miles. This distance has a channel fully 250 feet wide and a depth of 10 to 20 feet. The Natalbany enters from the north and is navigable to the town of Springfield, 10 miles above its junction with the Tickfaw. The depth is nowhere less than 10 feet in the channel, and it has a sufficient width to turn a schooner or steamer almost anywhere, but it is somewhat obstructed by snags, trees, and overhanging trees. The Ponchatoula River is the most easterly branch, and enters the Natalbany 4 miles above its junction with the Tickfaw. Except during freshets it is entirely supplied by tide-water, and rises and falls with the lake.

The survey of it began at the bridge on the Baton Rouge and Ponchatoula road, to which point there is sufficient width and depth for navigation, but the first 2 miles is unch obstructed by overhanging trees and by logs and trees in the water. Below Wadesborough there is now navigation for schooners, but the channel is much obstructed by overhanging trees, by trees blown in during the gale of September, and bş old logs and snags. Each of the three branches of the Tickfaw is of more commercial importance than the main stream, and removal of the obstructions will facilitate communication with New Orleans, and make it possible to use steamboats instead of schooners. Any increase in regularity and speed of the means of communication will promote settlement of the country and increase its commerce. The schooners now coming to these rivers during all the year (except the three or four dull months of summer) are about as follows:

Schooners

per week.

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To the Natalbany

4 To the Ponchatoula

3 To the Blood River

2 To the Tickfaw....

3 Besides the freight of these schooners, great quantities of hewn timber, spars, and sav-logs are floated out, and are to be included in the commerce of these rivers.

The depth of water, which depends entirely on the height of water in Lake Maurepas, is never so little as in the least to affect navigation, and there is at lowest water of a winter norther 7 feet of water over the bar at the mouth of the Tickfaw in the iake, but the bar at the mouth of Pass Manchac in Lake Pontchartrain bas but 6 feet depth, and at low tide, with a northwest wind, less than 5 feet. The entire commerce of these rivers, and the Amite and other rivers entering Lake Maurepas, must all pass this bar. No survey has been made of it, but from information given by captains of vessels passing there, I think it will require about 20,000 cubic yards of dredging to make a good channel. The available depth is said to be much less than it was previous to the breaking of the Bonnet Carre crevasse in 1874. Most of the water from that source now finds its way into Lake Maurepas, and from it alone comes the mud for a bar at the mouth of Pass Manchac, as all the rivers entering the lake are clearTater streams. The cost of dredging the 20,000 cubic yards will be about 25 cents per Fard, or $5,000 for the whole, if the information should prove correct as to its amount, and is nothing but dredging were required.

On the banks of the Tickfaw and each of its branches are many shell mounds which are kitchen refuse of some ancient race. The shells of these mounds are mostly the gnathodon clam, which is now found living in the lake below, and throughout the mounds are pieces of broken pottery and bones in small amount compared with the shells; but all bones of any size show marks of having been cooked and of having been split to get at the marrow. They are part animal-deer, &c.—and in part human bones. The mounds are like those found on all other rivers on this part of the coast. These shells would be of value if works were made to improve Lake Pontchartrain navigation. The improvement of the Tickfaw River far above the head of the present survey would open a country where are growing great forests of yellow pine, and afford means of floating it out; far less work would be necessary for this than for any purposes of navigation. In its present condition the upper river, even in highest water, cannot be used for rafting. From the head of the survey down to the Chapman place, closure of one fork at Whetmore Island, and removal of the snags and trees now may give the water of the next one or two high river seasons a chance to wash out one channel to an extent to make it navigable. It is quite probable that a little washing on the shoal places will show that they are really but sunken logs slightly covered with sand; and, if so, removal will at once make the river navigable to the head of the survey. Estimates for the improvements proposed will be as follows: Tickfaw River from head of survey at Van Buren place to Chapman's place, 6 miles, at $500

$3,000 Chapman's to Settoon's place, 4 miles, at $300

1,200 Settoon's to lake, 16 miles, at $100..

1,600 Blood River, 4 miles, at $100.. Natalbany and Ponchatoula Rivers, 154 miles, at $150.

2,325 Add for contingencies, &c., 20 per cent.

1,705

400

Total

10, 230 A chart of these rivers has been made on a scale of soto, showing all visible obstructions and character of the banks, soundings at low-water, &c. Yours, respectfully,

H, C. COLLINS,

Assistant Engineer. Maj. C. W. HOWELL,

Corps of Engineers, U. S. A.

EXAMINATION OF AMITE RIVER, LOUISIANA.

UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,

New Orleans, February 27, 1880. GENERAL: I have the honor to submit herewith report of Assistant Engineer H. S. Douglas of an examination of Amite River, Louisiana, provided for in act of Congress approved March 3, 1879.

Tracings of chart, drawn to a scale of you, will be forwarded in a separate package.

Recommendations of Mr. Douglas as to plan of improvement are given in his report, and are concurred in. His estimates are also approved, and can be expended to advantage on the work during the ensuing fiscal year, viz, $23,760.

I am unable to furnish valuable information concerning the commercial importance of the work other than that given in the report of Mr. Douglas. The work is not susceptible of permanent completion.

It is located in the collection district of New Orleans. The nearest light-house is at the mouth of Pass Manchac, between Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. W. HOWELL,

Major of Engineers. Brig. Gen. H. G. WRIGHT,

Chief of Engineers, U. S. A.

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