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is limited by orders, under the reduction of the Army to 25,000 men, is a reasonable one, and should be granted. No increase of officers is necessary; simply a provision of law authorizing the recruitment of the Engineer Battalion by the number necessary to raise its strength to 520 enlisted men, this number to be in addition to the 25,000 men who now constitute the entire Army. The maximum strength of the battalion, as authorized by existing law, is 752, or 232 more than the strength recommended.
The funds with which the works for the improvement of rivers and harbors were prosecuted during the past fiscal year were derived from the appropriations of the act of March 3, 1881, and balances remaining unexpended of previous appropriations, the total amount available for expenditure on July 1, 1881, being $16,379,020.87.
For information relating to the improvements in progress reference may be made to the report of the Chief of Engineers, which contains a detailed account of the steps taken to carry out the provisions of law and of the progress and condition of these works.
As regards the surveys of rivers and harbors called for by the act of August 2, 1882, the preliminary examinations are in progress, as required and provided for in that act, to ascertain and determine which of the localities enunerated are worthy of improvement and the work a public necessity, and such surveys as may be found to come within the provisions of the act will be at once undertaken. The reports thereon will be submitted to Congress from time to time during the ensuing session as far as received.
Preliminary arrangements are still incomplete and in progress under the direction and supervision of Mr. M. J. Adams, the inventor, for making a practical test of a flume for increasing the depth of water in the Mississippi, for which the sum of $20,000 was provided by act of March 3, 1879, and a further sum of $8,000 by act of August 2, 1882.
A report upon the progress made since January, 1881, by the Mississippi River Commission in carrying out the work intrusted to it was transmitted to Congress December 14, 1881. The subsequent progress of that important work will be made the subject of a special communication to Congress at an early period of the ensuing session.
The final report on the survey of the northern and northwestern lakes has been completed, and is now in the hands of the printer.
Office work has been continued in completing the maps and reports connected with the survey of the territory of the United States west of the one hundredth meridiau. Seveu atlas sheets have been finished.
In the different military divisions and departments eight officers of the Corps of Engineers are employed in making surveys; in collecting and compiling notes, sketches, and maps made by officers of the Army on their scouts and campaigns. In this way the maps required for the use of the War Departmeut are perfected, and for many localities these War Department maps are the ouly ones that are available for the use
EXTRACT FROM ANNUAL REPORT OF SECRETARY OF WAR.
of other Executive Departments and Congress. There is a great demand for them from citizens for use in the location of railroads, mines, and valaable lands.
The appropriation of $50,000 to be used in continuing these surveys, and for publication of maps for the use of the War Department, is earn estly recommended.
Improrement of the South Pass of the Mississippi River.—The last annual report from this department brought the history of this work to August 13, 1881. During the three quarters from August 14, 1881, to May 13, 1882, both dates inclusive, the channel required by law was maintained without interruption. During the fourth quarter, from May 14, 1882, to September 9, 1882, both dates inclusive, there were excluded from computation twenty-seven days in which the required depth of channel was not maintained.
Four quarterly payments of $25,000 each for maintenance, and two semi-annual payments of $25,000 each for interest on the $1,000,000 retained, have accordingly been made to Mr. Eads. The total expenvitures of the government up to the latter date, on account of this improvement, is $ 1,700,000.