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Gasconade, Mo., June 30, 1894.

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations under my charge on the Gasconade division of the Missouri River during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, viz:

Operations on this division consisted in the care, repair, and alteration of plant; the construction of new plant, revetment, and dikes; survey and other miscellaneous work incident thereto. The following illustrations accompany, viz:

A map (Pl. 1) of the reach embraced in the project, from Little Tavern Creek to Gasconade River, showing progress of improvements and location of works proposed for its completion.

Six plates (II to VII) showing in superimposition cross sections of the river, on permanent range lines, taken before, during, and after dike construction.

Eight photographic views (Pls. vIII to XV) of dikes in various stages of construction.

Two photographic views (Pls. XVI and XVII) taken in the Gasconade boat yard, showing boats in process of construction, on the storage ways; and on the incline.


The principal item of expense incurred in the care of plant was that involved in the construction, begun during the month of May, 1893, of launching and storage ways in the yard at Gasconade, Mo. I beg leave to refer to my report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1893, for a description and the design of the ways. Work was carried on with a small force until September and then pushed vigorously with a larger force until its completion, November 4, 1893. During the fiscal year, 2,421 piles were driven of which 1,601 were for the support of storage ways, 80 for shunting tracks, and 740 for inclined or launching ways. The aggregate length of way timbers placed on the piles was 20,444 feet. The total area afforded by the ways, including shunting tracks and needles, for the storage of hulls, is 238,312 square feet. The inclined ways present a frontage of 325 feet to the river and extend from the top of the bank at an elevation of 19.67 feet above S. L. W. to an elevation of 7.72 feet below S. L. W. The plane of the surface of the storage ways proper is 22.2 feet above S. L. W.

The pulling out of boats, and placing them in the respective positions assigned them on the ways, was begun November 5 and finished December 2. The total number of hulls pulled out was 105, having an aggregate displacement of 5,437.35 tons. Sixty-six skiffs were also taken out of the river and stored under the ways. The total number of hulls then in the yard was 110, as follows, viz: 1 towboat, Alert; 1 towboat, Sabrina; 2 stern-wheel tenders (in process of construction), 1 sidewheel tender, New Thetis (in process of construction), 9 quarter boats, including the office boat, 12 mattress boats, 7 pile sinkers (machine boats), 6 cross boats for pilesinkers (3 tower leads and 3 umbrellas), 4 hydraulic graders, 40 barges, 25 by 100 feet; 23 barges, 16 by 65 feet; 1 barge, 20 by 54 feet, and 3 small hulls of odd sizes. The above constitutes the entire fleet on the division, except two barges, one 25 by 100 feet and one 20 by 54 feet. The former was in the custody, during the winter, of the U. S. snag boat, C. R. Suter, and is now lying at the bank here; the latter was wintered in the Gasconade River.

The power used in the above work was furnished by steam and horse capstans. Of the former there were four double-barrel capstans, two of which were operated by the engine off the Phonix, and two by a pair of nigger engines taken from one of the old snag boats. They were mounted in pairs on two special portable frames, and at such an elevation as would give them a clear range over the major portion of the yard.

The boats having been thus disposed of, the yard was thoroughly overhauled and cleaned; the lines, blocks, tools, and machinery of all kinds were collected, sorted, cleaned, and stored. Board walks were built and ladders and gangways placed so as to make every part of the fleet and yard readily accessible. Shores, to take the weight of the overhang or rakes of hulls, were placed where it seemed advisable. In the early spring of the current year all of the hulls were thoroughly cleaned out and flooded, enough,water being added from time to time to keep the floor timbers well covered. In some instances it was necessary to make in or batten the oakum, and even to add new oakum, but generally the seams closed soon after the application of water. All of the serviceable skiffs, 65 in number, were put into the river in March to avoid the expense and injury to them involved in calking that would otherwise have been necessary.

Just after the boats were pulled out in the winter, 852 linear feet of 4-inch water mains were laid in the yard for service, as indicated above, for supplying the quarters and for fire purposes. Seven plugs for the attachment of 24-inch hose were located on the mains with reference to their efficiency in reaching the plant in case of fire. The duplex Worthington pump, 10 by 10 by 54 inches, of the outside packed plunger pattern, placed in the steam saw and planing mill for supplying the mains and the mill, proved too small. It broke down in a trial effort to furnish an effective 1-inch fire stream and was replaced by a Hooker pump, 14 by 18 by 84 inches, taken from pile-sinker No. 15. A pressure of from 50 to 80 pounds of steam was kept in the mill boiler continuously, except from the time involved in "cleaning out." A circular tank, having a capacity of 5,626.75 gallons, was constructed and erected just outside the engine room of the mill. In this way comparatively clear water was furnished for the boiler and through the mains to the quarters. As additional precautions against destructive fires, hand fire grenades were distributed about the yard, and in the houses and cabins; water barrels, containing a saturated brine, were placed, with buckets, on the roofs of the cabins; a 5-gallon Babcock fire-extinguisher was also put in the watchmen's quarters. The watchmen were drilled, to some extent by occasional false alarms, in getting a stream of water promptly into play from different plugs. Day and night during the winter months, and in the nights subsequently, two watchmen patrolled the yard, and one was stationed at the top of the tower leads, which, from their central position, commanded a view of the entire yard. It was a part of the duty of the latter to tap a bell at intervals of five minutes. There was a night watchman also on the office boat. The labor and expense involved in these measures seemed to be warranted by the value of the property cared for, approximately $387,000, and the character of "the risk."

In addition to such current repairs as were necessitated from time to time by breakages, or ordinary wear and tear incident to service, the following work was done, viz: A new pilot house was put on the steamer Sabrina; three umbrella cross boats were repaired, provided with new fixed pile-leads, and outfitted for service; a pair of old double pile-leads arranged for driving piles 13 feet apart, were repaired and changed for 10 feet spacing, set on a barge 20 by 54 feet and outfitted for service. The cabins on barges Nos. 65 and 90, formerly used as quarters for construction parties, were taken from the hulls and placed in the yard for use as warehouses. The following alterations were made in the rooms on the lower deck of the office boat, viz: Two small rooms, for storage of trunks and records, respectively, were cut off the forward end of the subsistence store room; the after bulkheads were moved forward, to afford more space in the laundry and boiler rooms, and a smali room for the storage of canned goods and medicinal supplies. This left a room 191 by 24 feet for the storage of heavy subsistence goods. The small store room on the port side, just aft the gangway, was converted into two rooms for use in developing and printing photographs and blue prints. A dining-room 9 by 16 feet, for use of the watchmen and the boat's crew, was partitioned off from the after store room and the remaining space utilized as a drafting room. A shed 4 by 17 feet, for the storage of bar iron, and opening into the blacksmith shop, was erected. was partitioned off at the west end of the storage sheds and provided with shelving for storing stock pipe fittings. By your instructions, the office boat and quarter boat No. 84 were calked and launched June 13 and 21 instant, respectively. The cost in item of the various operations under the above heading is shown in the appendix, Exhibit A.


A room

The authorized new plant, the construction of which had not been begun, or was unfinished at the close of the previous fiscal year, was as follows, viz: 5 barges, 25 by 100 feet; 5 mattress boats, 26 by 70 feet; the office boat; 2 stern-wheel steam tenders, 18 by 913 feet; the side-wheel steam tender New Thetis, 15 by 74 feet; 3 sixlead towers for jet pile sinking; 2 pairs of leads for Cram steam hammers; and 9 one-pair-oared skiffs.

In accordance with your instructions, no work was done on the proposed barges. The 5 mattress boats were finished, and together with the 4 made during the previous fiscal year, were outfitted for service, with capstans, reels, and fair leaders. One of them, the materials for which did not arrive until late in the season, was not launched. The others were launched July 29, 31, and August 3. The office boat had been finished during the previous year, except some work by the painters and steam fitters. The materials for the latter did not arrive until November 4. The boat was outfitted and put in service in the latter part of August. The entire office force was installed on her soon after, and the Hermann office closed November 30, 1893.

Work on the New Thetis, begun August 23, 1893, and suspended by your order dated September 1, was resumed September 16 in accordance with instructions contained in your letter dated September 13. The construction of the stern-wheel tenders was begun September 23, as authorized in the same letter. On December

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15 work on the three steamers, having progressed as far as was thought desirable in advance of the arrival of the machinery for them, was suspended. The boilers, furnace beds, stacks and breechings, etc., for all, and the engines for the sternwheel boats, arrived March 5, 1894. They were promptly unloaded from the cars to their respective hulls and construction resumed. On April 16, by your direction, the force was reduced to that authorized for the period of inactivity, and subsequent work on the steamers confined mainly to protecting them against weather. The present status of the stern-wheel tenders is about as follows, viz: The carpenter work on the hulls and cabins is finished; all of the woodwork has been given a priming coat, some of it two coats, and the roofs three coats of paint; the rudders and pilot wheels have been built and the materials for the stern wheels gotten out; the engines and wheel shafts are in place; three of the pitmans have been made; the boilers are swung ready to lower into place.

Tables giving elements of weight and showing results of computation in detail for displacement, capacity, centers of gravity and buoyancy, and accompanied by diagrams presenting the data graphically, were prepared and submitted with my letter dated June 7, 1894. The total weight of each tender, equipped for service and with 5 tons of coal aboard, is given as 73.218 tons; the draft under the same conditions, 22.76 inches. Drawings were prepared and submitted, under date of June 19, showing an elevation and a vertical section of the steamers as they were constructed.

The hull of the New Thetis has been finished; the roof, skylight, and wheelhouses built; the roof and skylight have been canvassed, and, together with all the woodwork, has been painted. The boiler is aboard, but not in place. Bills of piping, steam fittings, and other essential fixtures necessary for the three boats, were prepared and submitted under dates of March 19 and 21.

The three new tower-leads were finished, placed on the new cross-boat hulls, and outfitted with toggle irons, fair leaders, blocks, steam and water connections, steam hoists, etc., necessary for service in jet pile work.

The two Cram hammer leads were completed and placed in position for service on hydraulic graders Nos. 1 and 6. These pieces were chained and braced to insure an easy distribution of the stresses imposed by their new loads. The large grading pumps were removed.

The cabins and machinery were removed from the old pile-sinker hulls Nos 2, 12, and 15, and placed on the new hulls.

The last of the nine one-pair-oared skiffs was finished September 19.


Operations under this heading were confined to the completion, between July 1 and 5, of the upper bank work on the boat-yard revetment, and the construction and placing, in the fall, of 14,910 square feet of mattress for the protection of the piles supporting the submerged launching ways. Three hundred and eighty-two cubic yards of rock were expended on the former work and 175 cubic yards on the latter, making the total quantity of rock ballast expended on the 3,210 linear feet of revetment 8,744 cubic yards.

The cost of these works is shown in item in the Appendix, Exhibit B.


The first dike party was put in the field August 16, 1894; a second party began work eight days later. Owing to the nonarrival of some of the articles of equipment neither party was properly prepared for service. This fact, the inexperience of the crews, and some local conditions of flow, which necessitated frequent shifting about of the working plant from one dike to another, operated to make progress slow. Probably not to exceed thirty days' work with two parties under fairly good conditions had been done when instructions from you were received, under date of October 27, to suspend fieldwork as soon after November 1 as could possibly be done without too great danger to incomplete work. Subsequent operations until final suspension on December 15, 1893, were confined to the completion of those dikes already begun, which were thought to be of greatest importance, and consisted mainly in extending them to a connection with the main bank. Dike No. 14 was abandoned, as the work necessary to put it in proper shape would have cost more than was warranted by the instructions.

The following is a statement of the class and extent of pile dike work done:

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* Penetration limited by rock bottom. † One hundred feet of single row work done on this dike.

The cost of this work is shown in the Appendix, Exhibit C.

In general design the dikes correspond closely with those described in previous reports; the only differences that seem noteworthy being the construction of a 2-row trailing dike, extending from the outer end of the main dike 100 feet downstream, on or near the projected shore line; the lowering of the outer ends of the dikes to a uniform elevation where possible of 14 feet above S. L. W., cutting all piles in a bent to a common elevation, and the use of double instead of single direct braces. The piles used in the dikes were, with a few exceptions, white oak; the wales and braces were long-leaf yellow pine-heart stuff.

The use of steam hammers, of which there were four, namely, three "B" Cramm and one No. 2 Vulcan, although too limited perhaps for final conclusions, clearly indicated their superiority in range of usefulness, as well as efficiency, to the jet sinking apparatus used almost exclusively heretofore. The bed formation is such in places that the use of a jet apparatus in securing proper penetration of the piles is tedious and costly, if not impracticable. The action of the steam hammer is positive, insuring the desired penetration, except, of course, in rock bottoms, and thus effecting incidentally a very considerable economy in the length of piles used. Its manipulation is simpler than that of the jet apparatus, leaving less room for errors of judgment on the part of the operators. In a number of cases during the season's work piles were readily driven to desired penetrations after every possible resource with a jet had been exhausted without success.

The rock, brush, and poles used on the dikes were procured by hired labor. The former was derived from three points, viz, the Gasconade quarry, which was opened during the previous fiscal year; Keith's Rock, and near Little Tavern Creek.

Keith's Rock is a large detached fragment of sandstone, lying just inside the project line, on the right bank of the river, about 1 mile above the boat yard. It was purchased at 1 cent per cubic yard, measured on barges, with a view to its removal as an obstruction to flow and navigation, and at the same time the utilization of the rock ballast produced. Two thousand four hundred and seventy-five cubic yards were thus acquired, degrading the general level of the rock to about 6 feet above S. L. W.

Six hundred and fifty cubic yards of ballast were secured from the bank just below the mouth of Little Tavern Creek, where a number of large fragments of rock, detached by blasting during the construction of the M., K. & E. Railroad, lie within the waterway. The privilege of removing and using this rock was accorded by the above-mentioned railroad company without cost to the United States.

A brush party was put in the field August 8 and kept in service continuously, except for an interval of sixteen days in October, until November 4. Four thousand and sixty cords of brush were procured. The longest tow of this material was from the patch in Charette bend to the head of the work, a distance by river of 41 miles.

The location of the dikes as built, and the result of their action on the channel thus far, i. e., up to the date of the last survey in April, 1894, may be seen on the accompanying map. The progressive changes of section, during the period from March, 1893, to April, 1894, may be seen on the accompanying plates (II to VII), which give superimpositions of profiles of bottom on permanent range lines, taken before, during, and subsequent to the construction of the dikes. On that portion of the reach, clearly within range of the influence of the dikes, the improvement is marked and as desired. That the results are not more marked is undoubtedly due to the fact that up to the time of the last survey no flood of consequence had occurred, the highest stage reached being 9. 47 feet above S. L. W. No damage was done to the dikes during the winter and none since.


The U. S. towboat Alert was in service from July 1 to September 30, 1893. From July 1 to 27 she made three round trips between Gasconade and East Bottoms, near Kansas City, Mo., for floating plant, delivering twenty-one hulls at the former place. From August 18 to September 11 she made three trips between Gasconade and Bushberg, Mo., bringing nineteen hulls from the latter point. The balance of the time she was engaged on the Gasconade division in towing construction materials and handling plant.

The U. S. towboat Wm. Stone was in service until July 16, during which time she delivered at Gasconade one tow of six hulls from East Bottoms, and two tows aggregating sixteen hulls from Bushberg. She cleared on July 16 from Gasconade with instructions to report at Ewings Landing to Division Engineer Samuel H. Yonge.

The U. S. towboat Sabrina was in service continuously handling construction materials and plant until November 4, on which date she was laid up at the ways. The chartered steamers Gasconade and Millboy were in service as follows, viz: The former until July 15 in towing floating plant from East Bottoms to Gasconade; during which time she delivered seven hulls in two tows. From August 11 to November 23 she was engaged in handling construction materials and plant on this division.

The Millboy was engaged in occasional service of the latter kind from September 9 to October 6, and continuously from October 11 to November 28, 1893.


During active construction operations a small survey party was kept almost continuously in the field, sounding on the permanent ranges and dike lines; giving grade and line to dike parties; on slope observations; partial shore-line work; the establishment and verification, from time to time, of temporary local gauges; and in miscellaneous work incident thereto. A complete hydrographic survey of the reach from Little Tavern Creek to Gasconade River was made April 6 to 27, 1894. A map of this survey to a scale of 1 inch equals 1,000 feet was prepared, and a tracing of it submitted, under date of May 26, to the secretary of the Commission with the request that it be reduced to a scale of 1 inch equals 2,000 feet. A tracing of the reduced map accompanies the report.

The cost of all survey work during the year was as follows, viz:

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Under date of February 26, 1894, a revised project, with estimates of cost for the completion of the improvement of the reach from Little Tavern Creek to Gasconade River, was submitted. The project involved no change in the alignment of the proposed rectified river as approved, but recommended some changes in location of work, and some additional works that were deemed advisable or were necessitated by new conditions of flow (see accompanying map), viz:

An extra dike XV, A is proposed; dikes XVII, XIX, and XXI are shown in slightly changed positions; XXII is an extra dike; dike XXVIII is located 1,000 feet lower down than originally proposed; the revetment in Straub's bend is extended 1,159 feet further upstream than in the approved project; a new system of dikes, XXX, XXXII, and XXXIV, is proposed. The following is a condensed statement of the estimated cost of the completion of the improvement of the reach in accordance with the project revised as above, viz:

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