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1. A buoy, or, far better, a boat-buoy, with a heavy bell, just outside the bar, in eight and three-quarters fathoms, soft bottom, with Sand Island light-house bearing north 22° west, and distant from the bar one mile. A buoy is necessary at this place at all times, but much more so during the thick, hazy, and foggy weather, prevailing nearly through the most active season, when a bell would be of great benefit.
2. A buoy off the south end of West Bank, in twenty-five feet water, with Sand Ísland light-house bearing south 11° 30' west, distant 1.78 mile, on a range of Mobile light-house, on West Umbrella Tree. • 3. A buoy off the north end of West Bank, in forty-eight feet water, with buoy 2 bearing south 11° 30' west, in range with Sand Island light-house, distant 1.68 mile, and Mobile light-house bearing south 55° 30' east, distant 1 mile. The line joining buoys Nos. 2 and 3 will clear West Bank. • 4. A buoy off the southwest end of Middle Ground, in twenty-five feet water, with Mobile light-house bearing south 28° 30' east, distant 1.66 mile. - 5. A buoy on the northeast edge of West Bank, opposite to the southeast end of the Middle Ground, with buoy 4 bearing south 42° 30' east, distant 1.82 mile. The line joining buoys Nos. 3 and 5 will clear the northeast edge of West Bank. . 6. A buoy on the twelve-feet spot (northeast end) of the Middle: Ground.
7. A buoy on the southwest point of the spit, in nine feet water. - These buoys should be large, and of such construction as to be seen some distance; and of such form, and so colored, as to be known when seen in foggy weather, and to point out on which side they are to be passed. The system adopted for this purpose should be based upon the principles proposed by the late Lieutenant G. M. Bache, United States navy, in a report upon the buoys of Long Island sound.
Beacons–Entrance to Mobile Bay.
1. A beacon on Sand island, with the light-house bearing north 220 west, distant 245 feet. To cross the bar with beacon on the lighthouse.
2. A beacon on Sand island, with light-house bearing south 33° west, distant 145 feet, and beacon 1 bearing south 11° west, distant 250 feet, so that beacon 2, in range of beacon 1, shall clear the west bank.
3. A beacon on Revenue point, the south end of east bank. This beacon would bear nearly the same relation to this entrance that the "Rower beacon" bears to that of New York.
4. A beacon on Mobile point, with the light-house bearing south 34° east, distant 140 feet, near the water, and on the range of the black barrel over the chimney of the frame-house on middle of light-bouse; to lead through the channel between the southwest point of the Middle Ground and northeast edge of West Bank.
5. A beacon on Mobile point, with the light-house bearing north 469
beard bear nearly that of New Yorkot-house bearing smut black
E lashing and fixed lighted lights, and beac
ire more expensive.
30' east, distant — feet; and beacon 4 bearing north 16° 30' east, distant 240 feet; so that beacon 5, on beacon 4, shall clear east bank, and beacon 5, on light-house, shall lead into the east end of Sand Island channel.
I would propose that beacons 1 and 4 have red lights, and beacons 2 and 5 white lights. Flashing and fixed lights would do better, but are more expensive. It would not be necessary to light beacon 3, and it would be an advantage.
It would not be required to see these beacons more than three-anda-half miles; therefore, arcs of single reflectors (or, better, the Argand burner, with a single wick) would be sufficient; and they need not be over twelve or fifteen feet in height, made strongly, of rough wood.
Beacons 2, 3, and 5 should be black; beacon 2, because it would show against the sky, and to distinguish it from beacon 1, (as in red and white lights, flashed, &c.;) beacon 3, because it shows against the sky; beacon 5, because it shows against the sky, and to distinguish it from beacon 4. Red would probably be a better color than black. Beacon 1 should be black (or red) on the southeast side, as it would show against the white of Sand Ísland light-house, and white on the north side, to distinguish it from beacon 2. Beacon 4 should be white, as it would show against the green glacis of the fort, and to distinguish it from beacon 5. These beacons could be re-erected and kept lighted at a small expense, and no additional assistance would be required to the light-house keepers to keep them up. A buoy on the northwest end of the northwest Pelican shoal, and a beacon on Dauphin island, so placed that a bearing upon it would be the course into Pelican pass from outside, would be very useful to the mail-steamboats between New Orleans and Mobile during the winter months, when the north winds prevail, and the water is too low for them to use Grant's pass, the inside route.
At present the marks for this entrance are very inferior; those for the West Bank can scarcely be called such at all; and the mark leading through between the Middle Grounds and the northeast edge of West Bank is of the rudest kind, small, and during hazy weather can scarcely be seen, except with the sun to the westward. In foggy or thick weather, though knowing themselves off the bar, from the soundings and bottom, yet these cannot give their position with sufficient accuracy to allow the pilots to cross the bar, which a bell-buoy would enable them to do with great ease. The entrance to this bay, through which passes a yearly commerce of twenty millions, has no other marks or safeguards than the two light-houses, which are very inferior to the third order of French lights.
I would therefore respectfully urge the great necessity of calling the early attention of the department to these buoys and beacons.
I will merely state, that during the past year $40,000 worth of property has been lost on or near the bar, and $20,000 and upwards has been paid for salvage; and this, in the opinion of all, for want of good marks to clear the dangers.
These amounts I will forward as soon as they are obtained from the agent of the underwriters at Mobile, who promised to forward them to me. The precise amount of loss and salvage, however, is over $60,000. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. P. PATTERSON, Lieutenant Commanding, and Assistant Coast Survey. Professor A. D. BACHE,
Superintendent United States Coast Survey.
APPENDIX No. 36. Report of Lieutenant Commanding C. P. Patterson, United States navy, to
the Superintendent of the Coast Survey, on buoys for Cat and Ship Island harbors.
Coast SURVEY OFFICE,
Washington, August 20, 1851. Sir: The following report upon the location, &c., of buoys for Cat and Ship Island harbors is respectfully submitted:
1. A buoy just outside of Ship Island bar, in twenty-three feet water, hard, sandy bottom, with the west end of Ship island bearing north 539 east, to cross the bar in that course.
2. A buoy off the east end of Spade-fish shoal, (off north spit of Cat island,) in sixteen feet water, soft bottom, with Cat Island light-house just on with north point of north spit.
3. A buoy on northeast edge of Cat Island bar, with the west end of Ship island bearing north 66° east, distant six miles, south end of south spit of Cat island bearing north 71° west, distant two and a half miles; and Sand Hill bearing north 50 west.
4. A buoy at the southeast end of Cat Island channel, in eighteen feet water, soft bottom, with south end of south spit bearing 11° 30' west, distant one and a half mile; so that a course of south 71° west, distant two and one-fifth miles, between beacons 3 and 4, shall lead through the channel over the bar.
5. A buoy on the north side of Cat Island channel, near the northwest end of the mud-hole, eighteen feet water, hard bottom, with the south point of south spit bearing north 73° east, distant one and one-third mile; and Cat Island light-house bearing north 36° west, distant four miles.
6. A buoy off Potato Hill, with Cat Island light-house bearing north 5° west, distant two and a half miles. This buoy should be placed off the southwest point of Potato Hill, in eighteen feet water.
7. A buoy off the east end of Pistol shoal, in eighteen feet water, with Cat Island light-house bearing north 24° west, distant two and twothirds miles; and the northwest point of Isle au Pied bearing south 420 east, distant one and two-thirds mile.
8. A buoy off the north edge of Pistol shoal, in sixteen feet water, with Cat Island light-house bearing north 52° east, distant three miles; and buoy No. 7 bearing south 71° east, distant one and a half mile.
9. A buoy off the west end of Pistol shoal, in eighteen feet water, with Cat Island light-house bearing north 52° east, distant four and a half miles; and buoy No. 8 bearing north 700 east, distant one and a half mile.
The want of land-marks makes the necessity of so great a number of buoys.
The increasing commerce of the coast will, in time, demand greater facilities for navigation, in several beacons and an increased number of buoys; but the buoys named above are deemed sufficient for present purposes.
The importance of the channel south of Cat island, through which a large portion of the smaller trade to and from New Orleans must pass, and of Ship Island harbor, as one of refuge, will be strongly felt as this trade increases, which it is rapidly doing. Very respectfully, yours,
C. P. PATTERSON, Lieutenant Commanding, and Assistunt Coast Survey. · Prof. A. D. BACHE,
APPENDIX No. 37. Letter of the Superintendent of the Coast Survey to James E. Saunders, Esq., of Mobile, communicating sailing directions for Horn Island pass..
U. S. Coast SURVEY OFFICE,
Washington, May 27, 1851. DEAR SIR: Upon the receipt of your communication of March 21st, I addressed letters on the subject to the assistants engaged on the Coast Survey in the locality embraced in your inquiries. Answers to those letters I have just received, and with pleasure communicate to you such information as the operations of the Coast Survey enable me to furnish. I wish that that information was more definite; but the hydrographical survey of Mississippi sound is as yet incomplete, and that at Grand bay has not yet been commenced. When the latter is made, it is possible, though not probable, that better water may be discovered in that bay than indicated by present information.
To pass through Horn Island pass, bring Round Island light-house to range about 150 yards over the east end of Horn island, and the woods on Petit Bois island to bear E. N. There are here about four fathoms of water, whence a north course will take a vessel over the bar in not less than fourteen feet water, passing close to the spit of Horn island, (within 100 yards,) after passing three-quarters of a mile inside of Horn island, or until Round Island light-house bears WNW., stand east, (to avoid the shoal of La Grande Batture,) until the west end of Grand Batture island bears about N. by W. Along this line there are from eighteen to twenty feet water. A NNE. course will then take a vessel to the mouth of Grand bay; or a direct course may be made for Point aux Pines, until opposite the mouth of Grand bay, (the water gradually shoaling to eleven feet,) which lies between two spits, (bare at low water,) and is about three hundred yards in width. Across the bar, at the entrance
of Grand bay, nine feet water can be carried at high tide. Inside of the bar the water suddenly deepens to four fathoms, and thence gradually shoals to the mouth of Heron bayou, which, I presume, is the “ creek” to which you refer. At the mouth of the bayou there are three feet at high water; but a continuous strong north wind will so depress the water in the bay as, at such times, to leave the mouth of the bayou bare at low water. There is no bar of hard bottom at its mouth, the whole being a muddy flat, through which scarcely any appearance of a channel can be traced.
There is no difficulty or danger in the navigation to the eastward of Grand Batture shoal, the bottom being smooth and even, (soft mud,) and shoaling gradually to “ Isle aux Herbes.” In beating against a hard wind between Grand Batture shoal and Petit Bois island, the lead will always indicate an approach to the shoal, which is of hard mud, wbile the bottom is elsewhere soft and sticky.
I trust that the preceding conveys the information sought by your inquiries, and shall be gratified if it prove to be of any service to you.
Yours, respectfully, &c.,
A. D. BACHE,
Superintendent United States Coast Survey. JAMES E. SAUNDERS, Esq., Mobile.
APPENDIX No. 38.
Report of the Superintendent of the Coast Survey to the Secretary of the
Treasury on light-houses in Galveston bay, with a report of Lieutenant Commanding Craven, United States nary, assistant in coast survey.
Coast SURVEY OFFICE, June 17, 1851. SIR: I have the honor to report in relation to the light-houses in Galveston bay, for which appropriations are made in the act of March 3, 1851, and in relation to which preliminary surveys have been required by the department. The lights are numbered 30, in the lists heretofore transmitted, and renewed in my communication of the 13th instant.
The three proposed lights are required for the navigation of Galveston bay; and their relation to each other is shown on the annexed chart by the positions marked “Half-Moon shoal," "Red Fish bar,” and “Clopper's bar.” The detailed charts show the locations more particularly of the lights at Clopper's bar and Red Fish bar, and the character of the navigation of the bay, the purposes of which they are to subserve. For details in regard to the lights I refer to the report of Lieutenant Commanding T. A. M. Craven, United States navy, assistant in the coast survey, which accompanies this report.
I concur with Lieutenant Craven in recommending a light-house as placed on the chart, at Clopper's bar; also in recommending a lighthouse placed as on the chart, at Red Fish bar. I am of opinion that the sites at Red Fish bar and at Half-Moon shoal should each be examined by a competent engineer, in reference to the doubts expressed by Lieutenant Craven as to the stability of the foundation, or that an ade