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226, 958.97

Espended from July 1 to October 31, 1887:

On account Memphis Harbor
On account Memphis Reach
On account Memphis Harbor and Reach..
On account levees, Yazoo-Mississippi Delta levee district..
On account levees, White River Front.

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1887. June 30 To balance

1887. Oct. 31



By amount expended from
July 1, 1887, io date..
By balance.

Oct. 31

$1,854.05 55, 145, 95




1887. June 30 To balance.

$861. 56

Oct. 31 By amount expenied from

July 1, 1887, to date...
Oct. 31 By balance

$301. 22
560. 34

864. 56

804. 56


1887. Juue 30 To balance...


Oct. 31 By amount expended from


July 1, 1887, to date
Oct. 31 By balance


82. 00




1887. July 2

To amount allotted by Mis.
sissippi River Commission. $60,000.00

Oct. 31

By balance


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Disbursements made under appropriation for improving Mississippi Rirer, act of August

5, 1886.
(November 1, 1886, to November 1, 1887.]

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New York, September 21, 1888. Sir: The Mississippi River Commission has the honor to submit a report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1888, embracing the following subjects:

1. Surveys and examinations.
2. Construction.
3. Financial statements.
4. Estimates.

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This work was in charge of Capt. S. S. Leach, Corps of Engineers, until March 17, 1885, when he was relieved by First Lieut. J. L. Lusk, Corps of Engineers, wbo was himself relieved by Capt. C. F. Powell, Corps of Engineers, May 31, 1888.

As stated in the last Annual Report, the surrey of the Mississippi River below Cairo is completed, so far as the field work is concerned, while the preparation of the maps for publication is still to be tinished and the surveys on the Upper Mississippi bave been only partially executed.

During the past year no field work has been done, and the office work, conducted on a limited scale up to December 31, 1887, has been practically suspended since that time for want of funds.

For details see report of Lieutenant Lusk, secretary of the Commis. mission, Appendix B.

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General service.
This work was in charge of First Lieut. J. L. Lusk, Corps of Engi.
neers, until May 31, 1888, when he was relieved by Capt. C. F. Powell,
Corps of Engineers.

The survey fleet and part of the general service fleet have been laid up at Chester, III., where such repairs as were needed have been made.

The supply of stone to the works at Memphis and Greenville was attended with a complication of difficulties. The laws relating to the use of convict labor made it impossible to obtain it from the penitentiary authorities at Chester; the low stage of the Ohio cut off the quarries on that river; and the protracted low water on the Mississippi, with the dense smoke from forest fires, made navigation very slow and hazardous. The loss from accident was, however, trifling.

For details and financial statement see report of Lieutenant Lusk, Appendix D.

First district.

(Cairo to foot of Island No. 40, 220 miles. Officer in charge, Capt. S. S. Leach, Corps of Engineers, to March 25, 1888 ; after that date, Capt. W. T. Rossell, Corps of Eugineers, Memphis, Tenn.)

No work of channel construction has been done during the year, in consequence of the prohibitions of Congress as to revetment. In November, 1887, a request was made by the citizens of Hickman, Ky., that the specific appropriation of $18,750 for that point might be expended in protecting their river front; but upon examination and report by the engineer officer in charge it appeared that there was no reason for departing from the resolution adopted by the Commission at their meeting in September, 1886.

The works on Plum Point Reach Lave suffered but slight damage from river action; and this has been confined to unguarded parts of the revetment in Fletcher's Bend, which has held out better than, in its untinished condition, was expected. In the dry weather of November, 1887, fire from the forests was communicated to Osceola cross-dike No. 4, and 800 feet of was destroyed.

The deposits behind the Plum Point dikes, and, to some extent, in the chutes and secondary channels on the reachi, have increased in depth and area; and the restriction of the low-water channel has continued to

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maintain good navigation. The least depth found during a season of unusually low water was 8.5 feet, and this only for a day or two, and depending on a single observation, admitting of some uncertainty; aside from this the least depth found was 9 feet.

The necessity of holding the bank line is growing evident. Caving in Asbport Bend indicates that protection will be needed there; the upper end of the Fletcher's Bend revetment is endangered by the instability of the bank above it; and caving below the Osceola revetment possibly threatens to re-open Bullerton Chute.

Levees.— With the allotment of $75,000 for levees, Plum Point Reach, west bank, new levee has been built and old work enlarged for 22 miles from opposite Asbport to the Craighead Point Levee, closing, in conjunction with work done by private persons, a front of 30 miles, over which, in the flood of 1882, the net escape was 35,000 cubic feet per second. For details see report of Captain Rossell, Appendix E.

Second district. (Island No. 40 to mouth of White River, 180 miles. Officer in charge, Capt. S. S. Leach, Corps of Engineers, to March 25, 1885; after that date Capt. W.T. Rossell, Corps of Engineers, Memphis, Tenn.)

The channel work in this district has been for bank protection, confined to Memphis Harbor and Hopefield Bend, just above. During the year there has been added to the revetment in. Hopefield Bend 4,000 linear feet of mattress, 335 feet wide; 105 linear feet of repair work has been done. The entire length of bank revetted is now 12,000 feet. The officer in charge estimates that an extension of 5,000 feet downstream will be needed to secure Hopefield Point.

The reretment of Memphis City front down to Beale street and the Citizens' Bluff protection work below that point have been completed, together forming a system 10,000 feet in length and perfectly protect ing the bank for the present. Caving in front of Fort Pickering, however, indicates that it will be necessary to extend the system about 6,000 feet farther down.

Levees.-Yazoo Front.-The allotment of $60,000 for Robinson ville Levee has not yet been expended, awaiting the action of the YazooMississippi Delta Levee Board. The board has lately announced its readiness to begin the work, and authority has been asked to make an agreement with the State contractor for work to the extent of the allotment; the whole construction to be subject to the inspection and approval of the United States engineer officer in charge of the district.

White River Front.-In conjunction with the board of Cotton Belt Levee District No. 1, the allotment of $75,000 has been expended on the extension of the levees below Helena, Ark., and a line 144 miles long has been completed to a grade 2 feet above the high water of 1886.

For details, see report of Captain Rossell, Appendix F, and report of operations of Mississippi River Commission, dated December 16, 1887, Appendix G.

Third District.

(Mouth of White River to Warrenton, 220 miles. Officer in charge, Capt. W. T. Rossell, Corps of Engineers, Memphis, Tenn.)

This district includes Lake Providence Peach and the harbors of Greenville and Vicksburg.


Lake Providence Reach - No work has been done during the year. The condition of the work is substantially as at the last annual report, the tops of the piles in all the systems giving way to decay and the at: tack of drift. This does not sensibly atfect the deposits in the closed chutes; the depth of water in them remains stationary or continues to decrease, except at Mayersville, where the caving at the head of the island has flanked the dike. Here the chute has increased in depth.

The revetments on Mayersville Island and at Pilcher's Point remain as at the last report, the small portions still in place having undergone no further loss.

The lowest water of the year was 15 feet on the Lake Providence gauge November 22–24, at which time Stack Island Crossing, the shoalest on the reach, gave I feet depth. The least depth on this crossing, which has deteriorated since the suspension of operations, was 7 feet, in September, at a higher stage, before the river had selected its low-water channel.

The banks of the reach have been more un table than heretofore, in consequence apparently of changes in the regimen of the river above, the total caving amounting to about 300 acres on each bank,

Greenville Harbor.—The attention of the Commission was invited, in 1883, to the recession of the bank at Greenville, Miss., and in the An. nual Report for 1884 an estimate for the protection of this place was introduced. In the act of August 5, 1886, a specific appropriation of $37,500 was made, but the Commission, considering this too small for successful application, did not feel justified in recommending its expenditure.

In July, 1987, the city of Greenville having engaged to supplement the appropriation by at least on equal amount, a project was adopted which received the approval of the Secretary of War, and has since been carried into effect. The system includes 10 sloping spurs of crib. work resting on mattress foundations and extending from the deepest water to high-water mark. These are situated about 500 feet apart, and by their action on the currents, shown by the filling which they have already induced, have protected that part of the bank immediately endangered. In case the remaining part of Island 83, which lies just above the works, and has been subject to serious erosion, should be carried away before the straiu upon it is relieved, the upper end of the work just finished will be exposed to attack, and additional work will be required to make it secure. Extension down-stream is also to be provided for. The cost of the work just completed is about $20 per linear foot of bank protected.

Vicksburg Harbor.--The project for improvement by constructing dikes and dredging a basin and canal to 5 feet below the zero of the gauge, as stated in the last annual report, was recommended by the Com. mission July 1, 1887, and approved by the Secretiiry of War, with authority to begin the work with the specific appropriation of the act of August 5, 1886. In pursuance of the project a close dam bas been built from the city to De Soto Island, 1,750 feet, and a screen dike 4,000 feet in length, from the foot of De Soto Island to and along the canal. The canal has been dredged, for its full length of 5,150 feet, to 18 feet on the gauge, with a width of 75 feet, which under the contract is to be in. creased to 100 feet.

The mean fill over the canal site during the year has been 1.2 feet. It is expected that after completion of the work this will be reduced one-half, leaving less than 30,000 cubic yards co be removed by annual dredging.

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