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APPENDIX No. 5.
ENGINEER DEPOT AND POST OF WILLETS POINT.
REPORT OF LIEUT. COL. H. L. ABBOT, CORPS OF ENGINEERS, BVT. BRIG. GEN. U. S. A., OFFICER IN COMMAND FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUVE 30, 1882.
ENGINEER DEPOT AT WILLETS POINT, Whitestone P. O., Queens County, New York, July 1, 1882. GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following as my annual report upon the Engineer Depot and Post of Willets Point for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1882.
The only new construction during the year has been a set of quarters for the commissary sergeant, built by contract by the post quartermaster, on a plan furnished by the Quartermaster-General. The contract price was $720, but the plan was defective in some essential points, and modifications made by the labor of the troops have considerably increased the outlay. The building as it now stands is less convenient, and its actual cost has probably been greater than those heretofore erected for our staff non-commissioned officers upon plans approved by the Engineer Department.
Much work in repairs of temporary buildings has been done, as here. tofore, by our troops, the materials having been supplied by the Quartermaster's Department on requisitions.
PROPERTY IN DEPOT.
No change has been made in the system heretofore in operation for guarding, receiving, issuing, and preserving the Engineer stores in depot. This work is done entirely by the Engineer troops.
The two rooms in the fire-proof building used for the storage of valua. ble instruments, bave been kept dry by the use of calcium chloride in the manner already reported. Their cubic capacity is 37,000 cubic feet, and 85 gallons of water have been drawn from the air during the year, as appears from the table marked A.
The work of remodeling the bridge equipage in store was suspended last winter by the illness of the carpenter.
The printing office has been busy during the entire year upon confidential and other Engineer documents. Four soldiers of the battalion have done this work at a total cost of $320.55 for extra duty pay. The character of the work is excellent, and these men have learned the trade since enlistment. 31 E
The photographic laboratory has turned out considerable work both in photography and in photolithography during the year. All the plates needful to illustrate the Engineer documents printed here are now supplied by this branch of the establishment. No ontlay in extra duty pay has been made, as men under instruction have performed the labor without extra compensation. A new building is most urgently needed for this work.
The receipt and issue of instruments for the general use of the Corps, and the repairs incidental thereto, have continued as heretofore. All needful details will be found in the table appended and marked B. The great number of public works now in operation under our officers has so reduced the supply in depot that comparatively few transfers of instruments have occurred during the past year.
STATEMENT OF FUNDS.
Congress appropriated the sum of $5,000 for the depot and post during the past year. Of this, $4,000 was for current expenses and $1,000 for the instruction of the Engineer troops in duties peculiar to their arm of service. The following is a summary statement of these funds: Expended in fiscal year 1881–82
$3,315 33 On hand, pledged for year 1881-'82
1,684 67 Available for fiscal year 1882–83
10,000 00 Desired for fiscal year 1883–84 ....
8,000 00 In explanation of the last item I would submit the following:
I. For the usual annual appropriatiou for the purchase of materials for the instruction of the three companies of the Battalion of Engineers on duty at Willets Point, in their special duties as sappers, miners, and pontoviers, $1,000.
II. For the usual annual appropriation for the incidental expenses of the depot, such as fuel, forage, chemicals, stationery, extra duty pay for soldiers employed in wheelwright work, engine driving, printing, binding, photographing or lithographing Engineer documents, &c; ordi. nary repairs of public buildings; repairs of instruments; professional books for library, &c., $4,000.
III. For continuing the public builings of the Engineer School of Application. The room used as a museum for Engineer models is too contracted for its purpose, but can be made sufficient for the present by adding the space now given to the molding drill room at its west end. A new building is necessary for this molding drill, covering a larger area and entirely detached from the museum, so that the dirt may not penetrate and injure the models, as at present. Erecting such a building in the plainest and most economical manner will require $3,000. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HENRY L. ABBOT,
Lieutenant-Colonel of Engineers. Brig. Gen. H. G. WRIGHT,
Chief of Engineers, U. S. A.
B.-Statement of receipts and issues of instruments from the Engineer Depot, Willets Point,
New York Harbor.