Title: Letter from the secretary of war, transmitting, in obedience to law, a report made upon an examination of Charlotte Harbor and Peas Creek, Fl
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00017069/00001
 Material Information
Title: Letter from the secretary of war, transmitting, in obedience to law, a report made upon an examination of Charlotte Harbor and Peas Creek, Fl
Physical Description: Photograph
Language: English
Publisher: United States Senate
Place of Publication: Washington, D. C.
Publication Date: 1880
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00017069
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA9729

Full Text

pE SENATE. Ex. Doc.
No. 128.



zence to lair, a report made upon an ecxamin tion of Charlotte
SHarbor and Peas Creek, Florida.

29, 1S80.--Ret.rrIc to the Committee on Commerce and;:l ,1-r, d to be printed.

Washington City, March 25, 1880.
Secretary of 1War has the honor to transmit to the United States
Sa letter from the Chief of Engineers of yesterday's date, cover-
py of report of Capt. A. N. Damrell, Corps of Engineers, upon
Tamination made in compliance with the requirements of the river
arbor act of March 3, 1879, of Charlotte Harbor and Peas [Peace]
k, Florida.
Secretary of War.
of the United States Senate.

SWashington, D. C., March 24, 1880.
Ra: To comply with the requirements of the river and harbor act of
rch 3, 1879, I have the honor to submit herewith a copy of a report
this office from Capt. A. N. Damrell, Corps of Engineers, of the
ilts of an examination made under his direction of Charlotte Harbor
.Peas [Peace] Creek, Florida.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Chief of Eng(ineers, Brig. and Bvt. Maj. Gen.
Secretary of War.

.... T

L __



Mobile, Ala., March 10,
SIR: An examination of Charlotte Harbor and Peas Creek,
was authorized by act of Congress approved March 3, 1879,
signed to me by letter dated April 25, 1879.
This examination was put under the immediate charge of
Meigs, assistant engineer, who, upon the completion of the exa
of the Withlacoochee River, proceeded to Fort Meade, which w
sidered the highest point to which the present wants of the trade.
require any improvement to be carried. The field-work was com
on October 14, 1879, and continued to the mouth of the ri
Hickory Bluff, an estimated distance of 160 miles.
The examination was made with a view to improving the ri
high-water navigation, lasting about nine months of the year.
The principal work found necessary is between Fort Mead
McClelland's Ford, and consists in the removal of overhanging
and snags and loose rocks from the rock shoals at Kendricks, Br
Fishtrap, and Fort Hartsuff; comparatively few logs will have
taken out below that point, the channel being much wider and
At the commencement of the examination of this river heavy
storms set in, and a rise of several feet prevented the work being
as accurately as was desirable, but sufficient data were obtained!
approximate estimate of cost of improvement.
After completing the examination of Peas Creek, that of Ch
Harbor was commenced. The principal commerce carried on,
harbor consists in the export of cattle to Cuba and oranges to.
Vessels drawing 8 feet of water can load at Knight's Pier, o
north shore, about 1 miles below Hickory Bluff, and go to sea
difficulty through Boca Grande Pass, while vessels of lighter
have four other outlets, which they make use of according to prev
winds and draught of vessel.
As the present commerce is carried on by vessels to suit the depi
these channels, and are of sufficient capacity to accommodate the 1
ent wants of the trade between Cuba and Cedar Keys, an improver
of Charlotte Harbor does not seem to be required at present.
The approximate estimate to make Peas Creek navigable for li
draught boats, during about nine months of the year, from its mouth
Fort Meade is $17,000, and should the work be authorized I we
recommend an appropriation of that amount.
It is expected that upon the completion of this improvement
country along and adjacent to the river will increase in population,
that before many years further improvement may become necessary
No reliable statistics could be obtained as to the present commer(
the river, nor to what extent the same would be benefited by the
posed improvement.
The report of Mr. J. L. Meigs and tracings of index maps
forwarded herewith for detailed information.
Respectfully submitted.
Captain of Engineec



MOBILE, ALA., January 25, 1880.
ordance with your letter of instructions of August 15, 1>79, an examina-
e of the best approaches to the mouth of Peas Creek from Gasparilla
a Grande; the best approaches to Punta Rosa from Boca Grande and Boca
e best route from the mouth of the Caloosahatchee, along the east shore
Harbor, to the mouth of Peas Creek." The appropriation being limited,
ed to examine the more important lines of communication first.
respectfully submit the following report on exa.itination of Charlotte IIar-
as Creek, Florida:


,y sailed from Cedar Keys for Tampa on October 8, 1879, and arrived on the
r procuring supplies and means of transportation, the march thence to
e, in Peas Creek, was begun October 14. Progress was much impeded by
s, high streams, submerged lowlands, and a broken bridge; s) it was not
>ber 20 that we arrived at Fort Meade Ferry.
eat difficulty the necessary lumber was obtained for building a skiff 31 by
id a flat-boat 8 by 20 feet, for the purposes of the examination. There was
ill in operation in that region, and it was only through the zealous help of
Ws that we succeeded in building the boats.
(it heavy rains fell during the building of the boats and after our departure
''Meade, not terminating until October 31, after which the weather became
etttled. At Fort Meade the river was seven feet higher than ordinary low-
e, and throughout the entire examination we labored under the very great
eg of searching for submerged shoals and obstructions. The situation of
ever, with reference to sections and townships, was ascertained from Mr. J.
bon, county surveyor of Polk County, and from citizens long resident in the
ordering on the river, and who had opportunity for many years of seeing and
g the river at all stages of the water. Information was also obtained in re-
re material of the river-bed at the different shoals, the heighth of the usual
Water, obstructions from submerged rocks and accumulations of logs, and
i-bars. Added to this are the facts ascertained by constant soundings and
ons of different channels, varying width, and obstructions from overhanging
I limbs.
mlt of these inquiries and of the examination are presented in tabular form,
nient reference, as follows:


Peas Creek meetsurements and observations.

Division of river.

I.-From Fort Meade Ferry, about
1,100 feet north of south line of
section 26, township 31 south,
range 25 east, to Choconicla road-
crossing, 230 feet below north
line of section 15, township 33
south, range 25 east.

II.-From C(hoconicla road-crossing
to Bostick's Landinz, at north
line of section 28, township 34
south, range 25 east.

Subdivision of river.

Miles. Feet.
River basin ........................................ .90 30 to

River basin to Kendrick's Shoal, just above the mouth
of Bowlegs Creek.
Kendrick's Shoal .....................................

River basin, from Kendrick's to Brooker's Shoal, near
middle of section 15, township 32 south, range 25 east.
Brooker's Shoal-.......................................
River basin, from Brooker's Shoal to point about 700
feet above south line of section 22, township 32 south,
range 25 east.
River basin, from point last named to Choconicla road-
River basin, from Choconicla road to head of shallow
below an island.
Shallows.--........- --------.....-----------.........
River basin, from foot of shallows to road-crossing, J
mile south of north line of section 27, township 33
.south, range 25 east.
River basin, from last-named point to Fishtrap Shoal,
about 3 mile north of south line of section 2, town-
iship 34 south, range 25 east.

Fishtrap Sl o l, 60 feet long................ --

1. 53 40 to

0.09 50

1.85 45 to 70 1 1 to 7 19,100 21

0.11 60 1 to 2.5 600 ...
1. 87 45 to 90 2.5 to 7 14,450 30

4.68 45 to 90 4 to 8 7,800 6

0.75 80 to 90 5.2 to 7.2 ........ 2

0.21 70 to 100 3.7 to 7. 2 ..... ...
1. 59 65 to 100 4.7 to 7. 2 1, 600 7

3.16 80 to 110 2.2 to 7.4 1 ,150 4

0. 02

W.thin this basin, and about 1 mile
above Fishtrap Shoal, a ledge of
lock projects from west bank
within 30 feet of east bank at low
water; water 2& feet deep near est
Bank. .A

I -- Ii

IF a- remarks.

Feet. L. feet.

veys, and this remark is generally
true of the distances obtained from
measurements on the land plats.
70 1 to 4 8, 600 51
0. 5 to 2. 5 475 .... The bed of this shoal is soft lime-
stone, f ll of crevices, and easily
renmovablle by sledges and bars.




River basin, from English's Ferry to Fort arta n 0.4 5 -
Shoal, near southwest corner of section 11, town-
ship 34 south, range 25 east.
Fort Hartsuff Shoal......- ........... .............. 0.25 50 to 70 1 to 6. 7
I River basin, from shoal to Bostick's Landing ........ 2.47 50 to 120 5 to 7. 5
( River basin, from Bostick's Landing to Sand Shoal, 1. 31 105 to 150 6.2 to 7. 4
near southwest angle of section 28, township 34
south, range 25 east.
Sand Shoal ... .................................. 0.27 80 to 110 0. 5 to 7
River basin, from foot of last-named shoal to Three 1. 06 70 to 150 3.4 to 7. 4
River Shoal.

Three River Shoal .................-..-.....--.....- 0.31 30 to 70 0. 5 to 6. 5

'Thence to Horseshoe Bend, about 1' mile due west, 1.12 50 to 250 3. 8 to 7. 8
from northeast corner of section 6, township 35
south, range 25 east.
Thence to McClelland's Ford ..................... 3. 67 35 to 120 1. 7 to 7. 7

IV.-From McClelland's Ford tol
mouth of Tsala-apopka Creek, River basin, comparatively clear of obstructions and 5.75
about mile south of north line ,
of section 17, township 36 south, de
range 25 east. J
V.--From mouth of Tsala apopkato)
south line of section 12, township River basin.......................................8.06
37 south, range 24 east.
VI.-Thence to Dishong's Ferry, on
section 22, township 38 south,
range 24 east, midway between River basin ...................................... 9.58
north and south lines of the sec-
VII.-From Dishong's Ferry to
head of a series of shallows about |
I mile north of south line of sec- > River basin ....... ....... .................... 8. 00
tion 11, township 39 south, range I
23 east. J



3, 900

5, 800

50 to 150 4.8 to 8. 5 3,600

100 to 300 4.5 to 8.5 50

100 to 300 3.8 to 8.8 400

100 to 300 6 to 9 ....

.... Soft limestone bottom.' f


(This shoal extends throughout the
left of these channels which the
3 river here takes. It is avoidable
28 by opening the middle of these,
now obstructed for 350 feet by an
accumulation of logs.

35 Within this subdivision are two sand
shallows, 250 feet and 200 feet long
respectively. The narrow width is
that of a lagoon cl annel at one
point only.





III.-From Bostick's Landing to
McClelland's Ford, about 4- mile
south of north line of section 19,
township 35 south, range 25 east

Peas Creek measurementsl, and obscreuvaious-Continued.

Division of river.

VIII.--From head of shallows last
named to south line of section 34,
township 39 south, range 23 east.

IX.-From head of Hunter's Creek
to west boundary of township 40
south, range 23 east; Hickory)




Subdivision of river.

Series of shallows .............................. ... 0. 77
River basin to head of Bangu's Shoal ................. 0. 48
Bangu's Shoal ....... ........................ 0. 09
Basin of deeper water extending to head sand shoal 1 78
above Old Fort Winder.
Sand shoal above Old Fort Winder................... 0.17
Basin of deeper water ............................ 0. 24
Sand shoal.-............................... ....... 0.16
Deeper water to point below New Fort Winder....... 0. 27
Sand shoal ...............- ........... ........ .. .. . 0.06
Basin of deeper water from foot of shoal last named 0. 86
to south line of township 39 south, range 23 east, at
the head of Hunter's Creek.
River basin from head of Hunter's Creek, following 4. 66
right channel of river, to head of Hughes's Bar.
Hughes's Bar, at head of estuary of the river, on south 0. 20
half of section 22, township 40 south, range 23 east.
From Hughes's Bar to Hickory Bluff ................. .00 4

Feet. Feet.
150 to 280 1.5 to 8.5
160 to 240 2. 5 to 9
200 L.8 to 4.5
150 to 300 2 to 9

250 to 320 1 to 2.5
150 to 210 4 to 9
250 to 300 1 to 3. 25
250 to 300 2.3 to 5.3
450 1 to 3
290 to 600 2.8 to 9

2C0 to 900 3.9 to 12.9


3. 7 to 4. 7 I

150 feet to 4.8 to 13
1.8 miles.


o u

L. feet.

........ i 4


........ "1

1 Hunter's Creek is the left-hand or
eastern of two channels into which
the river is here divided.
The narrow width is that of a channel
between the shore and an island.
........... The distance given is that passed
over by a vessel crossing the bar.
The length of the river from Fort
Meade Ferry to the west boundary
of township 40 south, range 23 east,
by map measurement, is 74.91miles.
This is erroneous ; it is morenearly
160 miles.




remarked that the distance from point to point given in the preceding
inent from measurements made on the plats of the government land sur-
.correspond with the actual distances between these points. Observation
the cases of Withlacoochee River and Peas Creek, that the meanderings
ams are very inaccurately represented in these plats, and that the actual
tween points are from 2 to 2- times greater than they appear on the land
must be borne in mind in future efforts to identify localities here spoken
sition of a submelrgd shoal on a section is given as accurately as the in-
and soundings enabled, but the distance of its position from a given bound-
,section, as measured on the map along the river course, will be found much
hie truth.
ek (Talakchopko, Hatchee, or Peaseating Creek) rises in the northeastern
wnship 30 south, range 26 east, and flows northwestward and westward to
e of section 33, township 29 south, range 25 east, where it makes a junction
le Creek, flowing southeastward from Lake Hancock. Thence its course is
to Hickory Bluff, where it empties into Charlotte Harbor, making about
testing and 66 miles of soothing. It is fed by numerous lakes in the cen-
of Polk County. The principal tributaries in the east are Little Charley,
pka, Josh, and Prairie creeks; and on the west, Saddle, Whitten, and Chi-
e creeks. Besides these streams wide areas of swamp and hummock lands
ly bordering the river, and of the more elevated adjacent pine lands, are
ring the rainy season in July and August with' shallow pools of water,
:discharged for the most part into Peas Creek. The stream therefore exhibits
nation in its stages of water, the range between extremes at Fort Meade being
ing to the most reliable information, it will be safest to regard the period
after as extending from January 1 to July 1, during which time the river
be'regularly navigated by vessels of 2 feet draught. At its lowest stage the
the channels around the bends, contracts to a mere thread of water, while
w rock and sand shoals that extend across the channel from bank to bank
Covers the entire river bed, but is too shallow to carry a skiff drawing even
SNavigation must at such times be suspended, as on most of the rivers of
and West. There is, however, a very general agreement in opinion among
ents that the river can be constantly navigated by vessels of 14 to 24 inches
during the six months following the beginning of the rainy season, but in
.do this overhanging trees and limbs that would obstruct passing vessels must
ed from the banks, and all masses of rock, snags, and accumulation of logs
taken from the channel. To this extent it is respectfully recommended that
gation of Peas Creek be improved.
rs of unusual rain-fall, like 1878 and 1879, such vessels might ply regularly
Hickory Bluff and Fort Meade during nine months of the year.
Many believe that Peas Creek can be rendered navigable from Hickory Bluff
a, yet the general conviction is that the wants of the country will be satisfied
liug to navigation to Fort Meade. The more valuable lands for agricultural
B lie along the river, and the bulk of the population engaged in agriculture is
there. Elsewhere, on both sides of the river, the population is sparse, and en-
liefly in cattle raising. There are many plantations of orange trees in Polk
atee counties within easy distance of the river, the produce of which cannot
to Tampa, Manatee, or Hickory Bluff for export, but must have outlet by
ek to Hickory Bluff. Thence to the Gulf, by way of Charlotte Harbor and
ande, navigation by vessels of 8-feet draught is constant and unobstructed.
This channel of communication, then, not only could the yield.of the numer-
ge groves be sent to a market economically, but the people could obtain,
v and certainly, their necessary supplies of goods and groceries.
greater part of the" work of improvement must be done on the upper river, be-
Fort Meade and McClelland's Ford. This part of the river being comparatively
,and crooked, the obstructions from overhanging trees, and from accumulation
"in the channel, is greater than on the lower river. Here, also, the four rock
occur, Kendrick's, Brooker's, Fishtrap, and Fort Hartsuff. Their beds are com-
if soft limestone rocks, lying ragged and .detached, or separated by crevices
.in all directions. The masses are generally much less than a cubic yard in
0, and are easily removable by the use of crowbars and sledges. At the extreme
ge, the water runs in rivulets between the rocks. These being removed and so
Sof as to confine the stream to a single channel, the navigation of the rock
will be relieved of all danger during the high-water period, and the depth will
great as can be obtained without a resort to more costly work, which the present
ifthe country do not justify. It is much regretted that during our examination
water rendered impossible a careful survey of these four shoals, and an accurate
le of the cost of removing the detached and projecting rocks that are scattered
air beds.



The accompanying estimate is only approximate, but, it is believed,
guide to a first appropriation for rendering the river navigable during th
following the setting in of the rainy season.
In the lower river, between McClelland's Ford and Hickory Bluffs, there N
shoals, though many embedded logs must be removed from the channel
the mouth of Tsala-apopka Creek and Johnson's Ferry (situated on the .
quarter of section 6, township 39 south, range 24 east).
The most serious difficulty to navigation is Hughes's Bar, lying at the hea
estuary of the river. This is a sand-bar over which, at high tide, vessels
draught now pass, landing freights for Fort Ogden at the head of Hunter
Though this bar would require dredgiig to allow of the passage of such v
lower stages of the tide, yet the traffic does not justify the improvement at p
The following is an upproxiimate estimate of the cost of the proper improve

Estimate of the cost of improving the tiariga (ion of Peas Creek.

Quantities and price.

Banks to be
cleared of over- Snags to be
hanging trees, moved.

Cubic yds. Linear feet.
4, 066 at $1 55, 825 at 11 cents
1, 071 at $1 4, 900 at li cents


114 at $10
19 at $10

III ............ 10, 850 at l1 cents 112 at $10
IV ....... --- 3, 600 at 1 cents 38 at $10
V ........ 50 at 11 cents 29 at $10
VI ......... 400 at 1- cents 32 at $10
VII ............ ...............- .... 52 at $10
VIII ------..---------------.......... 6 at $10
IX ............ ..... .......... ........... .
I-VII ............ .---------------------. Accumulation
of logs in bed
of river, visi-
ble at low-
water, 180 in
Add for engineering and contingencies.......

Cost of

$6, 043 37
1,334 50

1, 282 75
434 00
290 75
326 00
520 00
60 00
3, 600 00

2, 778 27

Total .----..--... --..--..-.............. 16, 669 64


This includes the cost of
a projecting ledge of ro
above Fishtrap Shoal.

The number of these
tions is given upon the
of persons who had
the river.


Preparations for the work were made immediately after the completion of the
Creek examination on November 6, 1879. It was determined to mark the moa
portant channels by substantial stakes, which would not only be useful as a
poles in determining the position of the channels, but would prove a great aid 4
navigation of the harbor. The schooner Jimmie, commanded by Capt. W. D. CN
was chartered, both the kind of service and the seas sometimes encountered i,
harbor requiring a more substantial vessel than an open sail-boat. A supply of
poles measuring from 5 to 8 inches in diameter and 20 feet in length was taki
board, and the vessel sailed from Hickory Bluff on November 10 to begin the wa
From Hickory Bluff to Boca Grande.-About one-third of a mile east of the wed
of section 25, township 40 south, range 22 east, and on the north shore of the eas
of Peas Creek, is Knight's Pier, a pile-work 1,940 feet long, built for the shipme
cattle. This place is commonly called Hickory Bluff, though the latter is situat
miles above it on the same shore. Abont 2,500 cattle are annually exported front
point to Cuba in schooners of 8 feet draught, carrying cargoes of 150 to 200 1
Schooners of 6 feet draught also ply between Hickory Bluff and Cedar Keys.
vessels usually pass a mile westward of Punta Gorda, about 24 miles southeast
of Cape Hayes, and thence steer directly to Boca Grande. The depth of water a
head of Knight's Pier is 7 feet at mean low tide, though 8 feet might be obtained
extending the pier 280 feet further. Such vessels can easily reach the pier
light, but usually load and depart at high tide. With this exception, the <
vessels experience no difficulty in the navigation between Hickory Bluff and
Grande, even at low stages of the tide. The edge of the sand-bar extending fi

.2 Rock exca-
-' ovation.



Cape Hayes was first traced by careful soundings, and a pole marking
point of the bar was set in water 7 feet deep at mean low tide. This
m the cape south 34 10' east (true), and is distant 1.95 miles. Subse-
sand-bar off the shore of Punta Gorda was sounded, and a stake marking
edge was set, bearing south 870 5' west (true) from the extreme western
ta Gorda, and distant 2,916 feet. The depth of water here is 11 feet. No
s were found necessary on the route, and the whole was then carefully

s from the head of the Hickory Bluff pier to the Punta Gorda stake range
l feet at mean low-water; thence to the stake off Cape Hayes from 7 to 19
thence to the middle of Boca Grande entrance from 7 to 50 feet. It should
that the 7 feet depth last given was found near the Cape Hayes stake.
ple depth of water in the usual track of vessels one-half mile eastward of

)t no dredging or other engineering work is required in the approach to the
Peas Creek from Boca Grande.
poca Grande to Punta Rosa.-Next in imnportlace is the line from Boca Grande
SRosa. A schooner of 6 feet draught plies regularly between Cedar Keys,
osa, and Fort Myers, and others make occasional trips. In good weather,
Ing south, they usually pass by Boca Grande, coast along the west shores of
and Sanibel Islands, double the southeast extremity of the latter, and thus
i Punta Rosa. But when the weather is threatening they enter Boca Grande
* the east coast of La Costa Island, hugging Punta Blanco; thence they pass
Useppa and Palmetto islands, and steer to a point 1 mile east of Boca Cap-
ice to a point midway between Loggerhead and Sanibel islands; thence they
sound between Sanibel and Pine islands, following a somewhat tortuous
h a point 1 mile west of the southeast extremity of Sanibel Island, whence
re is northeastward to Punta Rosa. By this route, too, these vessels gener-
rn from Punta Rosa to Cedar Keys, and always do in bad weather, the sea
mparatively safe. This route is sometimes followed also by schooners carry-.
iba the produce of mullet fisheries, established and carried on by Cubans;
ie northeast shore of La Costa Island, within half a mile of Boca Grande, and
'on the northeast shore of Captiva Island near Boca Captiva. These schooners
three to four feet draught, and find abundant water at low tide.
ne was carefully examined by numerous soundings, made both from the deck
shooner and in small boats, with a view to find the edges of the channel.
ire then marked by occasional stakes set alternately on the starboard and
sa f the channel. We then sailed over the entire line from Boca Grande to
ma, sounding at regular intervals, as far as possible, on a course taken midway
the stakes. Though the channel is somewhat tortuous, yet there is sea-room
g when necessary. Masters of vessels had complained of shallow water oppo-
C.aptiva and Boca Cieza, being sometimes obliged to await high tide before
Id pass these places. Much time was spent, therefore, in searching for chan-
ie desired direction across the long and wide sand-bars formed at these places
ifowing gulf tide. The effort was so far successful that vessels following the
Sated by the sailing stakes will be subject to much less delay than formerly.
. difficulty is encountered 1 miles northeast of the north extremity of Log-
saland, where for the space of a square mile or more the bed of the channel
used with lumps or small hillocks varying from 25 to 50 feet in diameter,
ged from 1 to 11 feet above the general level of the bottom. It may be neces-
6e future to dredge the channel here for 2 miles to the depth of 2 feet, but
at traffic does not justify any expenditure on any part of the line.
Ik be well to renew four years hence the present sailing stakes, substituting
ne posts the more durable cabbage palmetto logs. This should not cost more

pitions of the channel-stakes were obtained by their bearings from headlands
prominentt points, situated on either side of the route. These bearings laid
Coast Survey chart No. 75, determined by their intersections the places of the
No other mode could be pursued within the time that could be devoted to

B. Ex. 128 2


The soundings and the distances between the stakes are succinctly
following table:

Nos. of stakes.

Boca Grande to 1. 1. 80
1 to 2 .......... .20
2 to 3 .......... .17
3 to 4 ...........42
4 to 6 .......... .83
6to 5.......... .32
5to 7 .......... .21
7 to 8 ......... .12
8 to 9 .......... 27
9 to 10 .......... 41
10 to 11 .......... .58
11 to 12............ 29
12 to 13 -...... .09
13 to 14 .......... .30
14 to 15 .......... .76
15 to 24 .......... .38
24 to 23 .......... .21
23 to 17 .......... .50
17 to 18 ......... .28
18 to 22........... .25
22 to 19 ........ .19
19 to 21.......... .36
21 to 20 .......... .20
20 to 40 .......... 5. 97
40 to 39 ......... .29
39 to 25 .......... .44
25 to 36 .......... 1.89
36 to 35 ........... 1.62
35 to 34 .......... .60
34 to 33 .......... .43
33 to 32 .......... .98
32 to 31 ........ .35
31 to 30 ... ....... 1.17
30 to 29 .......... 1.19
29 to 28 .......... 1. 29
28 to 26 .......... 1. 43
26 to27 .......... .87
27 to Punta Rosa. 1.48


8 to 29
7j to 8
8.2to 8.4
8.4to 9.4
8. 2 to 11. 2
9. 4 to 11. 9
9. 4 to 11. 2
10. 2 to 10. 9
8. 4 to 10. 9
10. 7 to 13. 4
9. 5 to 11. 5
81 to 81
61 to 8
6.3to 71
7 to 9
61 to 8.8
8. 8 to 11
71 to 91
6 to 9
6 to 8
7. 8to 8.5
7 to 9.5
61 to 10.8
5l to 72
61 to 11.3
8. 4 to 13. 4
8. 9 to 16. 4
10. 7 to 14. 2
15. 2 to 20. 2
15. 2 to 21. 2
17. 7 to 18. 2
11. 4 to 16. 4
9. 4 to 18. 4
14. 4 to 21. 4
14. 4 to 20. 4
10. 4 to 20. 4
10. 4 to 20. 4


Measurement begins from a point in Boca Grande
abreast of the northern point of La Costa Isla
soundings are mean low-water depths.

Stake No. 39 is Ul miles northeast of northern extre
Loggerhead Island.

From Boca Grande to Punta Rosa is 29.14 miles.

From Boca Captiva to Punta Rosa.-Boca Captiva is never entered by vessels sal
from Cedar Keys or other Gulf ports to Punta Rosa. In good weather they
along Captiva and Sanibel islands, as before remarked, and turn the eastern ext
ity of Sanibel. In stormy weather it is hazardous to attempt to enter Boca Cap
from the Gulf on account of two long sand-spits, covered by shallow water, w1
make out from the south end of La Costa Island and the north end of Cap
Island, the former in a southwest direction for 1I miles and the latter in a west-nt
west direction for about 1 mile. The channel pursued by vessels entering or lea
follows the edge of the La Costa spit more nearly than the edge of the other. Wi
the pass itself, between its head and outlet, the water varies from 17 to 29 fei
depth at mean low tide.
Between the outlet and the bar, a distance of 1l miles, the depth decreases, at
12 feet on the bar. Thence it increases to 3 fathoms, at the distance of 1l miles,
of the north extremity of Captiva Island. Between the head of the pass and sail
stake No. 21 (on the Boca Grande-Punta Rosa route), the depths of water vary!
61 to 19 feet at mean low tide. A vessel drawing 6 feet can, therefore, readily e
Boca Captiva in moderate weather, and proceed by the harbor route to Punta lR
This pass, however, is only used by fishing schooners, not exceeding 5 feet drau
which touch at the fishing station on the northeast coast of Captiva Island. Th
companying tracing shows the track of vessels entering.
From Boca Cieza to Punta Rosa.-The figure of Boca Cieza has recently undergo
change, so that it is no longer a "blind pass," but the opening from the Gulf
the harbor is plainly visible as you sail past it in coasting along the Captiva
Sanibel islands; formerly the southern extremity of the former island, projected
southeasterly direction past the northwestern extremity of the latter, the two isl
being separated by a water passage varying in width from 500 to 1,200 feet. Froi
entrance, the pass bore northwest by north for J of a mile, and thence north-n.
east for 1# miles to its junction with Charlotte Harbor. But now the sea has mi



t wide, across Captiva Island, and has silted up the southern branch of
thus uniting the severed part of Captiva with Sanibel Island.
t approach of Boca Cieza from the Gulf lies between two sand-spits,
Sthe one from the northwest extremity of Sanibel Island, and the other
uthwest extremity of Captiva Island. The former laps past the latter
feet in a west-southwest direction, and the two are not more than 300 feet
e narrowest part of the channel. Just before entering this outer pass, and
the extremity of the south spit, there is a depth of 2j fathoms. Thence to
of the inner pass the depths vary from 6 to 16 feet, and thence to the, head
in the general direction north-northeast, from 6 to 13 feet. Here the
close to the north extremity of Sanibel, and proceeds thence along the north-
of that island for of a mile in the direction of the north extremity of Log-
jiland, abruptly terminating against a long and wide sand-bar, which lies
e head of Boca Cieza and the Boca Grande-Punta Rosa Channel. Across
io passage could be found in any direction deeper than 2j feet at mean low
ugh at high tide vessels of 3 to 34 feet draught might cross it and make
n with the route to Punta Rosa. North of Boca Cieza and east of Captiva
three islands, the largest of which is called Buck Island. Between these
d Captiva is a strait varying from 90 feet to # mile in width. This was
sounded, and a channel was traced to a point about 1 mile northward of
nd, and close to the Captiva shore. The depths in this channel vary from
feet at mean low-water, and from its northern extremity a vessel sailing
can find entrance into the Boca Grande-Punta Rosa channel, upon depths
from 3.2 to 5.7 feet.
h Boca Cieza, therefore, no vessels of greater draught than 3 feet can pass
Gulf into Charlotte Harbor, except at high tide and by tortuous channels,
to be followed. Indeed, it is rarely ever used, and then only by small sloops
boats. It cannot be entered in stormy weather, and merits no expenditure

-the mouth of Caloosahatchee Ricer to Peas Creek.-The passage pf water sepa-
ine Island from the mainland on the east, is called Metlochat Sound. lIs
re fringed with numerous islands, the largest of which lies closely against
nd, about midway between its northern and southern extremities, and meas-
by 2* miles in extent. The width of the sound, east and northeast of this
is contracted to about 1i miles, and here also, for a distance of 7 miles, the
I obstructed by numerous islands and oyster bars. The upper and lower sound
|h less obstructed by islands and afford deeper water than the middle part.
Xnnel, having ample depth at mean low-water for vessels of 6 or 7 feet draught,
-entered about j mile southward of Punta Rosa, thence it runs west-northwest j
between Fisherman's Key and the southeast extremity of Pine Island, and
Bs the lower .-ound, everywhere within I mile of the eastern shore of the island.
continuation of this channel through the middle sound is extremely tortuous
navigable at mean low-water by vessels of more than 2 feet draught. Indeed,
pta Rosa H ickory Bluff mail boat, a small sloop drawing 1 foot of water, the
peel regual rly navigating this part of the sound, sometimes finds difficulty, at
Other, in avoiding the oyster and sand bars. Ample depth for vessels of 6 feet
it is found in the upper sound, the channel for the most part lying midway be-
Pine Island and the mainland.
Owners of 3 feet draught have sailed through Metlochat Sound on several occa-
unt only witli favorable winds and at high tides. It is only navigated by the
bts of a few families living on its eastern shore, who procure their supplies from
tosa and Fort Myers. No expenditure for dredging any of its channels would
ified by the present trade.
itensive sand-bar lies off the mouth of the Caloosahatchee Rivier. Across this
Sthe direction from Sword Point (called also Punta Blanco) to Fisherman's
ot more than 1 foot of depth exists at mean low tide. Vessels of greater
it than this, when sailing from the mouth of the Caloosahatchee to Hickory
laually pursue the Punta Rosa-Boca Grande route to stake No. 15, northeast
a Captiva. From this point they follow a channel, affording 6 feet of water,
direction north I east, passing between Patricio and Bird islands, until directly
Sthe northeast extremity of the former island, thence a course northeast by
North, gives a sufficient depth of water across the great sand-bar lying north-
Pine Island, and brings the vessel within sight of the Cape Hayes stake.
Gadsparilla Pass to Hickory Bluff.-Through Gasparilla Pass schooners of 4 feet
it can find entrance into the northwest angle of Charlotte Harbor from the
f Mexico. A sand-bar projecting in all directions from the north extremity of
illa Island gives shape to the channel, which approaches the pass from the
est, and on entering hugs its north shore Thence its course, conforming to
the sand-bar, veers to the southeast until when a vessel is due east of the head
terilla Island, it is distant from it about l1 miles. From this point southeast-
. channel lies about midway between Gasparilla Island and the assemblage of
ttuated east of it. Pursuing this channel to a point abreast of the eastern


extremity of Gasparilla Island, a vessel may thence coast along the isla
Grande, or direct her course to Cape Hayes.
Outside of Gasparilla Pass I mile the water is 15 feet deep, and thence d.
30 feet in the pass. A mile further, following the channel above described,
shoals to 5 feet, and thence to Boca Grande, or to Cape Hayes, a vessel of 4 feet
will find a sufficient depth everywhere.
Gasparilla Pass is seldom entered except by vessels engaged in mullet fishij
northwest part of the harbor, and never by vessels sailing from a gulf port to.
Bluff. No appropriation should be made for the improvement of this pass or
necting channels.
It is proper to add that Gasparilla Pass and the inside channel thence
Grande, as also the central part of Metlochat Sound, were not sounded by us f
of time, the appropriation forbidding a continuance of the work. The info
given is derived from the masters of vessels long acquainted with these c
whose independent statements agree with each other, and are doubtless correct
The population of the islands and eastern shore of Charlotte Harbor is scanty
extreme. Not more than twelve persons live on the islands, and a few families
the shore between Punta Gorda and the mouth of Caloosahatchee River.
lucrative industries at present carried on are cattle-raising and the harbor fi4
the latter being almost exclusively in the hands of Cubans. Orange growing
creasing in importance, though the groves are yet too young for a great prodl
The cattle of this region are shipped exclusively to Cuba, either from Hickory
or from Punta Rosa. The vessels navigating the harbor are accommodated to its1
nels, and are of sufficient capacity for the present business, and for any increl
business that may be reasonably anticipated. No improvement of harbor or p
therefore, is now required.
Much credit is due to Capt. W. D. Collier, of Fort Myers, our pilot, whose 1
edge of the harbor and its channels, proved to be minute and exact. Thanks as
due to the rodmen, A. T. Smith, W. E. Dootch, and A. K. Meigs, who labored effii
throughout th examination.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Assistant Engim
Capt. A. N. DAMRELL,
Corps of Engineers, U. S. A.


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