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channel is, however, very narrow and tortuous, and vessels frequently ground and are delayed in entering and leaving the river.

The plan of improvement proposed contemplates dredging a channel 200 feet wide and 14 to 15 feet deep at low-water through the bar. The material is hard gravel and sand, and the dredging will probably be found difficult; allowance for this has been made in the estimate. I estimate the cost of the work as follows:

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The work is in the collection district of Richmond, which is the nearest port of entry. The collections for the year ending June 30, 1882, were $23,009.69.

The nearest light-house is Deep-Water Shoal light-house, in the fifth light-house district.

July 1, 1881, amount available..

Money statement.

July 1, 1882, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1881...............

Amount appropriated by act passed August 2, 1882. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

$2,023 65

265 28

July 1, 1882, amount available....

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Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1883.......

6,758 37

Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project....

18,000 00

Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending June 30, 1884. 18,000 00






The following statistics of trade have been furnished by Mr. C. Perkins, of Providence Forge, New Kent County, Virginia:

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There are fourteen steam saw-mills, two steam grist-mills, and four water grist-mills, making twenty in all, with a capital of $50,000, doing business during 1881 amounting to $100,000.

The number of arrivals and departures of steam vessels is 100, sailing vessels 300, the greatest draught of the latter being 12 feet.

The country tributary to the river has been traversed by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Company, and has the prospect of opening up other industries and improv ing the country generally. Agricultural industries will be improved and other facilities will be afforded the people to get supplies from the west, and it is suggested that a large coastwise coal trade will be done on the river at a point at which the road comes in contact with the river.

If it is substantially a fact, then it will become necessary to deepen the river at many points below Blayton's Banks, and improve its mouth also.

At the present, in my judgment, the most beneficial expenditure of the funds now, and any that may be appropriated at the present session of Congress, would be to remove logs and other obstructions in the river up to Forge Bridge, and deepening the

channel to about 6 feet.

The work already done has been of great benefit to navigation, and remains in good condition.

It has been suggested that the cuts are not of sufficient width, and should be widened, and other narrow passways widened also.


H 14.



An examination of the river between Brookneal and Roanoke Station was made in 1878, and my report may be found in the Report of the Chief of Engineers for 1879, Part I, page 622.

1879. The first appropriation for the improvement was made March 3, 1879, and amounted to $5,000.

A survey was necessary before plans for improvement could be prepared, and this was made in October and November, 1879, a report of which, with estimates in detail, may be found in the Report of the Chief of Engineers for 1880, Part I, page 780.

1880. The project for the improvement was to provide a channel through the bars and ledges, not less than 35 feet wide and 2 feet deep at low-water, the improvement to be effected by blasting rocks and by removing sand-bars by means of spur-dikes of crib-work filled with stone.

At the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1880, all the plant necessary for beginning the improvement had been provided. A derrick-boat, quarter-boat, and stone scows were built by hired labor, and tools and materials purchased in open market.

The work of quarrying stone was begun in July, near Clark's Dam, and continued till August 19, when 812 cubic yards had been quarried and placed near the river bank. On the 20th of August the work of blasting rock from the channel was begun at Hawk Mountain.

Seven hundred and seventy-eight cubic yards of rock were removed from the channel during the season.

1881.-Work was resumed on the 24th of May, 1881, at Hawk Mountain and continued until the close of the fiscal year, 1,306 cubic yards of rock being removed.

There were but three days during this period when no work was done.

The act of March 3, 1881, appropriated $5,000 for continuing the improvement.


The improvement of Hawk Mountain Shoal, which was in progress at the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1881, was completed July 14, 1881, when the derrick-boats were removed to Horseback Shoal, a few miles below.

The rock at the upper end of this last-named shoal was found to be a solid white quartz, the removal of which was very difficult.

The drilling and blasting operations were frequently interrupted during July and August by floods and storms.

The improvement at Clark's Shoal, about 3 miles above Roanoke, was commenced June 27, 1881. The shoal was composed of sand, and the plan of improvement adopted was the construction of wing-dams of crib-work, the dams being built of logs and filled with stone.

Some delay was experienced at this point, in July, from very low stages of the river, which made it impracticable to transport the stone necessary for filling the cribs.

The bed of the river was paved above and below the dams to prevent undermining.

On September 19, 1881, a freshet occurred in the river, reaching the height, at Horseback Rock, of 14 feet above low-water, and causing a delay in the blasting operations of three and a half days.

On November 1 another freshet occurred, reaching the height of 101 feet above low-water at Horseback Rock. It was not found practicable to remove rock from the channel after 1st of November on account of the low temperature of the water.

On November 5, the funds available for the work being exhausted, active operations were brought to a close, and the boats removed to Roanoke or Talcott's Station, and placed in charge of a watchman for the winter.

The following is a summary of the operations from July 1, 1881, to the close of work, November 5, 1881:

Length of channel improved by rock excavation, including the removal of blasted and loose rock, miles..

Length of channel improved by building crib-dams, miles.

Number of crib-dams constructed..

Total length of dams, feet..





Average length of each dam, feet.

Cost of building and filling 12 dams..

Logs used in crib-dams 8,692 linear feet, at 24 cents


$753 48

217 30

48 loads of brush were used in the crib-dams, at a cost of 40 cents per load. Average cost of each dam...

Loose rock removed..

Rock removed to allow boats to reach the quarry.

Average cost per linear foot.

The above prices do not include office work nor transportation.

Blasted rock removed..

Sand and gravel removed.

62 79 1 44

Cubic yards







Estimated cost of removing, per cubic yard, fast and loose rock, sand

and gravel (not including office work, traveling expenses, or wear and tear of plant and tools):

Superintendence, including overseers and sub-overseers..

Labor, including quarrymen, drillers, blacksmiths, watchmen, and carpenters..
Giant powder..



Blacksmith's coal.

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80 40




2 664




$0 15

1,474 20

At the close of the season's operations about 250 cubic yards of blasted rock remained in the channel immediately above Wallace's Creek. This is not included in the above statement of rock removed.

The cost of building the crib-dams was increased by the low stage of the water, which, as already stated, prevented the transportation of stone.

At Hawk Mountain Shoal a small sand-bar remains to be removed. The amount needed to complete the improvement (June 30, 1882) is $40,170, and I would respectfully recommend an appropriation of $15,000 for the year ending June 30, 1884.

The following appropriations have been made:

March 3, 1879.
June 14, 1880
March 3, 1881





The act of appropriation for rivers and harbors, approved March 3, 1881, provided for an examination of the Staunton River, Virginia, between Pig River and Brookneal. This duty having been assigned to me, a reconnaissance of the river was made, and a report upon the same, with estimates for the improvement, was submitted February 16, 1882, and accompanies this report.

The plan of improvement proposed is to secure a channel 20 feet wide and 2 feet deep at low-water for bateau navigation, by blasting rock and dredging through gravel bars, and also by contracting the stream by means of spur-dams the width between the dams being not less than 35 feet.

The estimate for the improvement is $40,000. This estimate was, however, based upon a reconnaissance, which will need to be supplemented by more detailed surveys as the work proceeds.

An appropriation of $10,000 is recommended for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1884.

Money statement.

July 1, 1881, amount available.

$8,965 63

July 1, 1882, amount expended during fiscal year, exclusive of outstanding liabilities July 1, 1881.....

8,727 66

July 1, 1882, amount available....

Amount appropriated by act passed August 2, 1882

Amount available for fiscal year ending June 30, 1883...

Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project.......
Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending June 30, 1884.

237 97 5,000 00

5, 237 97

35.200 00 15,000.00


Money statement.

Amount appropriated by act passed August 2, 1882..
Amount (estimated) required for completion of existing project
Amount that can be profitably expended in fiscal year ending June 30, 1884.. 10, 000 00

$2,000 00

38,000 00


UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE, Washington, D. C., February 16, 1882. GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of recon naissance of part of the Staunton River, Virginia, between Pig River and Brookneal, provided for in the act of appropriation for rivers and harbors approved March 3, 1881, and assigned to me by your letter of March 23, 1881.

The source of the Staunton is in Bedford County, Virginia, near the foot of the Blue Ridge, not far from the Peaks of Otter. Its entire length is nearly 200 miles, descending 1,000 feet in the first 20 miles. It flows between Campbell and Charlotte counties on the north, and Pittsylvania and Halifax counties on the south, and enters Mecklenburg County 8 miles above Clarksville. Uniting with the Dan River near this town it takes the name of Roanoke River.

From Smith's Gap, in the mountains, to Clarksville, the distance is 112 miles, and the descent is 322.61 feet.

According to a survey made in 1823 by Mr. Isaac Briggs the distance from Pig River to Brookneal is 52 miles, and the descent 221 feet, giving an average fall of about 4.3 feet per mile. This distance has been assumed as correct in this report. The differences of level of special rapids were taken by hand level, and the length of the same estimated by the eye. Soundings were also taken to determine the depth of the water and the character of the bottom.

The duty of making this reconnoissance was assigned to Mr. W. W. Anderson, assistant engineer, who completed his examination in October, 1881. The stage of the water during the examination was unusually low, and he was compelled to employ the aid of two men, with poles, in order to effect his passage down the stream.


The following description is taken from Mr. Anderson's report: Pig River, the starting point of the survey, is between 50 and 75 feet wide at its mouth, and enters the Staunton about 5 miles below the gap of Smith Mountain. The portion of the Staunton examined is from 150 to 350 feet wide. It is contracted at many points by islands, and the valley through which it flows varies in width from one-fourth of a mile to one mile. About 25 miles below Pig River the Virginia Midland Railroad crosses the Staunton. Hurst's Station on the line of railroad at this point might prove convenient for reshipping from the bateaux. This is a fine section of country, and a good quality of marble underlies the surface in apparently inexhausti ble supplies. To avoid long hauls, the next shipping-point might be at Brookneal, to which point the river is now being improved for steamboat navigation. At Corn-Row Falls, 10 miles above Brookneal, the fall is about 20 feet in one-fourth of a mile. The country through this section of the proposed improvement is well timbered and steam saw-mills could furnish all necessary lumber for any improvement. Near the head of the proposed improvement iron is found, mines of which are being successfully worked. Brookneal, the lower terminus of the examination, is a small village

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