« ForrigeFortsett »
izi g areasies to be held with t e remote tripes on the Missouri by Commissioners to be appointed by the President, and to be accompanied by a military escort. The Commissioners have been appointed, (General Atkinson and Major O'Fallon, the Agent on the Missouri,) and measures adopted to carry the provisions of the act into effect as soon in the spring as the sea. son will admit. It is believed that much good will result from the measure, by giving increased security to our citizens and trade in that remote region ; but it is feared that nothing short of permanent military posts will afford complete security to either: The appropriation of the sum of $10,000, annually, for the civilization of the Indians, is producing very beneficial effects, by improving the condition of the various tribes in our neighborhood. Already 32 schools are es tablished in the Indian nations, and, for the most part, are well conducted, in which, during the present year, 916 youths of both sexes have been instructed in reading, writing, arithmetic, and all of the ordinary occupations of life. So large a body of well instructed youths, of whom several hundred will annually return to their homes, cannot fail to effect a beneficial change in the condition of this unhappy race. The acts making appropriation for the repairs of Plymouth beach, the improvement of the entrance into the harbor of Presqu' Isle, on Lake Erie, and of the navigation of the Ohio and Mississippi, claimed the early attention of the Department. The execution of the two first of these works, was placed under the superintendence of officers of the corps of engineers. The first is nearly completed, and preparatory arrangements have been made for the early execution of the second. An officer, also, of the corps, was assigned to the execution of the act for the improvement of the navigation of the Ohio, so far as it, authorized an experiment to be made in removing the sand bars, which obstructed the navigation of that river. The officer was prepared to make the experiment, but the river remained too full, during the Fall, for a fai" trial. Under the other provisions of the act directing measures to be taken to remove the snags, sawyers, and planters, which obstruct the navigation of the Ohio and Mississip: pi, a contract has been formed, with a gentleman experienced in their navigation, to free both of those rivers from all such obstructions, in conformity with the provisions of the act, for the sum of $60,000, to be paid on the execution of the work. In the contract it is stipulated, that it shall be executed under the superintendence and inspection of an officer of the Corps of Engineers. In order to carry into effect the act of Congress, of the 30th April last, authorizing the President “to cause the necessary surveys, plans, and estimates, to be made, of the routes of such roads and canals, as he may deem of national importance in a commercial or military point of view, or necessary to the transportation of the public mail,” a board was constituted, consisting of General Bernard and Colonel Totten, of thc Engineer Corps, and John L. Sullivan, an experienced civil Engineer. It be came necessary, in giving orders to the board, under the act, to determine what routes for roads and canals were of “national importance,” in the views contemplated by the act; as such only as the President might deem to be of that description were authorized to be examined and surveyed. In deciding this point, it became necessary to advert to our political system, in its distribution of powers and duties between the general and the state Governments. In thus regarding our system, it was conceived that all of those routes of roads and canals, which might be fairly considered as falling within the province of any particular state, however useful they might be in a cominercial or political view, or, to the transportation of the mail, were excluded from the provisions of the act. The states have important duties to perform, in facilitating, by means of roads and canals,
commercial and political intercourse among their r. zens; and within the spheres of these duties, they are more competent to act than the General Government, and there can be no rational doubt, but that, as the to pulation and capital of the several states increase, ther powerful means of developing their resources will:ceive from their respective Legislatures due attent.” But as numerous as this class of improvement is, and portant as it may be to the General Government, in • discharge of the various dutfes confided by the const tion to it, there are other improvements, not comy: hended in it, of a more general character, which -more essentially connected with the performance of “ duties, while they are less intimately connected w . those belonging to the state governments, and less wo in their power of execution. It is believed that “. class, and this only, was comprehended in the provision of the act. In projecting the surveys in this view to ". subject, the whole Union must be considered as one,” the attention directed, not to those roads and car." which may facilitate intercourse between parts of or same state,but to those which may bind all of the parts” gether, and the whole with the centre, thereby facio ting commerce and intercourse among the states, * enabling the government to disseminate proof" through the mail, information to every part, and two tend protection to the whole. By extending those to : ciples, the line of cominunication by roads and co o through the states, the General Government, instea. interfering with the state governments within to proper spheres of action, will afford (particult: " those states situated in the interior,) the only mean: perfecting improvements of similar description, who properly belong to them. These principles being fixed, it only remained too ply them to our actual geographical position, to deo mine what particular routes were of “national im, tance,” and which, accordingly, the board should be rected to examine, in order to cause surveys, plans arl estimates, to be prepared, as directed by the act. The first and most important, was conceived to be” route for a canal extending from the seat of governo". by the Potomac, to the Ohio river, and thence to Lo Erie; and, accordingly, as soon as the board was oro zed, it was ordered to examine and cause this impurroute to be surveyed. Dr. William Howard and Mr. Jo" Shriver, both of whom were well acquainted wo. localities of the route, were associated as assistants” the board. Two topographical brigades (all that ce.” be spared from the survey of the coast, for the purs: of fortification,) and one brigade of surveyors, unde: Mr. Shriver, were placed under the orders of the board. The examination of the route was completed into tember; but the survey will not be finished till the * season. That part of it, however, which is most" esting, the section of the summit level of the Allego; including its eastern slope, is completed, which hoped, will enable the board to determine, during present winter, on the practicability of the pro Should it prove practicable, its execution would be "..." calculable advantage to the country. It would bino gether, by the strongest bond of common intereo." security, a very large portion of this Union; but, in *" fully to realise its “importance in a national pool. view,” it will be necessary to advert to some of the more striking geographical features of our country. The United States may be considered, in a geog". cal point of view, as consisting of three distinct poo." which the portion extending along the shores of the wo lantic, and back to the Alleghany mountains, constitut” one ; that lying on the Lakes and the St. Lawreno". ther; and that watered by the Mississippi, including o various branches, the other. These several poro". very distinctly marked by well defined lines, ando naturally but little connexion, particularly in * * 18th CoNo Ress, 2: SEssiox.
Documents accompanying the President’s Message.
[Sen. and H. of R.
ria, point of view. It is only by artificial means of commanication that this natural separation can be overcome; to effect which much has already been done. The great "anal of New-York firmly unites the country of the Lakes with the Atlantic through the channel of the North Riter; and the National Road from Cumberland to Wheelng, commenced under the administration of Mr. Jeffer. on, unites, but more imperfectly, the Western with the Atlantic states. But the complete union of these sepaate parts, which, geographically, constitute our country, an only be efiected by the completion of the projected anal to the Ohio and Lake Erie, by means of which the owntry lying on the Lakes will be firmly united to that in the Western waters, and both with the Atlantic states, ind the whole intimately connected with the centre. These considerations, of themselves, without taking into iew others, fairly bring this great work within the proision of the act directing the surveys; but, when we Xtend our views, and consider the Ohio and the Missisippi, with its great branches, but as a prolongation of he canal, it must be admitted to be not only of national mportance, but of the very highest national importance, na commercial, military,and political point of view. Thus onsidered.it involves the completion ofthe improvements of the navigation of both of these rivers, which has been ommenced under the appropriation of the last session of Congress; and, also, canals round the fails of the Ohio st Louisville, and Muscle Shoals on the Tennessee river; oth cf which, it is believed, can be executed at a modeate expense. With these improvements, the projected anal would not only unite the three great sections of he country together, as has been pointed out, but would lso unite, in the most intimate manner, all of the states in the Lakes and the Western waters among themselves, ind give complete effect to whatever improvement may e made by those states individually. The advantages, a fact, from the completion of this single work, as pro
osed, would be so extended and ramified throughout hose great divisions of our country, already containing 9 large a portion of our population, and destined, in a ew generations, to out-number the most populous states f Europe, as to leave in that quarter no other work for he execution of the general government, excepting ony the extension of Cumberland road from Wheeling to it. Louis, which is also conceived to be of “national imYortance.” . The route which is deemed next in importance in a naional point of view, is the one extending through the intire tier of the Atlantic states, including those on the Gult of Mexico. By adverting to the division of our 'ountry, through which this route must pass, it will be een that there is a striking difference in geographical eatures between the portions which extend south and worth of the general government, including the CinesaPeake bay, with its various arms, in the latter division. in the northern part of the division, all of the great rivers erminate in deep and bold navigable estuaries, while an opposite character distinguishes the mouths of the rivers i in the other. This difference gives greater advantage to improvement, hy canal, in the northern, and less in the
ford a prompt, cheap, and safe communication between all of the states north of the seat of government, and greatly facilitate their communication with the centre of the Union. The states of New Itampshire and Maine, though lying beyond the point where these improve. ments would terminate, would not, on that account, less participate in the advantages, as they are no less interest. ed than Massachusetts herself, in avoiding the long and dangerous pass; ge round Cape Cod, which would be effected by the union of Barnstable with Buzzard's bay. In the section lying south of this, none of these advantages for communication by canals exist. A line of inland navigation extends, it is true, along nearly the whole line of coasts which is susceptible of improvement, and may be rendered highly serviceable, particularly in war, and on that account may be fairly considered of “national importance.” The Dismal Swamp canal, from the Chesapeake bay to Albemarle Sound, which is nearly completed, constitutes a very important link in this navigation. But it is conceived that, for the southern division of our country, the improvement which would best effect the views of Congress, would be a durable road, extending from the seat of government to New Orleans, through the Atlantic states; and the Board will accordingly receive instructions to examine the route as soon as the next season will permit. The completion of this work, and the line of canals to the North, would unite the several Atlantic states, in
|cluding those on the Gulf, in a strong bond of union,
and connect the whole with the centre, which would also be united, as has been shown, with those on the Lakes and the Western waters, by the improvement projected in that quarter. These three great works, then, the canal to Ohio and Lake Erie, with the improvement of the navigation of the Ohio, Mississippi, and the canal round the Muscle Shoal; the series of canals connecting the bays north of the Seat of Government, and a durable road extending from the Seat of Government to New Orleans, uniting the whole of the Southern Atlantic States, are conceived to be the most important objects within the provisions of the act of the last session. The beneficial effects which would flow from such a system of improvement would extend directly and immediately to every state in the Union; and the expenditure that would be required for its completion, would bear a fair proportion to the wealth and population of the several sections of country, at least, as they will stand a few years hence. When completed, it would greatly facilitate commerce and intercourse among the states, while it would afford to the government the means of transmitting information through the mail promptly to every part, and of giving effectual protection to every portion of our widely extended country. There are several other routes which, though not essential to the system, are deemed of great importance in
a commercial and military point of view, and which the
board will receive instructions to examine. Among these, the most prominent is the connexion, wherever it may prove practicable, of the Eastern and
southern, division. In the former, it is conceived to be of Western waters, through the principal rivers discharging high national importance to unite its deep and capacious themselves into the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico; for bays by a series of canals; and the Board was according- |example, the Alabama and Savannah rivers with the y instructed to examine the routes for canals between the |Tennessee, James river with the Kenhawa, and the Sus
Delaware and the Rariton, between Barnstable and Buzord's bays, and Boston harbor and Narraganset bay. The execution of the very important link in this line of communication between the Delaware and the Chesapeake, having been already commenced, was not como the order. These orders will be executed by the Board before the termination of the season. The important results which would follow from the completion of this chain, in a commercial, military, and political Pont of view, are so striking, that they need not be dwelt on. It would, at all times, in peace and war, af.
quehannah with the Alleghany; which last will be more particularly adverted to in a subsequent part of the report. To these, we may add, the route from Lake Champlain to the St. Lawrence, and from the river St. John, across Florida Neck, to the Gulf of Mexico. They are both deemed important; but the latter particularly so. Should it prove practicable, its beneficial effects would be great, comprehensible, and durable. The whole of the Atlantic and Western states would deeply partake in its advantages. Besides the facility of intercourse which it would afford between those soates, but
18th o Documents accompanying the President’s Message. [Sen. and H. of I
trade with Mexico, Guatumala, and the central parts of the continent, would not only be greatly facilitated, but rendered much more secure. The board have, besides those already mentioned, examined, in conjunction with Pennsylvania Commissioners, a route for a canal from the Allegany to the Susquehannah. In addition to the importance of this route to a large portion of the West, and the state of Pennsylvania, it was thought to possess other and strong claims on the attention of the government. It is believed to be one of the most promising routes to cross the Allegany by a canal communication, and should that by the Potomac prove impracticable, it might afford the means of effect. ing the great object intended by the canal projected by that route. When the various routes to which I have referred are examined and surveyed, and plans and estimates formed, in conformity with the directions of the act, it will present so full a view of the whole subject, as will enable Congress to commence and complete such a system of internal improvement as it may deem proper, with the greatest possible advantage. In conclusion, I have to remark, that experience has shown, that the Corps of Engineers is too small to perform the various duties which are assigned to it. Its duties have been more than trebled since its establishment, and are increasing every year. During the present year much inconvenience has been experienced for the want of a sufficient number of officers, notwithstanding every officer of the corps has been on active duty during the season. I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant, J. C. CALHOUN. To the President of the U. States.
LIST OF DOCUMENTS, Transmitted from the War Department to the President, to accompany his Message to Congress. A. Report of Major General Brown, concerning the organization, distribution, and disbursements of the Army. B. Report of the Quartermaster General. C. Report of the Commissary General of Subsistence. D. Report of the Paymaster General. E. Report of the Surgeon General. F. Report of the Commissary General of Purchases. G. Report of the Engineer Department, with report of the Board of Visiters on the state of the Military Academy. H. Report of the Ordnance Department. I. Statement concerning Pensions. J. Statements of Bounty Lands. K. Statement of Indian Affairs.
[These papers furnish the details, the general result of which appears in the preceding report. The two following are selected as being apparently the most important.]
A. HEAD QUARTEns of the Anxty,
Mashington 20th Mor. 1824.
Srn : , Agreeably to your instructions of the 1st inst. I have the honor to lay before you the Returns and Statements following, viz: A. A Statement of the Organization of the Army, agreeably to the act of Congress of 2d March, 1821. B. A Return of the Strength of the Army, from the last regimental and other returns, received at I lead Quarters. C. A Return shewing the Distribution of the Troops in the Eartern Department. r’. A Return shewing the Distribution of the Troops in the Western Department,
'ginable cause for the prevalency of desertion. "
E. A Statement showing the number of men enliste the amount of money advanced for the purpos of recruiting, and the amount for which recrui ing accounts have been rendered for settlemen from 1st Oct. 1823, to 30th Sept. 1824. By statement E, it will be seen, that $5224 87 m mains unexpended in the hands of recruiting officer This sum is now in a course of application to the r cruiting service, and ther is no doubt, from the pron, titude and correctness of the recruiting officers, that will, when the proper time arrives, be regularly a counted for. Brevet Major General Gaines is just completing ato of inspection, embracing the posts on the upper an lower Lakes; but his report has not been received. During the early part of the year, a tour of inspecto was performed by Brevet Major General Scott, embro ing the posts on the Florida Gulf and Mississippi rod commencing at Fort St. Philip, below New Orleans, as terminating at Fort St. Anthony. During the months of March, April, and May, Colone Wool inspected all the posts on the Atlantic coast, * tween Savannah, Geo. and Portsmouth, N H. 1) to the months of June, July, and August, he inspected a posts of Sackett's Harbor, Niagara, Detroit, Saul, so Marie, and Green Bay. Colonel Archer has inspected the posts of Bo Rouge, New Orleans, Fort St. Philip, Petite Coqo a Pensacola, and all the Posts on the Atlantic frontier, so tween Washington City and Fort Sullivan, Me, includo the National Armory, at Springfield, Mass. The Reports of Inspections, performed by the 'o' manding Officers of Artillery regiments, are not yet o ceived. -- a The general condition of the army, the state of its” cipline, administration, &c. are as favorable as could ". expected. The infantry regiments have perhaps to ed as much excellence as is compatible with the o dispersion which naturally grows out of the physical” lations of the country, and the exigencies of the punk service. In the artillery regiments, an important acco sion of scientific and experimental knowledge is to be o pected from the school of practice, which has gone in operation at Fortress Monroe. In addition to the intelligence which I have above?"; sented, in obedience to your instructions, I have o proper to submit, for your consideration, some reflec tions upon a subject connected, in the most into manner, with the welfare of the army, I mean the evil" desertion—an evil which has grown to a serious mas" tude, and exerts an unhappy influence upon the no rical force and efficiency of the army, upon its moral to racter, and upon the fund appropriated by the go" ment for its support. Its effect upon the numero force and efficiency of the army is, by withdraw: from the ranks a large number of men, of whom olo greater part succeed in eluding the vigilance of pus" and the residue are devoted to hard labor and impro ment in the garrison, which are the highest peo" awarded to the crime; in either case their servico" soldiers are lost to the army. Its effect upon the o character of the army is, to degrade the spirit" of profession by relaxing its moral ties, and by mergio": infamy of the crime in the multiplication of exampo. its effect upon the fund appropriated to the suppo" the army is, by increasing the expenditure of "" o cruiting service, from the necessity of keeping to of the army full, by providing a recruit, at a o: expense, to supply the place of every desert* * eludes apprehension. The comforts which the soldier enjoys from t provision of the government, his exemption from * ich bitrary restraint, and the mildness and regularity"."
distinguish the administration of the army, leave . o
St. Congress, 2 2d Session. 5
Documents accompanying the President’s Message. [Sen. and H. of R.
adequacy of the punishment annexed to it by law. In ime of war, it is suppressed by the infliction of capital unishment; but it has not be n customary to inflict the
entence of death upon deserters in time of peace. Be
re the late war, punishment by stripes operated as a artial, if not an efficient, restraint; but this mode of anishment was abolished by law, at a time when it was eemed necessary, in order to engage individuals of repectable connexions and elevated spirit, to enter the ulks, to expunge from the government of the army very feature which was repugnant to the moral elevaon of man. It has been my opinion that it would be ome necessary, if the government should continue to nlistinto the army foreigners, who have generally been ccustoned to the lash, and cannot easily be governed lithout it to revive, by law, the punishment by stripes, nder the discretion of courts martial; but, as you have onsented to the prohibition of their enlistment, it is at ast due to the character of our native soldiery, to make further experiment to govern them without resorting expedients which are not altogether in harmony with he genius of our institutions or the spirit of the age. Experience having proved that the established system spunishment is inadequate to the suppression of the time, and that it is vain to rely altogether upon the inuence of moral obligation, I can conceive no other mode f securing the fidelity of the soldier than by creating an rtificial interest, which will bind him to the service. With a view to this object, I would recommend that proision be made, by law, to retain a portion of his smonth
* pay in the hands of the Government, until the expira
on of his term of enlistment, and to make an honorable ischarge the condition of its payment. The smallest ortion which I would advise to be retained is one dolor per month, and the largest portion two dollars. A um smaller than the former would be inadequate to prouce in the soldier the necessary interest, and a sum arger than the latter would make too serious an inroad pon his comforts. Assuming the medium, one dollar nd fifty cents, as the proper standard, let us examine * influence upon the army and the public treasures. it the expiration of his first year's service, every soldier "ould have in the possession of the Government eighton dollars; at the end of the second year, thirty-six ollars; and at the expiration of his term of enlistment, "nety dollars. The regular monthly increase of the um in expectancy, would be a constantly increasing *ive to a faithful performance of his duties; and he ould be confirmed in his course of fidelity and obeHence to the laws, by the consideration that an honora* discharge wouia put him in possession of a sum suf. onent to sustain him in transferring his industry, if he hould think proper, to a new pursuit. . In the mean* if he should desert, the sum retained from his pay *ld, in some cases, be sufficient, and in all cases go *towards enabling the Government to provide a re** to supply his place. Thus, the expense of filling *ancies occasioned by a violation of the laws, would *cipally fall, as in justice it ought, upon the offenders
‘mselves, and not upon the public, against which the "ence is committed.
The more i reflect upon this subject, the more firmly *" strengthened in the conviction that the frequency **sertion will be materially abridged by the measure * I have the honor to suggest. If my position is otect, it will be apparent that the efficiency of the aro will be augmented, that its moral character will be ...l. and that the branch of public expenditure otofore referred to will be brought within the small*"its to which, under the most favorable circumstan. o "is susceptible of being reduced. If it should be "by experience that this measure is ineffectual, and ** necessary, by severe and humiliating penalties, l *h, where interest and the sense of moral obligaon are inedequate to restrain, it will be a comsolation to
reflect, when we are compelled to have recourse to expedients like these, that those of a milder character have been exhausted. I have the honor to be, most respectfully, sir, your obedient servant, J.A.C. BROWN. Hon. J. C. CALuoux, Secretary of War.
G Engineer Department, JWow. 20, 1824.
Sin: In pursuance of your instructions, dated the 1st instant,to report “the application of the appropriation of the last session,for . to the several works, and the expenditures necessary for their completion; and ! also a statement of the work performed on fortifications | within this year, ending 30th Sept. last; the works remaining to be commenced, according to the plans of the Board of Engineers; the estimates of the Board of Engineers for those works; the progress of the Board of Engineers in its labors, comprehending the operations of the Topographical Engineers, from the commencement of the year; the progress of the Board of Internal | Improvements, comprehending the operations of the Topographical Engineers, under the act of the 30th of April last, to procure the necessary surveys, plans, and estimates, upon the subject of Roads and Canals; the act of the 24th of May last, to improve the navigation of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers; the act of the 26th of May last, for deepening the channel leading into the harbor of Presqu'Isle, and for repairing Plymouth Beach; the condition of the Military Academy, including its present number, and the number which graduated last year; the amount drawn for the three first quarters of this year, under the several heads of appropriation, and the amount of accounts rendered and passed to the Auditor for settlement in the same period,” I have the honor to make the following report, viz: I beg leave to refer to the accompanying tables, marked G, H, and I, for part of the information above required. Table G exhibits “the application of the appropriation of the last session, for fortifications to the several works, and the expenditures necessary for their completion.” It shows that, of the amount appropriated, $620,000, the sum of $312,477 86 was expended in the three first quarters of the year, leaving the sum of $307,522 14 to be expended. Table H exhibits the amounts drawn for the three first quarters of this year, added to the amounts in the hands of agents on the 1st of January last, applicable to the several objects designated; and the amount of accounts relating to those objects, rendered and passed to the Auditor for settlement in the same period. Table I exhibits “the works remaining to be commenced, according to the plans of the Board of Engineers, and the estimates of the Board of Engineers for those works.” The work performed on fortifications within this year, ending on the 30th of September, will be found in the following summary statements, in relation to each forti| fication. Two of those fortifications, that at Brenton's Point, in the harbor of Newport, Rhode Island, and that at New Utrecht Point, in the harbor of New York, were commenced this year. The work at Brenton's Point was commenced under the authority of an appropriation of fifty thousand dollars, for purchasing the site and collecting materials.The site has been purchased and enclosed; the construction of a wharf, and other arrangements for collecting materials have been commenced, and some materials have been collected. The work at New Utrecht Point was also commenced: under the authority of an appropriation of fifty thousand
dollars, for purchasing the site ard collecting materials. The greater part of the land required for a site for this work is already owned by the United States. The small addition to be procured has not yet been obtained. The proprietor holds it at a price much above what is conceived to be its value ; and several attempts to negotiate with him having failed, an appeal has been made, through the Governor, to the Legislature of New York, to appoint assessors, to determone the value. Extensive arrangements for the collection of materials are in progress. The wharf has been repaired, and a railway, to extend from it to the top of the bank, a height of forty-five feet, has been commenced, together with trucks to be used upon it. Other arrangements have been made, and a few materials have been collected. At Fort Monroe, the progress of the operations during the year has been steady and satisfactory. The work is of great extent, and yet all parts of it have been, in a more or less degree, advanced, and in some parts the main walls have been completed. Additional permament quarters have been built, and the construction of a permanent hospital has been commenced. It had been contemplated to lay the foundation of the walls of Fort Calhoun during this season, and arrangements were made accordingly, but they could not be carried into effect, for the want of an officer to superintend them. No disadvantage, however, is likely to arise from the delay; on the contrary, if the mole, which is a pile of stones upon which the structure is to be built. has not thoroughly settled, which is possible, although not probable, there will be afforded additional time for to acquire the requisite solidity. The work at Mobile Point was conducted this year under favorable circumstances, and the results reported are very satisfactory, notwithstanding that some interruition was occasioned by the suspension of the operations at one of the brick-yards, which had been relied on for the supply of bricks. The difficulty of procuring bricks in sufficient quantities, and of proper quality has heretofore constituted the chief obstacle to the prosecution of the work at Mobile Point. During the last year the old brick-yards in the vicinity of Mobile Point have been enlarged and improved, and several new ones have been established. The effect of these changes is al ready manifest, in the improvement of the quality, and the reduction of the price, of that material. The supply of materials on hand, with such additions as the existing sources of supply may be relied on to furnish, af. ford the fullest assurance, that the difficulties heretofore experienced for the want of them, are not likely to recur. The operations at Chef Menteur have been very well advanced this year, although they have been retarded by the sickness which prevailed there during the summer and fall, which was so general that only one individual at the work escaped. The sickness was still greater at Fort Jackson, on the Mississippi, and proved fatal to a number of workmen and military convicts employed at hard labor. In consequence of this circumstance, less work has been done than was expected; but arrangements have been made, calculated to impart additional vigor to the operations during the season favorable to their prosecution, and by that means, to complete, before the ensuing spring, the expenditure of the residue of the appropriation. 1 regret to state, that the anticipation that Fort Delaware would be completed out of the appropriation of 1823, has not been realized. In making that representation in the report of last year, this Department was governed by the report of Major Babcock, the supern
Documents accompanying the President’s Message.
tending engineer; but experience has proved that his estimates were erroneous. It is also with regret that I state that the final inspection of the Board of Engineers, upon the execution of the work, has not been creditable to the officer; besides the erroneous estimates, he
had deviated from the plan in several particulars, to the injury of the work. His conduct was considered so reprehensible, that a court of inquiry, to investigate it, was ordered, and it being conceived that the opinion of the court lay the just foundation for further measures, a court martial was ordered to try Major Babcock, ou charges growing out of his conduct as superintenden of which, however, he was acquitted, on the belief of the court that the errors were errors of judgment, and not intentional. The occurrence has been one of mortification to the Department, but it feels a thorough conviction that Furt Delaware is the only one of the fortifications which, on final inspection, will be found to be defective, either a the workmanship, or in the want of conformity to the plans. This particular work was commenced at an early period, before the commencement of the present system, and the errors that have been committed may, at least in some degree, be attributed to the incomplete state of the system under which it was commenced The foregoing exhibits the progress of the fortific. tions during the year, with the exception of some repairthat were made to Castle William, in New York harbor The officers composing the Board of Engineers for Fortifications, have been engaged, during this year. chiefly in the duties of the Board for Internal improve. ments, of which, also, they are members. During taearly part of the year, they were employed in the consderation of a project for the defence of the eastern setion of the coast of Maine—in preparing plans and es: mates for fortifications for Portland, in Maine; Ports mouth, in New Hampshire; Beaufort and Cape Fear rver, in North Carolina, and Charleston, in South Carol. na. They also inspected Fort Delaware and Fort Washington. A portion of the Topographical Engineers, un der their instructions, has been employed in the prose cution of surveys at St. Mary's, on the Potomac, on the Patapsco, and in the harbor of Charleston, in South oarolina, and its vicinity; and, also, in the preparation col drawings relating to those surveys, and to others previously made. Under the act of Congress of the 30th of April last. “to procure the necessary surveys, plans, and estimates, upon the subject of roads and canals,” the Board of Engoneers for internal improvements have made the requi site examinations in relation to routes for canals contemplated to be established between the Chesapeake and Ohio, the Ohio and Lake Erie, (east of Cuyahoga and Great Beaver.) the Alleghany and Susquehannai, the Susquehannah and Schuylkill, the Delaware and Ita. riton; and are now engaged in examining the routes between Buzzard's and Barnstable Bays, and Narragans of Bay and Boston Harbor. The requisite surveys in retation to the above have been commenced by a portion ot the topographical engineers, and by civil engineers on the route between the Chesapeake and Ohio; and the greater part of those on the eastern slope have bees, completed. Under the act of the 24th May last, to improve the navigation of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, arrangements were prepared, under the superintendence of an officer of the Topographical Engineers, to carry au o effect the first section, by making one of the required experiments over the sand-bar below Henderson, being one of those designated; but the river, when at its lowest stage last summer, being much higher than the ordinary level at the lowest sage, it was conceived that a fair experiment could not be made, and it was accord. ingly postponed until the state of the river should be more favorable. To carry into effect the second section. a contract has been made with Mr. John Bruce of Kentucky, to remove all snags, sawyers, and planters, in the Ohio, between Pittsburg and the Mississippi; and in the Mississippi, between the mouth of Missouri and New torleans; the execution of which, during its progress, will