1st Session.

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unojnƐ izvidosreogoT erit moût hoger s Enclosing communications from the Secretary of War, respecting addi tional estimates of appropriations required for that Department lim sati ue to bomeeb saw nolegos

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Read, and committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union 1

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SIR: I have the honor to transmit, for the consideration of the House of lepresentatives, the enclosed communications from the Secretary of War especting additional estimates of appropriations required by that Depart


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DEPARTMENT OF War, July 3, 1841.

SIR: The accompanying estimate of the Paymaster General, for $9,500, hich is necessary in addition to the amount for arrearages due to Georgia ilitia, contained in the estimates heretofore submitted, is enclosed for ur information and transmission to Congress. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Secretary of the Treasury.



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PAYMASTER GENERAL'S OFFICE, June 24, 1841. SIR: It appears from the muster rolls of the four companies of Georgia litia, just received by the Adjutant General, that they were not discharg from service as soon as was contemplated when the estimates were sub

mitted to Congress for their payment; and that it will require $9,500, in addition to the sum already called for, to pay them; making the whole amount for those four companies $78,495 92.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Paymaster General.


Secretary of War.

DEFARTMENT OF WAB, July 9, 1841.

Sin: I have the honor to transmit, herewith, to be laid before Congress, a report from the Topographical Bureau, including an estimate of $30,000 for the expenses of a survey of the delta of the Mississippi, with a view to its military defences.

This appropriation was deemed of sufficient importance to have formed a part of the regular estimate sent in at the beginning of the present session, but was inadvertently omitted. It is highly desirable that it should be made to accompany the additional estimates for fortifications, as the preliminary surveys are indispensable to the construction of the works. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,



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Sa: The application of Col. Totten, Chief of the Corps of Engineers, of the 29th ultimo, and referred to this office, is made by virtue of the 884th paragraph, page 160, of the "General Regulations of the Army."

The object of the application is, that, as soon as the season wil lpermit, a complete military survey and examination should be made "of all the country from the southeastern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, to the passes leading to the city of New Orleans by the way of Barrataria bay and Ouacha Lake."

Having had a conversation with Col. Totten, I find that his application covers all the country embraced in the annexed sketch. He does not desire an accurate survey, but a minute military reconnoissance of the whole. Your directions are that I should submit an estimate of the probable expense which the duty will occasion, and a statement of the means at the disposal of this bureau for such purposes.

1st. Of the estimate.

To make the survey required will involve a careful examination of the artent and character of all the swamps, and of all the hard land. All the water passes will likewise have to be carefully examined, in reference to length, breadth, and depth. To make an estimate for such a survey, requires accurate general knowledge of the peculiarities of the country. The maps are so defective in details, and the surveys heretofore made of that

region are so limited, that this knowledge is not to be obtained from those C sources, and, as it is not possessed by individuals, the means for making a reasonable approximation to an accurate estimate are not at hand. The whole country will have to be explored, and the extent of the surveys required can be ascertained only as the swamps, water-courses, and bayous are discovered.

The annexed sketch is taken from one of the latest and most authentic maps of that country, and yet it is well known that there are many waterpasses and bayous by which an enemy could approach New Orleans, not indicated on that map, and that the peculiarities of others are comparatively unknown.

The work will probably occupy some eight or ten officers during one season, and can be commenced in the month of November next. Each officer will require a boat with four hands, from which the daily expense of each can be inferred. Taking the expense of the boat and appurtenances at one dollar, and the hire and support of a hand at one dollar and a half per day, it will make the least expense for the employ of one officer, seven dollars per day. If ten are employed upon the duty, it will be seventy dollars per day; then adding for all other contingencies twenty dollars, the total daily expense for ten officers will be ninety dollars per day, which is in my judgment the least amount that can be stated, with any probability of accuracy. The aggregate cost cannot be given, because it will depend upon the quantity of work to be done; and this, as before remarked, cannot be stated, because the country is so little known. This aggregate, however, is entirely independent of the number of officers employed; if that number be less than ten, more days will be required in the execution of the duty; if it be greater, then the duty can be done in a proportionally less time.

The exact number which can be assigned to the duty will depend upon other employments of the corps at the time; but, being aware of the importance of the examination now applied for, and of the anxiety to possess the results as early as possible, every effort will be made to assign every available officer to the work.

2d. Of the means at the disposal of the bureau for such purposes.

Upon this point I am obliged to say that the bureau is entirely destitute of funds. Appropriate estimates have been submitted, and explanations were duly made by the War Department, of the necessity that appropriations should be granted for military surveys and examinations. But the appropriations were not obtained, and the balances of those formerly granted being exhausted, there are are in consequence now no funds applicable to such objects.

While upon this matter, allow me also to state that there are three other applications from Col. Totten for military surveys which received the approbation of the War Department, and were transmitted long since to this bureau for execution, agreeably to the regulation before referred to, but which remain to this day unattended to from the same cause, want of funds. 'These applications were for additional surveys of Soller's flats, on the Patapsco river; for surveys in the vicinity of Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and for surveys in the vicinity of the Delaware breakwater, in anticipation of the fortifications contemplated to be erected at those several localities. I have also understood that other surveys are wanted, for similar purposes, in reference to which the prescribed application has been delayed, because of

the knowledge that, as there were no funds for such objects, the duty could not be performed.

Under these circumstances, I know of no other course, than to submit an estimate to your consideration, which, if approved, might be laid before Congress. The subject is one of pressing necessity, and intimately connected with the defence of the country.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

Hon. JOHN BELL, Secretary of War.

J. J. ABERT, Col. Corps Top. Eng.


For surveys in reference to the military defences of the frontier,

inland and Atlantic


J. J. ABERT, Col. Corps Top. Eng.

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