War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0026 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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the work, with plank and timber for the roadway, will require special attention for their reception and preservation on being landed from the vessels. Information will be sent from here to Captain McAlester, of the Corps of Engineers, as to the extent of these bridge trains, that he may, with your instructions, be prepared to receive them.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


General and Chief Engineer.


Barrancas, Fla., October 17, 1864.

Captain M. D. McALESTER,

Chief Engineer, Military Division, of West Mississippi:

SIR: Your communication of October 4 did not reach me until yesterday. The prisoners are all removed to New Orleans, but I have found three men of the First Florida Cavalry who profess to be able to take boats to the head of navigation on both rivers and whose statements agree perfectly. On the bar of the Apalachicola at mean low tide there is thirteen feet, never less than eleven feet six inches. This depth carries up to within two miles of Apalachicola. On the bar of the Chattahoochee at U. S. Arsenal there is never less than four feet; now there is from eight feet six inches to nine feet. At Fort Gaines there is fifteen feet; at Georgetown nine feet. Four feet may be carried up to Columbus, which is the head of navigation, at all times, except over Barber's Shoals, fifty-four miles below Columbus, where at the very lowest water there is but two feet six inches. At the present time on the shoals there is from seven feet six inches to eight feet. Vessels drawing seven feet six inches may be taken to Columbus at all time except from the 1st of June to the middle of September. Thirty miles above Apalachicola there is a schooner anchored ready to be sunk across the channel. Obstructions of timber were placed here but were carried away by the current. On the bar at the mouth of the Flint River there is never less than four feet, which may always be carried up to Albany. Nine feet may be carried to Bainbridge now and seven feet eight inches to Albany. At both Columbus and Albany are a series of falls that are impassable for everything, and above there they occur so frequently as to render navigation impossible. The Chipola (branch of the Chattahoochee(is navigable to within one mile and a half of Marianna.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain and Engineer in Charge, Barrancas, Fla.



October 25, 1864.

Respectfully forwarded to Major-General Canby for his information. The bar of the Apalachicola alluded to in the second paragraph doubtless refers to the West Pass leading into the bay (Saint George's Sound) from the gulf. No reference is made to the immediate bar of the Apalachicola River, located about three miles from the city, over which five feet can be carried according to the coast survey notes of 1861, and six feet according to Mr. Pitfield and Harrison Lewis; seven