WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, January 28, 1864.
Brigadier General GEORGE WRIGHT, U. S. Volunteers,
San Francisco, Cal.:
The General-in-Chief calls you attention to the importance of sending the remaining companies of the First Cavalry California Volunteers to New Mexico before the hot weather begins.
E. D. TOWNSEND,
Santa Catalina Island, Cal., January 28, 1864.
First Lieutenant W. FORRY,
Adjt. Fourth California Vols. and Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, District of Southern California, Drum Barracks, Cal.:
SIR: In conclusion of my report of January 19, 1864, I can now say from personal observation that the so-called big spring has not sufficient water to attempt to lead it to this post, there being not more than half an inch of water at most. This being the case we will refer to the only living stream of any size on the island, distant from the isthmus on an air about six miles, but from the broken and rolling nature of the country will take, in my judgment, ten miles of pipe to reach the post. The stream referred to is a running stream, and a never-ending and constant supply of spring water can be obtained therefrom. At the highest point there is twelve inches, and perfectly practicable to be led from its source to within one mile and a half of this post. Then comes the only difficult part of the work, which is in getting around the southeastern point of the harbor of Catalina. About 300 yards of this part of the route is very steep, in fact, almost perpendicular over the sea, but iron spikes can be driven in the rocks to hold the pipe. An accurate survey may show that this can be avoided by taking it over a ridge near the isthmus. If so, it will greatly shorten the distance and be far better, because then no part of the pipe need be exposeed above ground to be damaged or the supply cut off. Troops and Government vessels could be amply supplied with the finest spring water from this stream. I would respectfully suggest that an accurate survey be made by a civil engineer at the earliest possible moment, for of one thing I am satisfied, that this is the best, and I might say the only, mode by which the garrison can be sure of a permanent supply of good and wholesome water. While there is fair weather a present supply can be had by boat from Cherry Valley, but bad weather reduces us to small well, affording a limited quantity of a very inferior article.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. R. WEST,
Captain, Fourth California Volunteers, Commanding Post.
HEADQUARTERS HUMBOLDT MILITARY DISTRICT,
Fort Gaston, Cal., January 28, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel R. C. DRUM,
Asst. Adjt. General, U. S. Army, Department of the Pacific:
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that on the 24th instant Lieutenant Hale, Company B, First Battalion Mountaineers, California