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The following statement of the commerce of this port for the last i cal year has been furnished me by the collector :

The number of vessels that arrived during the year is 188, with a tonnage of 12 the number cleared is 164, with a tonnage of 77,624. The total value of eiper domestic produce during the same year, $10,235,293 ; value of imports, $-33644

Abstracts of hids received for this work during the year, and fi: cial statement, are forwarded with this report.

Financial statement. Balance in Treasury of l'nited States July 1, 1873 ...

$110,** Amount in lauis of officer, and subject to his check, (including $7,223.94 percentage due on contracts not yet completed).

24.1 Amount appropriated by act approved June 23, 1-74

100, Amount expended during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1874. Amount available July 1, 1874.....

1231 Amount required for the tiscal year ending June 30, 1876.. stret of his mind and opened July 1, 1973, for dredging Dog Rirer Bar Chai

Vobile Bay, Ala.

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S 2.

IMPROVEMENT OF MOBILE HARBOR, ALABAMA.

Report of Board of Engineers.

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New York, December 11, 1873. GENERAL: The Board of Engineers constituted by special orders To. 4, paragraph 1, Headquarters Corps of Engineers, January 6, 1872, nd reconvened by the following order :

(Special Orders No. 160.)

HEADQUARTERS CORPS OF ENGINEERS,

Washington, D. C., December 3, 1873. The following.named officers of the Corps of Engineers, Col. J. H. Simpson, Lt. Col. B. Tower, Lt. Col. H. G. Wright, comprising the board, constituted by special order 0. 4, paragraph 1, Headquarters Corps of Engineers, January 6, 1872, will assemble in ew York City on the 10th instant, or as soon thereafter as practicable, to consiiler and port upon questions relating to the improvement of the harbor of Mobile, Ala., hich will be presented by letter of instructions from this Office. By commaud of Brigadier-General Humphreys.

Tuos. LINCOLN CASEY,

Major of Engineers.

Met in New York December 10, 1873, all the members present. The following are the instructions of the Chief of Engineers conlined in his letter of December 3, 1873, to the senior member of the pard : The attention of the board is particularly requested to that portion of the report Captain Damrell having reference to the jetties at Pinto Pass and Pinto Point, and his recommendation that an opening of from 400 feet to 500 feet be made in the rmer, and that 200 feet be removed from the latter. The attention of the board is so invited to the report of the Board of Engineers on the improvement of the harbor Mobile, printed in the Report of the Chief of Engineers for 1872, pages 589 to 597. The board will investigate the questions and recommendations submitted by Capin Damrell, and report its views thereon, together with such recommendations in gard to the improvement of the harbor of Mobile as in its judgment may be necesry After an examination of the report dated September 16, 1873, of the ficer in charge of the work, Capt. A. M. Damrell, Corps of Engi. pers, and a study of the drawings accompanying it, showing changes at have taken place in the Choctaw Channel at the entrance to Mobile

mer Harbor, and a review of their own report, made February 14, 1872, - the improvement of this channel, this board have the honor to pre

int the following views and conclusions in reference to the questions Lbmitted for their consideration : The board in February, 1872, in vestigated the subject of the improveent of the channel of entrance to Mobile Harbor, approving the method, en in progress, that had been proposed by the officer in charge, Colonel mpson, Corps of Engineers, and by previous boards. They also exnined the method for effecting the same end, as proposed by the engier of the State Board, and gave it as their opinion that the more portant of these works would certainly effect a change of the regimen the river, and would be detrimental; in fact, that any of their dikes jetties that should result in scour to the river banks or bottom would

obably fill up the channel of entrance, which at that time was being . edged by the United States engineers. They therefore objected posi.

tirely to the partial closing of the Tensaw and Spanish Rivers, and thos works were not prosecuted.

With regard to the closing of Pinto Pass, which was at that tiu. approaching completion, they remarked as follows:

There will be some increase to the volume of water flowing out of the mouth of Mibile River by shutting up this pass, producing, probably, some scouring effects bear on the river banks or bottom, the heavier or sandy portions of whicb, if this increasi flow of water be rapid enough to move sand, will be re-deposited as soon as the slaca water will permit, while the finer portions will be carried farther out into the bay, ac mostly dispersed in its shallow waters on Dog River Bar, and beyond. And bere i may be well to observe that any scouring process that moves materials froni the balik or bottom of a river near its mouth, only transfers it into the bay or sea beyond. 3 form a bar there, if the water be shoal. Any large increase in the flow of Mobile River will probably move Choctaw Bar farther toward the bay, and result in injury to the works now in progress. This bar is nearly all sand, and no current in the upper par of the bay is rapid enough to disperse it. The aim of all works of improvement : this locality should be to avoid such operations as lead to the movement of sand to th: mouth of the river. In fact, the deepening of Mobile River by the scouring proces seems incompatible with the preservation of the channel through Choctaw Bar, as dor in progress of execution. It questionable, however, if this dike will create any suc: serions disturbance in the river, and this board do not, therefore, make a point of objecting to its construction, any further than noticing its possible detriment to the ench vations on the bar below. If these excavations had not been commenced the boan would not have thought it necessary to have presented any remarks as to the closi: of Pinto Pass.

As will be seen from the foregoing extract, the board, while appre hensive that the closing of Pinto Pass might be injurious to the Got. ernment works in progress on the bar below, did not make the same objection to it as to the closing, with the exception of a passage for res sels, of the much larger outlets of Spanish and Tensaw Rivers. The extent of the injury apprehended could not be foreseen, and it was quite possible it might be so slight as to be disregarded; and as the work bau not only been commenced but had been carried far toward completion it was thought well to permit of its being finished. Had it not beer commenced the board would certainly have objected to its construction

From the data presented by the officer in charge of the works of in provement at Mobile harbor it appears that the closing of Pinto Pas has resulted in a scour of the river below, carrying a portion of the sand thus moved into the channel excavated by the United States Goveru ment, and it is therefore recommended that a part of the dike shutting up this pass be removed, as suggested by Captain Damrell, to be fol lowed by further removals if found necessary.

As to the Pinto Point Jetty, it is very questionable if this work alone would have been detrimental, but it has probably proved somewhat s in connection with the closing of the pass above. Whether it will cou tinue to exercise an injurious influence after the re-opening of the pas seems doubtful; but in view of this uncertainty the board is iuclined to recommend the removal of 200 feet of the lower extremity, as sug gested by Captain Damrell, to be followed by a further removal if the judged necessary.

The board further recommend that close and continued observation by soundings, examinations of the bottom, determination of current velocity, and otherwise, be made to ascertain if either of the obstrut tions, upper or lower, produce any injurious effect upon the artificia! channels, or upon the natural passage-way connecting them. It is poss sible that these obstacles may check the outward current-velocity so as to cause the deposit of sediment in these channels.

In their previous report this board thought from an examination of the sands of the bottom that the yearly process of shoaling on Choctav Pass and Bar might be due in part to the wash along Garrow's Beni

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around Choctaw Point, and therefore they approved of jetties along

the shore of the bend to arrest the inward motion of these sands. 31. They now recommend that examinations be made of the sand on Choc

taw Bar, and also soundings around Choctaw Point after southeast storms, to ascertain if these storms cause any movement of sands into the mouth of Mobile River and into the Choctaw Channel, now that the jetties have been built along Garrows Bend.

The board have no further suggestions to make in connection with it the improvement of the bay and harbor of Mobile.

The papers and drawings referred to the board in connection with this subject are herewith returned. Respectfully submitted.

J. H. SIMPSON,
Colonel of Engineers, and But. Brig. Gen., U.S.A.

Z. B. TOWER,
Lieut. Col. of Engineers, and But. Maj. Gen.

HÍ. G. WRIGHT,

Lieut. Col. of Engineers, and But. Maj. Gen. Brig. Gen. A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Engineers, U. S. A.

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IMPROVING HARBOR OF CEDAR KEYS, FLORIDA. Proposals for dredging 10,000 cubic yards, more or less, in the main dc ship-channel, harbor of Cedar Keys, were advertised for during the

Three bids were received, but not accepted.

The operations contemplated for the year 1874–75 are: Dredging ne mort 10,000 cubic yards, more or less, at the mouth of the harbor of Cedar

No appropriation was made for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1875. .

of Pu Keys, Fla.

tion of the States 6 e dikes

Financial statement. urell, to Balance in Treasury of United States July 1, 1873.....

$7,500 00 Amount expended during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1874.

44 41 his mont Amount available July 1, 1874...

7,455 59 Amount required for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1876

30, 000 00 her it Fi dbstract of bids received and opened May 30, 1874, relating to dredging in the main ship

channel, harbor of Cedar Keys, Fla.

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S 4.

IMPROVEMENT OF CHOCTAWHATCHEE RIVER, FLORIDA AND ALABAMA

No appropriation was made for the improvement of this river for the last fiscal year.

By act of Congress approved June 23, 1874, $5,000 were appropriatel for this work.

It is proposed to apply this amount to the removal of snags and orer hanging trees, beginning at the mouth of the river and working up a far as the appropriation will allow.

The original estimate for this work, as recommended by my predeces sor, Col. J. H. Simpson, in his report dated April 6, 1872, is as follows: Snag-boat and appartenances. Working same for five months.

15, Removing overhanging trees.. Superintendence five months. Subsistence of men..

1, Removing wrecks of two steamers Engineering and contingencies, 20 per cent.

5,7

Total,

34,

Financial statement.
Amount appropriated by act approved June 23, 1874 ......
Amount available July 1, 1874..
Amount required for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1876....

$5,00 5, ( 10,0

S 5

IMPROVEMENT OF APALACHICOLA RIVER, FLORIDA. No appropriati n was made for the last fiscal year.

By act of Congress approved June 23, 1874, $10,000 were appropriated for this improvement.

It is proposed to apply this amount to the removal of dangerous snags. and any remaining balance to improving Moccasin Slough, on this river.

The original estimate of cost of improving this river, as shown in my last annual report, is as follows: Widening and straightening of Moccasin Slough..

$15,000 One-third cost of snag-boat, ($100,000)

33, 333 Service of snag-boat for one season of six months, at $5,000 per month... 30,000 Contingencies, &c...

2,000

Total

80,333

Financial statement.
Amount appropriated by act approved June 23, 1874.
Amount available July 1, 1874...
Amount required for fiscal year ending June 30, 1876..

$10,000 10,000 20,000

S 6. IMPROVEMENT OF CHATTAHOOCHEE AND FLINT RIVERS, GEORGIA. No appropriation was made for the last fiscal year.

By act of Congress approved June 23, 1874, 825,000 were appropri ated for this improvement.

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