War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0776 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS- MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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Sunday, 27th, down The Rigolets; observed several miles of galvanized telegraph wire standing upon the old line on the east bank of this pass; entered the south end of Chef Menteur Bayou; selected route for line from Fort Macomb to Alligator Point. Cable Numbers 1 will be required to cross Chef Menteur at Fort Macomb. From Alligator Point across Lake Borgne to Point Caraca cable Numbers 2, nine miles long, will be required. Cable Numbers 3 to cross a bay between Point Caraca and Petit Pass; from Point Caraca to False Bay the marsh is very heavy and impenetrable, standing six and eighth feet high. At this season of the year it burns readily, leaving a stubble twelve or fifteen inches long, quite strong enough to bear a men; the line will have to follow the curves of te shore. able Numbers 4 to cross a wide bayou south of Petit Pass.

Monday, 28th, entered all the bayous to Grand Pass. Cable Numbers 5 to cross False Bay; Numbers 6 across Nine Mile Bayou; Numbers 7 across Three Mile Bayou. The marsh from False By to Three- Mile Bayou is very low and soft, the water three inches deep upon most of it, grass not so high; the most difficult portion of the route. Cable Numbers 8 across Grand Pass; Cable Numbers 9 across Shell Bank Bayou, where we were aground two days (Tuesday, 29th, and Wednesday, 30th) upon shell reefs, working off from one reef to ground upon another. Upon the evening of the 30th we made Cat Island Cove, cable Numbers 10. Two miles of marsh near Grand Pass is very bad; balance of the way to Isle au Pied [a Pitre] it is higher.

December 1, examined the south spit of Cat Island. It is al quicksand and changes with the storms. It will require constant labor to keep a line standing upon it. From Isle au Pied [a Pitre] to this spit is about five miles and a half; to the next spit it is seven miles and a half. We proceeded to Ship Island for coal and made Great Breton Island at 12 midnight, when our engine broke, detaining us until 12 noon December 2 for sufficient repairs to enable us to reach Pass a l'Outre, where we were detained until the evening of December 3 for more thorough repairs. My object in returning by this route was to examine the stations of the Delta lines, and decide upon some changes recommended by the line- men. We reached home at 2 o'clock Monday morning, December 5. I consider the route examined feasible for a line. The blue line upon the map represents the Fort Pike line now in operation. The red line represents the proposed route. It will require at least two small steamers to construct the lines upon these marshes, as the men cannot live upon the shores, one boat for the workmen and one for supplies. Both boats must be of light draught and staunch enough to withstand storms so frequent at this season. If the work is to progress I would recommend that the tug Blossom be continued in my service, and another suitable boat obtained. The wire furnished for military lines will not be durable upon these marshes, as it is of a cheap quality intended for temporary lines. Probably four years would be the extent of its service, perhaps not so long.

Recapitulation of the cables necessary, with the estimated length of each: Cable Numbers 1,460 feet long; cable Numbers 2, 9 miles long; cable Numbers 3, 400 feet long; cable Numbers 4, 400 feet long; cable Numbers 5, one- half mile long; cable Numbers 6, one- fourth mile long; cable Numbers 7, three- fourths mile long; cable Numbers 8, one- half mile long; cable Numbers 9 400 feet long; cable Numbers 10 5 1\2 miles long cable Numbers 11, 6 1\2 miles long. Total, 23 miles, 1,660 feet of cable.


Captain and Assistant Quartermaster, Assistant Superintendent

U. S. Military Telegraph, Military Division of West Mississippi.