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Bridge over the Mississippi River at La Crosse :
Letter from the Secretary of War Transmitting a Report Locating a Bridge
Across the Mississippi River at La Crosse, Wisconsin


Special Collections Rare Books  F589.L167 U5 1873

 
 
 
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42D CONGRESS, 3d Session.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
Ex. Doc. No. 71.

BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AT LA CROSSE.
LETTER
FROM
THE SECRETARY OF WAR,
TRANSMITTING
A report locating a bridge across the Mississippi River at La Grosse, Wisconsin.

JANUARY 9, 1873.—Referred to the Committee on Commerce and ordered to be printed.

WAR DEPARTMENT, January 8, 1873.
The Secretary of War has the honor to transmit to the House of
Representatives copy of the report of the Chief of Engineers locating a
bridge across the Mississippi River at La Crosse, Wisconsin, and of all
the papers pertaining to said location, called for by the resolution of
the 10th ultimo.
WM. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,
Washington, D. C., January 3, 1873.
SIR: In compliance with the following resolution of the House of
Representatives of December 10, 1872, u That the Secretary of War be
requested to send to this House, at as early a day as practicable, copies
of the report of the Chief of Engineers, approved by him, and locating a
bridge across the Mississippi River at La Crosse, Wisconsin, together
with the report of the board of engineers appointed to locate said bridge,
and all the papers connected with said location,771 beg leave to transmit
herewith copies of the reports referred to, and of papers connected
with the location of the bridge, (numbered from 1 to 2(3 inclusive,)
which it is believed will afford all the information contemplated by
the resolution.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A, A. HUMPHREYS,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Engineers.

Hon. W. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.


2 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

No.1

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Washington, D C., May 22, 1872,
SIR: I beg leave to call your attention to an act " to authorize the construction of a
bridge across the Mississippi River at or near the town of Clinton, in the State of Iowa,
and other bridges across said river, &<c.," approved April 1, 1872, the eighth section of
which authorizes the building of a bridge across the Mississippi River between the
counties of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Houston, Minnesota, and the fifth section, of
which provides that such bridge "shall be built and located under, and subject to, such
regulations for the security of navigation of said river as the Secretary of War shall
prescribe.” I would respectfully request that before the honorable Secretary approves
any bridge constructed under section eight, he ascertain whether such location will
be an obstruction to the navigation of said river,
It is alleged, also, that the proposed bridge, as located by the Milwaukee and Saint
Paul Railway Company, will cross the mouth of Black River, a navigable stream, and I
would ask the Secretary to inquire whether this is authorized by the act referred to. I
would further ask to be informed whether it is not, in his opinion, the duty of the
Secretary of War, under this act, to have due regard, in the location of such bridge, to
the security and convenience of navigation, convenience of access, and the wants of all
railways crossing said river.
Very respectfully,
J. M. RUSK,
Hon. W. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.

Memorandum.
Filed by Hon. J. M. Rusk, M. C.

If the Secretary of War approves of the present location^ he desires to be heard before
final action is taken.

W. W. B.
MAY 23, 1872.
[Indorsement.]
OFFICE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,
May 24, 1872.
Respectfully returned to the Hon. Secretary of War, with thevrecommendation that,
as the question cannot be properly decided without an examination of the locality, the
Chief of Engineers be directed to convene a board of engineers, to consist of Colonel
Macomb, Major Weitzel, and Major Merrill,* to which the questions involved shall be
referred, and whose duty it shall be to prepare regulations for the location and
construction of bridges across the Mississippi River at or in the vicinity of La Crosse, so
that they shall not interfere with or impair the security of navigation, it being first
understood that the city of La Crosse is to pay all expenses of the board.
By command of Brigadier-General Humphreys, and in his absence,
THOS. LINCOLN CASEY,
Major of Engineers.

MAY 24, 1872.
SIR: In reply to your request that before approving any plan for the construction of
a bridge across the Mississippi River, between the counties of La Crosse, Wisconsin,
and Houston, Minnesota, as provided for by the act of April 1,1872,1 ascertain whether
the proposed location would he an obstruction to the navigation of the river, &., I beg
to inform you that a board of engineers will be convened for the consideration of the
questions involved in your letter, and who will also be directed to prepare regulations
for the location and construction of bridges across the Mississippi River at or in the
vicinity of La Crosse, so that they shall not interfere with or impair the security of
navigation, it being first understood that the city of La Crosse is to pay all expenses
of the board.
The result of the labors of this board, if organized on these conditions, will be duly
communicated to you.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War. Hon. J. M. RUSK,
House of Representatives.


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 3

MAY 25, 1872.
Sir: Referring to the act of April 1, 1872, authorizing the construction of a bridge
across the Mississippi River between the counties of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and
Houston, Minnesota, which requires the approval of the Secretary of War to the plans for
its construction, in which matter it is understood you are interested, I beg to inform
you that directions have been given for the organization of a board of engineers to
prepare regulations for the location and construction of bridges across the Mississippi
River, at or in the vicinity of La Crosse, so that they will not interfere with or impair
the security of navigation, and also for the consideration of other questions relating
to this matter, provided the city of La Crosse pays the expenses of the board.
Should it be organized, you will be duly advised of the result of its labors.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.
Hon. ALEXANDER MITCIIELL,
Home of Representatives.

No. 2.
RUSSELL SAGE,
President and Treasurer, New York.
J. T. DODGE.
Chief Engineer and Superintendent.

SAINT PAUL AND CHICAGO RAILWAY, OFFICE of THE
MINNESOTA RAILWAY CONSTRUCTION COMPANY,
Winona, Minnesota, May 18, 1872.
DEAR SIR: Herewith I hand you a lithographic general map of the vicinity of La
Crosse and La Crescent.
2d. A tracing showing surveys and soundings of the Mississippi River, with proposed
line of Milwaukee and Saint Paul railway, marked A.
3d. A profile of proposed crossing, showing the proposed lengths and arrangements
of spans.
The site selected presents the following advantages:
1st. The channel is straight and permanent for a long distance above the bridge.
2d. A channel near the shore appears to be preferred by a majority of steamboat
men, especially in windy weather.
3d. All the channels, including that of Black River, can be crossed at right angles.
4th. This locality can be reached by all railroads from the West more cheaply than
any other.
5th. It is the shortest practicable route of the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway.
The route across the upper end of Barrow's Island, (shown on bottom of map 2.) is
liable to the following objections :
1st. All railroads from the West would have to cross much wide bottom-land.
2d. The upper end of the island would require very thorough and permanent
protection to prevent it from wearing away.
3d. Black River would have to be crossed at a very unfavorable angle.
4th. The junction on the east side of the river would occur at a very unfavorable
point, being inaccessible by a carriage-road except at a large expense.
5th. The through distance for the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway would be
increased considerably more than that of the Southern Minnesota would be diminished
as compared with the upper crossing.
Any crossing still lower down the river is liable to still greater objections. Any
crossing intermediate between the two would be liable to more or less change of channel.
Yours, very truly,
J. T. DODGE,
Chief Engineer.
Hon. ALEX. MITCIIELL,
Washington, D. C.
Filed by Hon. Alex. Mitchell.
* * * * * * *
W. W. B.


4 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.
No. 3.
MILWAUKEE AND SAINT PAUL RAILW AY COMPANY,
25 WILLIAM STREET, POST-OFFICE Box 1468.
New York, June 5, 1872.

DEAR SIR: I beg to inclose a petition, numerously signed by citizens of La Crosse.
approving of the .proposed location by this company of its railway bridge there. While
I do not claim that mere popular opinions should be allowed to decide such questions,
I send these papers to you in accordance with the request of the signers; and beg you
will be good enough to hand them to the board "of engineers, who will have this
business in charge when appointed.
I remain yours, very truly,
ALEX. MITCHELL.
General W. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War, Washington, D.C.

NOTICE.

A public meeting of the inhabitants of the Fifth ward will be held in Mr. Dan-
chertsen’s hall at 7 1/2 o'clock this p. m., for the support of the Milwaukee and Saint Paul
Railroad Company, in the location of the contemplated railroad bridge.
All are interested; and it is hoped all will attend for the public good.
FIFTH WARD,
La Crosse City, May27, 1872.

PROCEEDINGS OF MEETING.
Pursuant to annexed notice the inhabitants met and organized by choosing William
Grover, senior, chairman, and A. Maguire secretary. The chairman skated the objects
of the meeting, when, upon call, the secretary read what purported to be a petition
and remonstrance from the southern part of La Crosse City, addressed to Secretary of
War, praying him to defer the location of the railroad bridge in this vicinity, until
next sitting of the legislatures in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The chairman was then requested to appoint a committee on petition, which he did,
consisting of Messrs. Irvine and French. A committee on resolutions was called for,
when the chairman appointed Messrs. Plum, Norris, and Maguire as such.
Both committees retired for a time, when the committee on resolutions returned and
submitted the adjoining resolutions, which were unanimously adopted.
The committee on petition reported and read to the meeting the accompanying
petition, which was also unanimously adopted and placed before the meeting for
signatures.
The chair made some remarks showing the necessity for supporting the Milwaukee
and Saint Paul Railroad Company in the present location of the bridge, during which
time the petition was signed by nearly all present.
The meeting then directed the petition and resolutions to be forwarded through
Messrs. Merrill and Mitchell to the honorable Wm. W. Belknap, Secretary of War.
Meeting then adjourned sine die.

WILLIAM GROVER, SR.
Chairman.
ARTHUR MAGUIRE,
Secretary.

RESOLUTIONS.

Resolved, That the remonstrance gotten up by the board of trade of the southern
part of La Crosse City, and sent to the Secretary of War, remonstrating against the
Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad Company locating and building a bridge across the
Black and Mississippi Rivers is selfish and incorrect. That said remonstrance was not
permitted to be read in the city council, where this board was represented. That the
charter granted on the 1st of April, 1872, to the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway
Company allows said railroad bridge to be located within the limits of La Crosse City.
That said railroad company have signified their design to so locate their bridge, viz,


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 5
in the Fiftli ward of said city, one and a quarter miles south of the north line of aforesaid
city, and on the most direct line to Saint Paul, with the least possible destruction
to navigation crossing the channel direct.
Resolved, That the railroads already built, and those in course of construction, are
all converging to the north side of the cify and in direct line with the proposed location
and route of the bridge. Bat further, we have every reason to believe that if the
bridge is not permitted to be built on the route designated by the Milwaukee and
Saint Paul Railroad Company, that said company will refuse to build it in any other
part of the city, which we consider would be an irreparable loss to the whole city.
Resolved, That we consider the petition and remonstrance, from the southern part of
La Crosse City, to the Secretary of War, as a highly inflated, untruthful, imaginary
piece of verbosity, ,which by prolixity of words, imaginary paper railroads, and highly
colored misrepresentations, are designed to mislead the Secretary of War, and prevent
the proper location of the contemplated railroad bridge.
To the Hon. WILLIAM W. BELKNAP,
United States Secretary of War, I). C.
DEAR SIR: The undersigned citizens of the Fifth ward of the city of La Crosse,
Wisconsin, invite your attention to the following petition, understanding that a petition
and remonstrance, purporting to be from the city of La Crosse, without our
knowledge or sanction, or even the sanction of the city council, was presented to you,
requesting you to defer the location of a certain railroad bridge across the Mississippi
River, for which a charter was obtained by the Milwaukee and Saint Paul railway company,
on the 1st April, 1872 :
Now, seeing that the formation of the bluffs along the approaches to the southern
part of La Crosse city render it impossible to locate the bridge as requested by aforesaid
petition and remonstrance, without serious and unnecessary injury to the public
welfare, and considering the arrangements that have been made between the Milwaukee
and Saint Paul Railroad Company, and the Dnbuque and Minnesota line, by which
a junction will be formed in August, at a point opposite this ward, on the Minnesota
side of the Mississippi, and knowing that the location as selected by the Milwaukee
and Saint Paul Railroad Company, after much care, and repeated surveys and soundings,
is one mile and a quarter south of the north line of said city of La Crosse, and,
therefore, actually in said city aforesaid ; and, knowing further, that the public welfare
would be promoted by the location and completion of said contemplated railroad
bridge:
We therefore respectfully and earnestly request you to locate and sanction the
erection of the bridge as located by the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Company,
commencing in the Fifth ward of the city of La Crosse.
And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.
R. II. French.
B. F. Irvine.
A. S. Mitchell.
Hiram Goddard.
P. L. Cheshire.
Deist C wight.
David Fauver.
P. Nin.
J. Dim on.
D. D. Mills.
Alvin Clark.
T. M. Goddard.
Henry Currau.
C. Sasverty.
M. T. Bates.
S. B. Pierce.
W. A. Ross.
J. Brown.
A. M. Dahl.
John Passee.
Geo. L. Osborn.
C. II. Osborn.
J. Harkness.
John Angerstine.
W. Gahres.
H. Prig.
T. Muilow.
H. Miller.
W. V. Winston.
Jacob Halm.
Robert Morris.
Thomas Elliott.
James McCowler.
Edwd. Creamier.
G. Hinkley.
W. A. Ropers.
W. M. Hinkley.
G. Phillips.
E. Wheeler,
Fifth ward al- James Moore.
derman. A. Johnson.
Win. Grover. Joseph Gibsou.
E. Tanzt. H. Krok.
B. S. Brown. Ole Boneson.
H. S. Sonles. Win. Keefe.
F. Wetenbedy. Frank Crosby.
Chas. J. Dahl. Andrew Jhanson.
P. Kennedy.
Patk. McMahon.
David White.
Dudley Manes.
J. M. Keys.
Geo. Dansbedry.
C. F. Garner.
Wm. F. Bennett.
D. Slattersby.
C. W. Brown.
D. C. Byrne.
Wm. Dolphin.
D. A. Thayer.
H. Brouer.
Harris Olson.
Peter Amefen.
Anders Burmager.
P. P. Brvstadt.
W. H. Burbee.
P. Anderson.
Carl Christiauson.
M. M. Downey.
John Erreson.
M. Shermozratz Benjn.Fraks.
J. H. Gurr.
Jno. Serrill


6 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

Michael Heazerly.
Jno. Agnew.
Jno. Nine.
Felix Fernestenvald.
C. Scharping.
Johar Morlan.
Jas. Feran.
Felix Feran.
M. W. Keys.
Jas. M. Russell.
Benjn. Bates.
J. D. Hiscor.
Mathias Knoltson.
T. Coster.
Wm. Gabehart.
F. A. Bates.
A. Bolander.
Saml. D. Welch.
Walter Hankd.
Chas. B. Gates.
Otto Bolli.
Chas. Marshall.
Joseph Miller.
G. Ruffus.
Thos. Dontry.
J. H. Bustaine.
H. C. Bennett.
Y. Hobi.
Jno. C. Wilson.
Frank Angel.
J. B. Richard.
W. B. Redfield.
J. J. Fruit.
J. C. Hammonds.
H. Danchersten.
D. E. Marshall.
P. M. Plumb.
G. W. Sperbeck.
Henry Sperbeck.
Robert Gibson.
Jno. Zritlow.
Arthur Maguire.
Edwd. Koops.
Frank Brown.
J. B. McCain.
S. B. Gebhardt.
Jno. Wachter.
O. Pfeiffer.
Karl Schroary.
D. W. Bradley.
J. B. Smith.
Wm. Tarbox.
J. M. Hartwell.
Chas. W. Dill.
D. R. A. Shepard.
R. M. Redfield.
Jno. Green.
N. C. Weeden.
J. L. Stepleton.
A. Gibson.
A. Betze.
Michl. Kerney.
Saml. Maxwll.
C. W. Smith.
J. S. Shaw.
Jas. Corry.
Jno. P. Land.
Jerry Driscoll.
Micheal Balhovore
Jno. Keenary.

Wm. Wind.
Jno. Schewiekert.
Albert Ranum.
H. Mason.
G. W. Duncan.
Jno. Mitchell
Geo. S. Weeks.
C. Pierce.
Frank Wood.
Alvin Madison.
Ole Patterson.
Even Evenson.
August Geoppinge.
S. Olsen.
Thos. Hurley.
Arnold Thompson.
Dominick Danne.
Patrick McLaughlin.
Robt. Carroll.
August Deerkoss.
E. B. Redfield.
Frank Jensen.
Chas. H. Williams.
C. W. Snow.
D. Fitz Givvons.
Raymond Merrill.
August Jones.
Thos. Devine.
Joseph Larkin.
Nichs. Plansberg.
Hardy Denniston.
Jno. Boctan.
Hal. Dresen.
Jno. Smith.
P. Keaveny.
Jas. Roach.
Johann Hagan.
J. Zelmer.
Geo. Swanty.
Chas. Coler.
Levi Roose.
Yos Berge.
P. Tlernbold.
J. W. Bartlett.
Jno. Fiduces.
Hein Smith.
C. Rupp.
W. H. Carroll.
Jas. McGorman.
Fh. Houck.
T. W. Harden.
Edwd. McAllister.
H. A. Waiston.
Jas. Knoamy.
Patrick Kearney.
J. T. Gillmore.
H. J. Morrison.
W. H. Luhx.
Alfred Fisher.
Jno. Flowers.
Benjn. Boardman.
E. D. Sheppardson.
M. Erickson.
C. Pederson.
Peter C. Johnson.
C. C. Hill.
L. G. Griswold.
H. J. Sands.
H. Larson.
M. C. Schonhard.
Chrispn. Murphy.

C. Hennessey.
M. V. Collens.
T. Agnew.
L. Patterson.
David Jones.
Jno. Hansen.
Jno. Johnson.
Frank Baxter.
Benjn. Fairbanks.
Ole Mork.
Lars Hansen.
Ole Christensen.
Jas. W. Nelson.
H. R. Powers.
G. Fairbanks.
A. J. Story.
G. R. Cangdem.
A. H. Mott.
E. W. Johnson.
G. R. Shepardson.
N. Southard.
G. Barton.
Jas. A. Ward.
Frank. Berfen.
J. M. Reye.
O. Wall.
H. C. Geltd.
A. Wood.
D. D. Goddan.
Silas Boardman.
Th. Gulbranzen.
Thos. H. Rude.
David McCussee.
Geo. Getts.
Jno. Getts.
Ivory McKinney.
J. H. Ross.
Jasph. Anderson.
C. W. Nash.
D. R. Jurlbert.
C. H. Watson.
Ole Oson.
Geo. Student.
Pet. Nilson.
Tho. Hamilton.
Ed. Nilson.
Chas. H. Roser.
Carl Landberg.
Chs. S. Daniels.
Jasp. Labresh.
Wm. Sears.
A. Bergerfen.
L. Lamon.
Ole Pederson.
A. W. McDonald.
J. Welda.
Carl Asselin.
Cha. Maddox.
Andw. Wilson.
Thos. J. Seceda.
J. Richmond.
L. Dolphin.
R. St. George.
Chs. Manlen.
Thos. Marr.
Peter Nilsen.
L. J. Stemlinge.
Wm. Gebhurd.
O. Haagerrsen.
Edw. Rustad.
M. Moe.


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 7

H. B. Johnson.
Carl Jeone.
P. L. Sulie.
Ole Johnson.
Halver Hoagezzen.
Theo. Midkelsen.
C. M. Brown.
Danl. O'Brien.

R. P. Plumb.
O. Barnes.
A. Barnes.
L. Larsen.
L. Olsau.
S. B. Nattestod.
O. S. Christopherson.

A. P. Lee.
A. R. Rand.
C. Riebe.
Wm. Rilk.
J. Mekkelen.
A. Borstad.
A. Christensen.

FIFTH WARD, CITY OF LA CROSSE,
May 28, 1872.
DEAR SIR: Accompanying we send you the proceedings of a public meeting,
resolutions, and a petition, which please read and forward to the Hon. Alex. Mitchell,
to be presented by him to the Secretary of War.
Use your discretion in the matter, but be assured it is our greatest desire that the
railroad-bridge be built where located by you. Hoping for the best, we are, very
respectfully,
WM. GROVER,
Alderman, Fifth Ward.
ARTHUR MAGUIRE,
County Supervisor.
S. S. MERRILL,
General Manager, &c.

OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,
Washington, D. C., June 8, 1872.
MAJOR: Your letter of May 23, in relation to report on the bridging of the Mississippi
River, has been received.
The following-named copies of United States statues and papers relating to the
construction of a bridge, or bridges, at or near La Crosse, Wisconsin, are transmitted
to you for investigation and report, viz:
1st. “Act to authorize the construction of certain bridges, and to establish them as
post-roads,” (extract,) approved July 25, 1866.
2nd. “Act to authorize the Southern Minnesota Railroad Company to construct and
maintain a bridge across the Mississippi River, and establish a post-route,” approved
February 21, 1868.
3rd. “Act to authorize the construction of a bridge across the Mississippi River at
or near the town of Clinton, in the State of Iowa, and other bridges across said
river, and to establish them as post-roads,” approved April 1, 1872.
4th. "Act further regulating the construction of bridges across the Mississippi
River," approved June 4, 1862.
5th. Copy of letter from Hon. J. M. Rusk to Secretary of War, May 22, 1872.
(Filemark 892.)
6th. Map of crossing and bridge at La Crosse, Wisconsin, filed in War
Department by Hon. Alexander Mitchell, May 23, 1872. (File-mark 893.) Five inclosures.
7th. Letter from mayor of La Crosse to Secretary of War. (File-mark 941.)
8th. Letter of Hon. A. Mitchell, president Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad
Company, to Secretary of War, May 28, 1872. (File-mark 942.)
9th. Letter of Hon. A. Mitchell, president Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad Company,
to Secretary of War, June 5, 1872. (File-mark 993)
It will be perceived from the foregoing statues that the construction of two
bridges across the Mississippi River, at and near the town of La Crosse, Wisconsin,
has been authorized by Congress, subject to the terms and requirements set forth in
the act approved June 4, 1872. You are requested to investigate this subject, and in
case the results of the surveys already made by you, on which your general report on
bridging the Mississippi River is to be based, are not sufficiently detailed and minute
to enable you to fully answer and meet all the requirements of law in reference to
this special case, you will please make such report, together with a project of
survey and estimate of cost. Should the data, however, in your possession, together
with the papers and maps inclosed, enable you to report fully and completely on this
subject, you will please do so.
By command of Brigadier-General Humphreys.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. G. PARKE,
Major of Engineers.
MAJOR G. K. WARREN,
Corps of Engineers, Newport, R. I.


8 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

No. 5.

ENGINEER OFFICE, UNITED STATES ARMY,
Newport, Rhode Island, June 29, 1872.

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communications of
the 22d ultimo and the 8th instant, with their inclosures, relating to building bridges
at La Crosse, Wisconsin. To the latter I have added communications addressed by
myself in the year 1866 to parties interested in bridges across the Mississippi River
at this point, and the replies as far as received; and I now make a statement of the
whole case as thoroughly as I can.
In the autumn of 1866, being on the duty of collecting information on the subject
of bridging the Mississippi as directed by Congress, I addressed a communication
to Mr. Stoddard, the president of the Southern Minnesota Railroad Company, whose
line begins on the west bank, opposite the south part of La Crosse, and to Mr.
S. S. Merrill, the general manager of Milwaukee and La Crosse Railroad Company,
whose line then terminated on the east bank at North La Crosse.
I give a copy of this circular letter herewith, dated October 9, 1872.
I also give a copy of full reply, with maps made by Mr. Stoddard, dated December
31, 1866, selecting a point for bridging about two miles below La Crosse. Mr. Stoddard
also used this report in procuring a law of Congress authorizing him to build a
bridge under the conditions prescribed in the act approved July 25, 1866. This was
the law approved February 21, 1868.
I made a survey at La Crosse in October, 1866, intended, as it nearly does, to cover
all the ground likely to be chosen by either railroad company, and a map, scale 400
feet to an inch, is sent herewith, showing all the information then or since obtained.
Accompanying the recent communication from you is a copy of each of the laws of
Congress relating to the subject of bridging the Mississippi at La Crosse, as follows :
1st. The act approved July 25, 1866, prescribing the conditions under which a bridge
across the Mississippi could be built at Quincy, Illinois, and other places named.
2d. The act approved February 21, 1868, extending the same privilege to the Southern
Minnesota Railroad Company at La Crosse, Wisconsin.
3d. The act approved April 1, 1872, prescribing the conditions under which another
bridge might be built at Clinton, Iowa, and a bridge at places, among which was La
Crosse. This act contains in itself all the conditions provided for bridging the Mississippi
River. They are generally like those of the act of July 25, 1866, being identical
as regards navigation, but more specific and comprehensive about the right of all railroads
desiring to use the same bridge, and about the action of the Secretary of War in
these particulars.
4th. The act approved June 4, 1872, which applies the provisions of the act of April
1, 1872, to the act of February 21, 1868, authorizing the Southern Minnesota Railroad
Company to bridge the Mississippi, and to all other bridges yet to be built, and still
further increases the supervision of the Secretary of War by including the “wants of
all highways.”
To facilitate the understanding of the laws as far as they relate to engineering questions
and the duties of the Secretary of War, I have prepares a comparative exhibit
or synoptical table of these laws, which I annex hereto.
The other papers considered herein consist—
First, of a design for bridging the Mississippi about two miles above La Crosse, at the
lower part of Minnesota Island, prepared by Mr. J. T. Dodge, civil engineer, consisting
of a statement, one map, and two profiles filed on May 23, 1872, by the Hon. Alexander
Mitchell, president of the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Company. This is supported
by another paper filed by M. Mitchell of the 5th of June, being the proceedings
of a public meeting at North La Crosse, with resolutions and petitions containing
three hundred an twenty-three signatures, urging the adoption of this location for
the bridge, and censuring the attempt of the citizens of the southern part of La Crosse
to influence the Secretary of War against it.
Second, a communication from the mayor of La Crosse, signed also by the president
of the board of trade, requesting the Secretary of War to disapprove of the location of
the bridge made by the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Company, and to locate
the bridge below the mouth of Black River, and centrally as regards all the railway
and highway interests, so that there may be but one bridge. This is accompanied by
a communication from the governor of Wisconsin, dated May 24, in furtherance of
the views of the mayor of La Crosse.
There is also a communication, dated May 22, from the Hon. J. M. Rusk, asking that
before the location made by the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Company be approved
that the Secretary of War will ascertain whether such location would be an
obstruction to the navigation of said river, whether the act of April 1, 1872, will
authorize the bridging of Black River, a navigable stream, and whether it is not his duty
under this law to regard "the convenience of navigation, convenience of access, and the
wants of all railways."


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 9

And another communication from Hon. J. M. Rusk, dated June 7, again asking the
appointment of a board of engineer officers to locate- the bridge so as to accommodate
all railways and highways crossing the river at or near La Crosse.
There is also a communication dated May 28, from Hon. Alex. Mitchell, asking to be
informed when the board of engineers to examine the location of the bridge are
appointed, and the time they will probably be on the ground.
I append also a copy of the letter of instructions of the Chief of Engineers, addressed
to me in regard to this subject on the 8th of June, forwarding these papers to me.

REPORT

1st. General description of region about La Crosse.—La Crosse is built upon the east
bank of the Mississippi, on a sandy terrace, elevated from 10 to 40 feet above the floods.
This terrace extends many miles up the valley, being cut through by the La Crosse
and Black Rivers, but terminates about four miles below the city. At the city this
terrace is about two and a half miles wide, and this is the only place where it touches
the permanent channel of the river. There is also a similar terrace of less extent on
the west side of the valley, but the two are separated by about two to two and a half
miles of intervening bottom-lands, islands, and river. The river rises from the lowest
to the highest stages about 16 feet—Mr. Dodge says 13J feet, but this is not enough.
The islands and bottom-lands are of sand and mud in most places, deeply inundated
at high water, and many lakes and marshes exist at nearly all times. The distance
between the sand-terraces, two to two and a half miles, gives a measure of the
general extent of bridging and embankment for the approaches, the relative amounts
depending upon different locations. The bed of the river is entirely of sand in this
neighborhood, and no borings have been made to reach the rock beneath it. The depth
of sand is probably not less generally than 70 feet.
The river-slope is gentle and the current mild, varying from two to three miles an
hour. The river is divided by islands, so as to nowhere flow in a single channel, and
sometimes there are two of the principal of these that are nearly of equal width and
depth. The nearest union of all the water into one channel occurs below La Crosse,
between the small islands of La Plume and Broken Arrow, formerly much used by the
Dakotas or Sioux as a crossing-place, (travers de Sioux.) This has been so permanently
from time, immemorial, and here the Southern Minnesota Railroad Company locate
their crossing. A large island opposite La Crosse is known as Grand Island, and the
city people want the bridge there. A considerable island above this, known as
Minnesota Island, across the foot of which the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad Company
located their bridge, divides the river nearly equally. Its name indicates that the
main low-water channel is on the Wisconsin side of it. The law fixing the boundary
of the two States makes it the main channel of the river, and the lines of the Minnesota
land-surveys were extended over this island. Mr. Dodge's map erroneously extends
these lines across the main channel into the State of Wisconsin. Mr. Dodge's
map makes the channel between Minnesota Island and the Minnesota shore the main
channel. This was not the case in I860; but Captain A. F. Webb, a river-man of long
experience, told me that it had been the low-water channel in 1884. It is probable
that by artificial works the main low-water channel could be kepi permanently on
either side of this island.
The distance between the main bluffs bounding the valley is from four to four and
a half miles. These bluffs are in the neighborhood of 400 to 450 feet high. They
are composed of magnesia limestone of the Silurian epoch, and nearly horizontally
stratified. The heights of these bluffs give a good idea of the ascent and descent a
railroad-line must make in crossing the valley between two points of the interior east
and west of the river.
The low-water channel is at the foot of these bluffs on the west side, about 6
miles above La Crosse, and again on the west side, about 10 miles below, at Brownsville,
Minnesota. These high bluffs bordering the valley make it a matter of some
difficulty for a railroad to get from the river-banks up to the level of the high prairie,
except along the valley of an affluent to the main river.
On the west side of the river the Southern Minnesota Railroad has a good approach
in the valley of Root River, Minnesota, which debouches into the Mississippi a few
miles below La Crosse, leading in a westerly direction. The valley of Pine Creek,
Minnesota, debouches opposite La Crosse, leading out in a northwesterly direction, and
this is said to be the line chosen by the Saint Paul division of the Dubuque and Minnesota
Railroad. The valley of the Mississippi itself furnishes good routes for roads
leading northwesterly, and both sides are already selected for roads, the left bank being
taken for the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway.
On the east side of the Mississippi the valley of Black River opens out .to the northeast.
The valley of La Crosse River, coming into the Mississippi Valley about two and
a half miles above La Crosse, furnishes the route eastward to Milwaukee for the
railroad. The route of any other road to the east will probably have to go down the Mis-


10 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE,

sissippi Valley in a southeasterly direction till some suitable tributary valley is
reached, but the exact route which the road coming from Madison, Wisconsin, will
take I have not ascertained.
The Mississippi Valley gives good location for lines running southward. It will be
seen from the foregoing that the vicinity of La Crosse furnishes a site from which
practical railroad-lines radiate in almost any desired direction.
Location of bridge proposed by Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway.—This location is about
two miles above the general steamboat-landing at the foot of King's street. The line
crosses Black River, requiring a draw there, and crosses the Mississippi at right angles
at the foot of Minnesota Island. It is proposed to place the draw next to the main
shore on the Minnesota side. This location of the bridge and draw is not objectionable
to navigation on the Mississippi River provided the proper works are built to
always maintain the channel through the draw.
Mr. Dodge's arrangement of the spans is, however, very objectionable, as it allows
for but one draw-opening, and any vessel sinking in this would stop the navigation
till the wreck is removed. The span next the draw the law requires to be 250 feet in
the clear, and Mr. Dodge allows but 250 feet between centers, which gives about 240
feet in the clear at time of low water.
This span should be about 260 feet from centers, made up thus: pier 7 feet wide on
top; batter 1/24 to extend from 4 feet below to 26 feet above low water, the high water
rising 16 feet and the bottom chord being 10 feet above high water. The width of
pier at low-water line would then be 9 feet and 2 inches, making the distance from
centers at least 259 feet and 2 inches to allow 250 in the clear. None of the spans
should be less than 200 feet in the clear, and one at least on the east channel for the
accommodation of rafts at high water should be 250 feet in the clear. No riprap
should be used that at all diminishes the practical width of the channel-spans at low
water. Mr. Dodge's drawings seem to contemplate a wooden bridge for all except the
channel west of Minnesota Island, but it should be an iron one, and then would cost
about $750,000.
I have prepared a profile giving what I consider a proper arrangement of the spans
for this location.
Some object to having the bridge thus located, because it crosses Black River, a
navigable stream.
The principal business on Black River is in lumber, and this nearly all goes down
the Mississippi River. Large rafts can be made up in Black River, above the crossing
of the bridge, and as the current of Black River is less than the Mississippi, it would
be much easier to pass the bridge here than it would if below on the Mississippi. The
location does not, therefore, seem injurious to the Black River trade. The width of
draw designed by Mr. Dodge, about 107 feet in the clear, should be increased to 120
feet, and there should be a span at least 200 feet wide for the use of large rafts.
Mr. Rusk, in his communication of May 22, asks the Secretary to inquire whether the
crossing of Black River is authorized by the act approved April 1, 1872. It is clearly
not directly authorized, no, mention whatever being made of it. Neither is there anything
to prohibit it. It is presumed the bridge company have obtained authority to
build across Black River from the legislature of Wisconsin, as the river lies wholly
within that State. It is questionable whether that is competent authority, but it is in
accordance with the practice in Wisconsin and Minnesota. There are some ten bridges
over the navigable part of the Wisconsin River, authorized by Wisconsin laws, but
not by the United States, and there are, across the Mississippi at Hastings, at Saint
Paul, and between Saint Paul and Fort Snelling, and at several places on the Minnesota
River, bridges not authorized by the United States laws, but authorized by the
State of Minnesota. Such are the facts in the case, and the Secretary of War can
decide from them whether to refuse his approval of the Milwaukee and Saint Paul
Railway Company's location 'on this ground or not. This location would be about as
short for the crossing of a road in the valley of Pine Creek as any other. For this company
to adopt the location requested by the people of La Crosse would increase the
distance on their main line about one mile. This extra mile of road would cost about
$50,000. As this is an important line, one of the shortest between Milwaukee and Saint
Paul, and having the location requiring the least ascents and descents, it is probable
that they would estimate it worth to them, in saving expense of working the road, to
opened $100,000 to save a mile of road, so that $150,000 would represent the damage to
them from increased distance. I believe that the same kind of bridge and approaches
could be built at about the same cost at either location, and it is presumed that any
extra cost to adapt it to a highway would be borne by the people of La Crosse. The
city would most likely give the right of way.
Proposed union, location, and bridge.—This is suggested by the communication from
the mayor and president of the board of trade of La Crosse. It is approximately near
the foot of Pine street; it is midway between the crossing-places proposed by the two
railroad companies, and would bring all the railroads into the city. The shore in this
part is little built upon, and an embankment should be built out into the river, over a


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 11

sand-bar,-about 200 feet, where the abutment should be placed. The lower month of
La Crosse River should be closed and the main shore-Hue brought out flush with the
abutment aud riprapped. The draw should be placed next to this abutment. The
railroad grades to the bridge we -take at 1 to 100, and, to avoid making a long, high
embankment, we begin to descend, as soon as the island is reached, to the proper level
for the railroad to cross the slough 10 feet above high-water line. The wagon-way
descends at once, after crossing the main river, to the level of high water, and must
ascend again at the slough bridge to 10 feet above high water. Both roads might
cross in the same span of the slough bridge, but it is better to have two separate
bridges, one for the railroads and one for the wagon-road. There is a simpler plan, and
that is to entirely close the river west of Grand Island; and there is no serious objection
to doing so, as the eastern channel will then enlarge itself so as to accommodate
the discharge. Another span east of Grand Island might in this case be-provided for
the widening of the main river. An arrangement of spans is shown on a profile on the
map. It is probable that a thorough double-deck iron draw-bridge and approaches
can be built here for $1,250,000.
Location proposed by the Southern Minnesota Railroad Company.—This is at a point
about two miles below the proposed Union location. Its advantages are set forth in
the communication from Mr. Stoddard, president of the company, sent herewith. He
gives no arrangement of spans. The draw should be on the Minnesota side, next to
Broken Arrow Island, and this island should be joined by an embankment with the
main shore.
It is probable that a bridge located here would be built as cheaply as at any other
place near La Crosse. The company have taken no steps as yet to build it, probably
not having secured any connection yet with a road on the east bank. If the design
were to connect with the Milwaukee and La Crosse Railroad, it would be but little
lengthening of their line to use either the crossing proposed by that company or that
by the La Crosse people, more than it would to use their own location. If their connection
was to be made with some railroad running to the southeast or down the Mississippi
Valley, they would lose about four miles of distance in connecting with it by
the La Crosse people's crossing, and about five miles by using the Milwaukee and Saint
Paul Railroad Company's crossing, but the line in this case would be about two miles
from La Crosse.
General remarks and considerations.—The general duties intrusted to me in regard to
bridges on the Mississippi, have been to secure information for constructing them "at
such places" and "upon such plans of construction " as will offer the least impediment
to navigation. The security of navigation was the sole object. But since the interests
building a bridge naturally seek locations most beneficial to, themselves, it was
necessary to fully consider the wants of the roads for which the bridge was to be built,
in order that in providing for navigation no impracticable conditions in building, or
using the bridge, should be introduced.
Having, however, provided thus far, it seems to me difficult for an engineer officer
or board to do more, and that the method of construction, kind of material, nature of
approaches, and wants of all roads must be left to the builders of the bridge, whoever
they may be, and where several existing parties are interested, they must arrange the
matter among themselves and provide for the future wants of all other roads, as far as
they can foresee them and are able and willing to do it.
The day seems to be passing for limiting the number of bridges. The excellence
which bridge-building has attained and is capable of, and the increasing demands for
easy communication, has brought this about. The costly bridge begun for Saint Louis,
which was to render all others there unnecessary, has already a rival, which may be
the first completed. Other places have two bridges, and others are contemplating having
them. A draw-bridge is always something of an obstruction, and one of them
would generally be less so than more, provided there was not so much passage over the
bridge (as there was at Chicago) as to prevent a prompt opening of the draw for boats;
and this might be the case should many railroads and highways use the same drawbridge.
Where such general use has to be provided for a draw-bridge is not the best structure,
and it is not unlikely that the only practicable way of lessening the number of
bridges is to require them to be all high bridges.
In the Mississippi Valley, with its broad bottom-lands, this kind of bridge requires
such expensive approaches that cities in their first growth could not adopt them, and
if restricted to their use must remain for a time without any bridge at all.
A railway and highway on the same floor of a draw-bridge, as at Keokuk, Iowa, and
Hannibal, Missouri, could be built at but little more cost than for the railway alone;
but such a bridge is very inconvenient to all parties, and is not such a one as the Secretary
could decide should be built against the will of either party.
A railway and highway on the same trusses of a draw-bridge and on different floors,
as at Rock Island, would probably cost, in bridge and approaches, nearly as much as
two bridges located and built to suit the wants of each kind of road.


12 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

The single bridge might be a little less obstruction to navigation than two bridges,
but this would depend upon location. If the combined bridge is located to suit the
highways, it must be central to the city, and thus bring the railways into the main
streets, where their use is dangerous, where the right of way is often expensive, and
where the passage of trains endangers life and depresses the value of property along
the street. If, then, the accommodation of the bridging interest alone was to be considered,
there should generally be two bridges at least at or near an important city,
one centrally situated to accommodate the highway travel, and one out of the way of
the streets, up or down the river, for the use of the railways; and if one is not enough
either above or below, there should be one at each place. Where both banks of the
river are above overflow the increased value of the laud opposite the city, arising from
having a highway-bridge, will always pay for it.
Course of action proposed.—The Secretary of War, under the law approved June 4
1872, in approving any location of a bridge, is required to pay due regard to the wants
of navigation and all other railroads and highways. The location of the Milwaukee
and Saint Paul Railroad bridge, with the modifications indicated, will riot interfere
with navigation, and the question for him to decide is, whether a doe regard to the
request made by the citizens of La Crosse will authorize him to compel the Milwaukee
and Saint Paul Railroad Company to change their location, without unduly disregarding
the interests of that company and their rights under the law approved April 1,1872.
The question is not one of engineering nor-of obstruction to navigation, and therefore
does not need any additional surveys or measurements for its determination. The
general facts and features are already known and given, and no more definite plan and
estimate of cost of the union bridge can be made until all the preliminaries between the
parties interested are agreed upon. If an officer of engineers or board of engineers were
directed to consider the matter, it would be necessary for him or them to attempt to
devise a plan to meet the views of the people of La Crosse, and which should be at
least practicable for, if not acceptable to, the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad Company.
If this could be done satisfactorily to both parties there would be no need of
the exercise of authority by the Secretary of War; and the better course might be to
suspend decision and refer the matter back to the people of La Crosse, giving them
the plan of a union bridge which I have prepared, and requesting them to present their
own project in detail and the results of their efforts to make a satisfactory adjustment
with railroad companies themselves. The same project might be submitted to the railroad
companies. If the Secretary of War must undertake such decisions himself, may
not his influence in protecting the interests of general navigation be jeopardized by the
conflict of local questions thrust upon him, involving questions more judicial than
executive, and which he can hardly have time to consider?
It might be well, in the mean time, to have the opinion of the proper law-officers as to
the duties and power of the Secretary of War under conflicting interpretations of the
rights and privileges under the act approved April 1, 1872, and June 4, 1872. Section
4 of the first of these acts makes it the duty of the Secretary of War to decide between
two roads in case of want pf agreement as to terms where one of them desires to use a
bridge built by the other, but it does not authorize him to change the location of a
bridge which one company proposes to build in order to suit the views of another
party. It is difficult to see where there would be an end of questions of this sort if once
entertained.
The act approved June 4,1872, requires that the Secretary of War shall have due
regard to convenience of access, and the wants of all railways and highways crossing
said river.
At Clinton, Iowa, it is evident this law requires a due regard to the wants, &c., of
the bridge already built and crossing the river. But it is a question whether the wording
requires such regard to the wants of roads not already crossing the river, but only
authorized or contemplated, though there is reason to think that those who procured
the passage of this act did intend it to have this last scope and signification.
Respectfully submitted.
G. K. WARREN,
Major of Engineers and Brevet Major-General, United States Army,
Brigadier-General A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Chief of Engineers, United States Army, Washington, D. C.


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 13

No. 6.

Act approved July 25,1866.
[United States Statutes at Large, vol. 14, p. 244,]
JULY 25, 1866.—CHAPTER 246.
AN ACT to authorize the construction of certain bridges and to establish them as post-roads.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in
Congress assembled, That it shall be lawful for any person or persons, company or corporation,
having authority from the States of Illinois and Missouri for such purpose, to
build a bridge across the Mississippi River at Quincy, Illinois, and to lay on and over
said bridge railway-tracks for the more perfect connection of any railroads that are or
shall be constructed to the said river at or opposite said point, and that when constructed
all trains of all roads terminating at said river, at or opposite said point, shall
be allowed to cross said bridge for reasonable compensation, to be made to the owners
of said bridge, under the limitations and conditions hereinafter provided. And in case
of any litigation arising from any obstruction, or alleged obstruction, to the free navigation
of said river, the cause may be tried before the district court of the United States
of any State in which any portion of said obstruction or bridge touches.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That any bridge built under the provisions of this
act may, at the option of the company building the same, be built as a draw-bridge,
with a pivot or other form of draw, or with unbroken or continuous spans: Provided,
That if the said bridge shall be made with unbroken and continuous spans, it shall
not be of less elevation in any case than fifty feet above extreme high-water mark, as
understood at the point of location, to the bottom chord of the bridge; nor shall the
spans of said bridge be less than two hundred and fifty feet in length, and the piers of
said bridge shall be parallel with the current of the river, and the main span shall be
over the main channel of the river, and not less, than three hundred feet in width:
And provided also, That if any bridge built, under this act shall be constructed as a
draw-bridge, the same shall be constructed as a pivot draw-bridge, with a 'draw over
the main channel of, the river, at an accessible and navigable point, and with spans of
not less than one hundred and sixty feet in length in the clear on each side of the central
or pivot pier of the draw, and the next adjoining spans to the draw shall not be
less than two hundred and fifty feet; and said spans shall not be less than thirty feet
above low-water mark, and not less than ten above extreme high-water mark, measuring
to the bottom chord of the bridge, and the piers of said bridge shall be parallel
with the current of the river: And provided also. That said draw shall be opened
promptly upon reasonable signal for the passage of boats whose construction shall not
be such as to admit of their passage under 1he permanent spans of said bridge, except
when trains are passing over the same; but in no case shall unnecessary delay occur
in opening the said draw during or after the passage of trains.
SKC. 3. And be it further enacted, That any bridge constructed under this act and according
to its limitations shall be a lawful structure, and shall be recognized and
known as a post-route, upon which also no higher charge shall be made for the transmission
over the same of the mails, the troops, and the munitions of war of the United
States, than the rate per mile for their transportation over the railroads or public highways
leading to the said bridge.

SEC. 13. And be it further enacted, That the right to alter or amend this act so as to
prevent or remove all material obstructions to the navigation of said river by the construction
of bridges is hereby expressly reserved.
Approved July 25, 1856.

Act approved February 21,1868.
[United States Statutes at Large, vol. 15, p. 37.]
CHAPTER 10.

AN ACT to authorize the Southern Minnesota Railroad Company to construct and maintain a bridge
across the Mississippi River, and establish a post-route.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America
in Congress assembled, That the Southern Minnesota Railroad Company, a corporation
existing under the laws of the State of Minnesota, is hereby authorized to construct
and operate a railroad-bridge across the Mississippi River, between the city of La
Crosse, Wisconsin, and a point opposite, in the State of Minnesota, with the consent of
the legislatures of the States of Minnesota and Wisconsin, and said bridge, by this act


14 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

authorized to be constructed, is hereby declared a post-route, and subject to all the
terms, conditions, restrictions, and requirements, and entitled to all the privileges named
in an act approved July 25, 1866, entitled "An act to authorize the construction of certain
bridges and to establish them as post-roads."
Approved February 21, 1808.

Act approved April 1, 1872.

[GENERAL NATURE—No. 33.]

AN ACT to authorize the construction of a bridge across the Mississippi River at or near the town of
Clinton, in the State of Iowa, and other bridges across said river, and to establish them as post-roads.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America
in Congress assembled, That it shall be lawful for any person or persons, company or
corporation, to build a bridge across the Mississippi River at such point on said river
within fifteen miles of the town of Clinton, in the State of Iowa, as may accommodate
the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, and its connections on the west side of
said river, and to lay on or over said bridge railway-tracks for the more perfect, connection
of any railroads that are or shall be constructed to the said river, at or opposite
said point, under the limitations and conditions hereinafter provided ; that said bridge
shall not interfere with the free navigation of said river beyond what is necessary in
order to carry into effect the rights and privileges hereby granted; and in case of any
litigation arising from any obstruction, or alleged obstruction, to the free navigation of
said river, the cause may be tried before the district court of the United Status of any
State in which any portion of said obstruction or bridge touches: Provided, That said
bridge shall not be so located or constructed as to interfere in any manner with the
approaches to the railroad-bridge now erected at Clinton, or with the piers of the same,
or so as to obstruct in any manner the passage of said bridge by boats, vessels, or rafts,
or to render such passage more difficult or dangerous: Provided, however, That this
clause shall not be construed to prohibit the crossing of the approaches to said bridge,
if such crossing shall be found necessary.
SEC. 2. That any bridge built under the provisions of this act may, at the option of
the company building the same, be built as a draw-bridge, with a pivot or other form
of draw, or with unbroken or continuous spans: Provided, That if the said bridge shall
be made with unbroken and continuous spans it shall not be of less elevation, in any
case, than fifty feet above extreme high-water mark, as understood at the point of
location, to the bottom chord of the bridge; nor shall the spans of said bridge be less
than two hundred and fifty feet in length ; and the piers of said bridge shall be parallel
with the current of the river, and the main span shall be over, the main channel
of the river, and not less than three hundred feet in length: And provided also, That if
any bridge built under this act shall be constructed as a draw-bridge, the same shall be
constructed as a pivot draw-bridge, with a draw over the main channel of the river at an
accessible and navigable point, and with spans of not less than one hundred and sixty
feet in length in the clear on each side of the central or pivot pit-r of the draw; and
the next adjoining spans to the draw shall not be less than two hundred and fifty feet;
and said spans shall not be less than thirty feet above low-water mark, and not less
than ten above extreme high-water mark, measuring to the bottom chord of the bridge;
and the piers of said bridge shall be parallel with the current of the river where said
bridge may be erected: And provided also, That said draw shall be opened promptly,
upon reasonable signal, for the passage of boats.
SEC. 3. That any bridge constructed under this act, and according to its limitations,
shall be a lawful structure, and shall be known -and recognized as a post-route, upon
which, also, no higher charge shall be made for the transmission over the same of the
mails, the troops, and the munitions of war of the United States, than the rate per
mile paid for their transportation over the railroads, public highways, leading to the
said bridge; and the United States shall have the right of way for postal-telegraph
purposes across said bridge.
SEC. 4. That all railway companies desiring to use the said bridge shall have and be
entitled to equal rights and privileges in the passage of the same, and in the use of the
machinery and fixtures thereof, and of all the approaches thereto, under and upon such
terms and conditions as shall be prescribed by the Secretary of War, upon hearing the
allegations and proofs of the parties in case they shall not agree.
SEC. 5. That the structure herein authorized shall be built and. located under and
subject to such regulations for the security of navigation of said river as the Secretary
of War shall prescribe, and the said structure shall be at all times so kept and managed
as to offer reasonable and proper means for the passage of vessels through or under
said structure; and the said structure shall be changed at the cost and expense of the


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 15

owners thereof from time to time as Congress may direct, so as to preserve the free
and convenient navigation of said river. And the authority to erect and continue said
bridge shall be subject, to revocation, modification by law whenever the public good
shall in the judgment of Congress so require, without any expense or charge to the
United States.
SEC 6. That the Muscatine Western Railroad Company, or their assigns, a corporation
existing under the laws of the State of Iowa, be and is hereby authorized to construct
and maintain abridge across the Mississippi River at the city of Muscatine, in
the State of Illinois, and the countries of Jackson and Clinton, in the State of Iowa,
either by the Western Union Railroad Company or the Sabula, Ackley, and Dakota
Railroad Company, or both of them, or by either or both of their successors or assigns,
or by any person, company, or corporation having authority from the Sates of Illinois
and Iowa. The bridge authorized to be built by this section is hereby declared to be a
post-route, and shall have all the privileges and is subject to all the terms, restrictions, and
requirements contained in the foregoing sections of this act.
SEC. 7. That a bridge may be constructed and maintained across the Mississippi
River at any point they may select, between the counties of Carroll and Whiteside, in
the State of Illinois, and the counties of Jackson and Clinton, in the State of Iowa,
either by the Western Union Railroad Company or the Sabula, Ackley, and Dakota
Railroad Company, or both of them, or by either or both of their successors or assigns,
or by any person, company, or corporation having authority from the States of Illinois
and Iowa. The bridge authorized to be built by this section is hereby declared to be a
post-route, and has all the privileges, and is subject to all the. terms, restrictions, and
requirements contained in the foregoing sections of this act.
SEC. 8. That a bridge may be constructed and maintained across the Mississippi
River at any point they may select, between the county of La Crosse, in the State of
Wisconsin, and the county of Houston, in the State of Minnesota, by the Milwaukee
and Saint Paul Railway Company, their successors or assigns, or by any person, company,
or corporation having authority from the States of Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The bridge authorized to be built by tin's section is hereby declared to be a post-route,
and has all the privileges and is subject to all the terms, restrictions, and requirements
contained in the foregoing sections of this act.
SEC. 9. That the right to alter or amend this act, so as to prevent or remove all material
obstructions to the navigation of said river by the construction of bridges, is
hereby expressly reserved.
SEC. 10. That this act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage,
without any expense or charge to the United States.

Approved April 1, 1872.
[GENERAL MATURE—No. 102.]

AN ACT further regulating the construction of bridges across the Mississippi River.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United Stales of America in
Congress assembled, That all bridges hereafter constructed over and across the Mississippi
River, under authority of any act of Congress, shall be subject to all the terms,
restrictions, and requirements contained in the fifth section of an act entitled "An act
to authorize the construction of a bridge across the Mississippi River at or near the
town of Clinton, in the State of Iowa, and other bridges across said river, and to establish
them as post-roads," approved April 1, 1872; and in locating any such bridge
the Secretary of War shall have due regard to the security and convenience of navigation,
to convenience of access, and to the wants of all railways and highways crossing
said river.
Approved June 4, 1872.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, June 5,1872.

A true copy.
R. S. CHEW,
Chief Clerk.


16 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

Comparative exhibit of the acts of Congress relating to bridging the Mississippi River above
Saint Louis, Missouri, approved July 25, 1866, and April 1, 1872, as far as they concern the
navigation of the river, and the duties prescribed for the Secretary of War.

Act of Congress approved July 25, 1866. Act of Congress approved April 17 1872.
Be it enacted, &c., That it shall be lawful for any person or persons, company, or corporation,
having authority from the States of Illinois
and Missouri for such purpose,
to build a bridge across the Mississippi River, at Quincy, Illinois,
such point on said river within fifteen
miles of the town of Clinton, in the State
of Iowa, as may accommodate the Chicago,
Burlington, and Quincy Railroad and
its connections on the west side of the river,
and to lay on and over said bridge railway-tracks, for the more perfect connection of
any railroads that are or shall be constructed to the said river, at or opposite said point,
and that when constructed, all trains of all
roads terminating at said river, at or opposite
said bridge, shall be allowed to cross
said bridge for reasonable compensation
to be made to the owners of said bridge,
under the limitations and conditions hereinafter provided.
that said bridge shall not interfere with
the free navigation of said river beyond
what is necessary in order to carry into
effect the rights and privileges hereby
granted.
any obstruction, or alleged obstruction to
And in case of any litigation arising from any obstruction, or alleged obstruction to
the free navigation of said river, the cause may be tried before the district court of the
United States of any State in which any portion of said obstruction or bridge touches:
Provided, That said bridge shall not be so
located or constructed as to interfere in
any manner* with the approaches to the
railroad bridge now erected at Clinton, or
with the piers of the same, or so as to obstruct
in any manner the passage of said
bridge by boats, vessels, or rafts, or to
render such passage more difficult or dangerous:
Provided, however, That this clause
shall not be construed to prohibit the
I crossing of the approaches to said bridge
I if such crossing shall be found necessary.
SEC. 2. * * * Any bridge built * * may, at the opion of the company
building the same, be built as a draw-bridge with a pivot or other form of draw; or
with unbroken or continuous spans: Provided, That if made with unbroken or continuous
spans, it shall not be of less elevation in any case than fifty feet above extreme
high-water mark, as understood at the point of location, to the bottom chord of the
bridge; nor shall the spans be less than two hundred and fifty feet; and the piers shall
be parallel with the current, and the main span shall be over the main channel of the
river and not less than three hundred feet in length. And provided also, That, if any
bridge built under this act as a draw-bridge, it shall be as a pivot draw-bridge, with a
draw over the main channel, at an accessible and navigable point, and with spans of
not less than one hundred and sixty feet in the*clear on each side of the central or
pivot-pier of the draw, and the next adjoining spans shall not be less than two hundred
and fifty feet; and said spans shall not be less than thirty feet above low-water mark,
and not less than ten feet above extreme high-water mark, measured to the bottom
chord of the bridge; and the piers of said bridge shall be parallel with the current of
the river where said bridge may be erected. * * *

SECTION 3. Declares the bridge a post-route, and provides for charges on transport of
mails, troops, &o.


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 17

SECTION 4 provides for the building by
the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad
Company of a railroad-bridge across
the Mississippi River at Burlington, Iowa,
subject to the same conditions as the bridge
at Quincy.
SECTION 5 provides for the building of
a bridge at Hannibal, Missouri, subject to
these same conditions.
SECTION 6 provides for a bridge from
Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, to North
McGregor, Iowa, subject to these same
conditions.
SECTION 7 provides for building a bridge
at Keokuk, Iowa, by the Keokuk and Hamilton
Mississippi Bridge Company, subject
to these same conditions.
SECTION 8 authorizes the Winona and Saint
Peter Railroad Company to build a bridge
from Winona, Minnesota, to a point opposite,
subject to these same conditions.
SECTION 9 authorizes the building of a
bridge between Dubuque, Iowa, and Dunleith,
Illinois, subject to these same conditions.
By act approved February 21, 1868, the
Southern Minnesota Railroad Company
were authorized to construct and operate
a railroad-bridge across the Mississippi
River, between the city of La Crosse, Wisconsin,
and a point opposite, in the State I of Minnesota.
SECTION 4. That all railway companies
desiring to use said bridge shall have and
be entitled to equal rights and privileges
in the passage of the same, and in the use
of the machinery and fixtures thereof, and
of all approaches thereto, under and upon
such terms and conditions as shall be prescribed
by the Secretary of War upon hearing
the allegations and proofs of the parties
in case they shall not agree.
SEC. 5. That the structure herein authorized
shall be built and located under
and subject to such regulations for the
security of navigation of said river as the
Secretary of War shall prescribe, and the
said structure shall be at all times so kept
and managed as to offer reasonable and
proper means for the passage of vessels
through or under said structure; and the
said structure shall be changed at the cost
and expense of the owners thereof, from
time to time, as Congress may direct, so as
to preserve the free and convenient navigation
of said river. And the authority
to erect and continue said bridge shall be
subject to revocation, modification bylaw,
whenever the public good shall in the
judgment of Congress so require, without
any expense or charge to the United States.
SECTION 6 authorizes the Muscatine
Western Railroad Company to construct
and maintain a bridge across the Mississippi
River at Muscatine, Iowa, subject to the
same conditions prescribed for the above-
authorized bridge, at or near Clinton, Iowa.
SECTION 7 authorizes the building of a
bridge either by the Western Union Railway
Company, or by the Sabula, Ackley
and Dakota Railroad Company, or by both,
across the Mississippi River at any point
they may select, between the counties of
Carroll and Whiteside, in Illinois, and the
counties of Jackson and Clinton, in Iowa,
subject to the same conditions.
SECTION 8 authorizes} the building of a
bridge by the Milwaukee and Saint Paul
Railway Company at any point they may
select between the county, of La Crosse,
Wisconsin, and the county of Houston,
Minnesota, subject to these same conditions.

AN ACT regulating the construction of bridges the Mississippi River, approved June 4, 1872.

Be it enacted, &e., That all bridges hereafter constructed over and across the Mississippi
under authority of any act of Congress shall be subject to all the terms, restrictions,
and requirements contained in the fifth section of the act to authorize the
construction of a bridge across the Mississippi at or near the town of Clinton, Iowa,
H. Ex. 71——2


18 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

approved April 1, 1872, and in locating any such bridge the Secretary of War shall
have due regard to the security and convenience of navigation, to convenience of
access, and the wants of all railways and highways crossing said river.

No. 8.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER, October 9, 1866.
Sat: I have "been intrusted by the Engineer Department of the War Department
with the duty of collecting information concerning " the subject of constructing railroad
bridges across the Mississippi River, between Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Saint Louis,
Missouri, upon such plans of construction as will offer the least impediment to the
navigation of the river," as directed by act of Congress approved June 23, 1866. I am
therefore making surveys at all proposed bridging points, so as probably to obtain the
general character of the river at each of them, so far as the present stage of low water
will admit.
Besides the results of these surveys, I much desire to present (along with my report)
your plans, if any, for crossing the Mississippi, and your views in regard to the subject
generally, so far as you are willing to submit them to the public.
I desire thus to be informed of the different locations which you have surveyed or
contemplated, and your views of their several merits and demerits as to facility of construction
and working, and their advantages to the railroad company, or to the city,
at the crossing-place ; of the different approaches in descending from the
level of the high prairie to that of the bridge; of the character of the river-bed, whether sand,
gravel, shell, or rock in place, and the depth through other materials before work is
reached; of the extreme ranges from high to low water, the velocities of the current
at the extreme and average stages, and their directions marked on a plan or map, and
the influence of the current and wind in affecting the passage of steamboats and rafts;
of the different kinds of structure for piers, draw-piers, draw-spans, and fixed spans,
designed to be used, and the location of the draw ; of the former condition of the river
if it becomes necessary, either by protecting portions liable to wash away, or by doing
or opening other channels, or by deflecting the current by-wing-dams. It is also very
desirable to present a statement of the present and prospective business interests which a
bridge would accommodate and promote, and the extent of country benefited by it.
In view of the great interest of the subject to you I hope it will be worth your while
to give this communication the fullest consideration, and that you will not confine
yourself merely to the points named, but give all other facts and opinions bearing on
the subject which you deem necessary to its fullest appreciation, and present with
them maps and sections.
This information is desired as soon as it can be conveniently furnished, and should
be sent to me at my headquarters, at Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Please acknowledge receipt of this, and State the probable time when you can
send me a reply to the inquiries herein made.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. K. WARREN,
Major Engineers, and Brevet Major General, U. S. A.
Mr. T. B. SXODDARD,
President Southern Minnesota Railroad Company, La Crosse, Wisconsin.
The above communication was also addressed to Mr. S. S. Merrill, general manager
Milwaukee and Prairie du Chien Railroad, and of the Milwaukee and La Crosse Railroad,
and to ten other representatives of railroads then terminating on the Mississippi River.
The reply of Mr. Stoddard is hereto annexed.

No. 9.

OFFICE OF SOUTHERN MINNESOTA RAILROAD COMPANY,
La Crosse, November 10, 1866.
GENERAL: Your favor of 29th ultimo has this moment come to hand, propounding
questions embracing a field of inquiry to be had by professional engineers in part, and
of river pilots, resident pioneers, &c., all cognate to your searching purposes of duty,
that I dare not set a time within which to reply in extenso, but will try to call to my
aid the best practical talent necessary, and reply by installments, if no better. As soon


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 19

as the ice makes shall be able to verify with precision distances, depths of main and
collateral channels, old and recent bars, islands, &c., and will accompany them by diagrams,
charts, and maps: meanwhile, remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. B. STODDARD,
President, &c.,&c.
Major-General G. K. WARREN,
United States Mississippi River Service, $-c., Saint Paul, Minnesota.

[Published June 2, 1866.]

CHAPTER 531.—LOCAL.

AN ACT to authorize T. B. Stoddard and others to build arid maintain a toll-bridge over La Plume
chute or slough in the Third ward of the city of La Crosse.

The people of the State of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact
as follows :

SECTION 1. T. B. Stoddard, Milton Barlow, John M. Levy, Robert AV. Burns, C. K.
Lord, Charles Michel, James Vincent, B. F. Bradish, and Charles L. Coleman, their
associates and assigns, shall have power to build arid maintain a trestle-bridge across
the La Plume chute or slough, at any point opposite Isle La Plume, at the outlet of
any street thereon, in section six or seven, town fifteen, range seven west, within the
limits of the city of La Crosse. Said bridge shall not be less than sixteen feet in
width.
SEC. 2. The said parties and their associates and assigns shall have power, immediately
after the completion of said bridge, to demand and collect tolls for passing over
said bridge, as follows: For any vehicle drawn by two horses, mules or oxen, ten cents,
and for each additional horse or ox two cents ; for any vehicle drawn by one horse, six
cents ; for a single horse, five cents ; for horses and cattle in droves, three cents each;
for hogs or sheep in droves, two cents each ; for foot-passengers, two cents each.

SEC. 3. Said parties, their associates and assigns, shall keep posted up in a conspicuous
place on said bridge the rates of toll allowed by this act.
SEC. 4. Any person or persons committing any malicious injury to said bridge shall
be liable to said T. B. Stoddard, his associates and assigns, to the amount of injury
done, and all damages sustained may be collected before any court having competent
jurisdiction thereof, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished in the manner
prescribed by law for offenses of that nature.
SEC. 5. Said bridge shall be completed within one year from the passage of this act.
SEC. 6. Any future legislature may alter, amend or repeal this act.
SEC. 7. Any person or persons who shall forcibly or fraudulently pass over the said
bridge without paying the legal toll shall, for such offense, forfeit the sum of two dollars,
to and for the use of the said T. B. Stoddard, his associates and assigns, to be
recovered in an action of trespass or trespasses on the case, before any court having
competent jurisdiction.
SEC. 8. The city council of La Crosse shall have power and authority to make and
declare said bridge free, on first paying to the said parties, their associates and assigns,
the cost of the construction of said bridge, and of the necessary fixtures thereof; and
if the said parties, their associates and assigns, shall fail to build and complete said
bridge within one year from the date of this act, then, and in such case, the city council
aforesaid shall have authority to build and maintain a free bridge across the said
chute or slough whenever, in their opinion, the interests of said city shall best be promoted
thereby.
SEC. 9. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.
Approved April 11, 1866.

No. 10.
LA CROSSE, December 31, 1866.
SIR: Your favor of 29th October, calling for information on the subject of constructing
"railroad-bridges" across the Mississippi River, upon such a plan as shall
offer the least impediment to its navigation, (under an act of Congress of 23d June,)
was received and duly acknowledged on the 10th ultimo, when 1 ventured to suggest
a postponement as to certain admeasurements and river soundings required,
until the formation of ice should afford facilities for greater accuracy and precision.
Hence this delay in responding to your comprehensive inquiries.


20 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

The enabling act "for "bridging the Mississippi" (approved July 25) nominates
points therefore, at all the notable towns above and below La Crosse, within the scope
of your commission, from Saint Louis to Winona, both inclusive.
A petition from the Southern Minnesota Railroad Company, of even date herewith
will be presented to the present Congress for leave to bridge the Mississippi opposite
the city of La Crosse, as "well because its eastern terminus touches the river opposite La
Crosse as on account of that city's commercial importance growing out of its position
as to natural and artificial agents converging thereto, viz : " Black River" on the one
hand, and the " Hookah," or " Root River," on the other, both navigable streams,
joining the Mississippi, from Minnesota and Wisconsin.; the first named having branches
which thread extensive pineries, whence more than one hundred million feet (in the
log) have descended annually for years, expanding by its trade a hamlet of six families
to the dimensions of an incorporated city, between the years 1851 and 1856.
The last named, or "Root River," of more than one hundred miles stem, with its
twenty-six tributary valleys, penetrates a region fast settling by immigration from
the East, which, as late as 1859, drew its breadstuff's from abroad ; and which from
frontier counties, yet sparsely peopled, will this current year send to and through La
Crosse its share of three million bushels wheat for market, as exhibited in the following
semi-official document:
I
Estimate by Lieutenant-Governor Sherwood, of Minnesota, residing at Rusltford, Fillmore
County, of the amount of surplus grain, per annum, raised in the portion of country tributary
T o the first thirty miles of road :
Bushels.
In Fillmore County2,000, 000
Houston County 1,000,000
Olmstead and Northern Iowa 500, 000
Mower County.250,000
3,750,000

The average price of transportation should be at least 7 cents per bushel, and
corresponding prices for return freight.

Population of the first four counties from the river ~by census of 1865 :

Houston County. 9. 000
Fillmore County.18,000
Mower County.5, 500
Olmstead County. 14, 500
It does not become the directors to speak of their own management. They confidently
refer, however, to their past conduct of the enterprise and (for other information)
to the trustees for bondholders, or to any prominent public men of their own State.
In which connection it should be borne in mind that there be other eleven counties,
of equal fertility, in line of our Southern Minnesota Railroad route to the western
boundary of the State, which boundary is itself two hundred miles short of its ultimate
legal terminus, on the " Great Bend of the Missouri" doubling the distance to be
opened up to settlement, and vindicating in its course the benign policy of Congress
in endowing railroads in connection with its " homestead laws."
Having thus exhibited the relative positions subsisting between our " Southern
Minnesota Railroad" and La Crosse, the following index-map to the longer one herewith
will afford a connected view of both shores of the river, while the larger map
will exhibit the merits and demerits, if any, of the five several crossings, distances,
soundings, &c., &c., referred to in the following review of them, from the hand of
H. I. Bliss, esq., civil engineer, city surveyor, and principal publisher of the most
authoritative maps extant of La Crosse and its surroundings:

"LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN, December 26,1866.

"SIR: At your request I herewith submit a statement of facts obtained from surveys
and observations, together with my own views relating to the five different routes for
bridging the Mississippi in this locality.

"A portion of the data here given has been obtained by examinations upon the ice.
The different routes are designated by numbers upon the accompanying map.
'”No. 1. The total distance from the bank of Black River to the Minnesota shoe,


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 21

5,820 feet. The distance across the channel of the Mississippi, 1,680 feet; across the
channel of Black River, which will require a draw, 730 feet. The remainder of the
distance is across bottom-lands, islands, and sloughs. This route was designed to connect
the once-proposed terminus of the Southern Minnesota Railroad with the La
Crosse and Milwaukee Railroad, (now Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad,) upon the east
side of the river. It is entirely north of and without the limits of the city of La Crosse.
Upon the west side its terminus is upon low bottom-lands.
"No. 2. Designed to connect the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad with the Minnesota
shore, also across Black River. Total distance from bank of Black River to
west bank of Mississippi, 5,100 feet; of this, the distance across Black River is 500 feet ;
across the Mississippi 1,200 feet; the remainder being islands and sloughs. Here the
channel of the main river, the sand-bars or small islands, are constantly shifting, and
will require building piers of masonry from the bank of Black River to east bank
of Island City, i c., Barren's Island. The currents of Black and La Crosse Rivers
tend to form a bar across the Mississippi, distributing the whole about equally through
the main channels and sloughs, so that in low water there is no deep channel. The
extension of the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad to the terminus of route No. 3,
now in progress, will cause this route to be abandoned.
"No. 3. Once a favorite route, its eastern terminus being in the business center of
La Crosse, has been abandoned on account of the width of the channels, sloughs, and
sloughs over the very low marshy grounds for some two miles on the west side. Total
distance, 4,900 feet; main channel, 1,500 feet; remainder, islands and sloughs.
"No. 4 is rather a ferry route. Total distance, 3,200 feet; main channel, 1,600 feet;
remainder, islands and sloughs.
"No. 5. Total distance, 4,030 feet; main channel, 1,170 feet; remainder, islands and
sloughs. Here the channel for a distance of a fourth of a mile is deep, even in low-water;
soundings given upon the large map accompanying, and is in a direct line.
"The slough upon the Wisconsin side is shoal and nearly dry in low water. That
upon the Minnesota side is merely the outlet of Target Lake and Pine Creek, so that
the whole volume of water, in low water, pours through the main channel. Pile
bridges will suffice for the approaches to the main channel.
"The bridge designed is with draws, (and not the other plan, in the act of July last;
plan prescribing 50 feet elevation above the water, which is here impracticable.)
“(These draws must; of necessity be located in the main channel.)
"Thus at its (the channel's) intersection with route No. 5 is fixed, and in a direct
line, but at its (the channel's) intersection with the other routes is either varying or forms
an angle.
"To recapitulate, I herewith annex a table of distances.
Number. Distance across main channel. Distance across Black River. Distance across islands and sloughs. Total distance.
I 1,680 730 3,410 5,820
2 1,200 500 3,400 5,100
3 1,500 3, 400 4,900
4 1,600 1,600 3,200
5 1, J70 2, 860 4,030
"The approaches to the intervening channels can be by way of pile-work at about
the same expense per foot to each channel. Bridging, being the expensive feature,
would debit the several routes notably.
"The conflict of currents at the confluence of Black River, and the islets and sandbars
consequent, results in those two principal channels on either side Barren's Island
or Island City, as denominated on the map; while both currents will be seen to unite
before reaching 'No. 5,' and to have acquired a direct course, parallel to the banks of
Isle La Plume and the head of Broken Arrow Island, the one being a mile in length,
and both clothed with trees of dimensions indicative of ancient formation and future
permanence, between which and the main shores respectively chutes or sloughs occur,
sufficing the offices of waste-wiers in stages of high water, and which, if closed by
wing-dams at their head in seasons of low water, would materially improve the main
channel, and at moderate public expense.
"The river-bed is of sand upon all the routes.
"The sand-spit or outgrowth from west side of 'Isle La Plume' proper, attained
its present dimensions between the years 1852 and 1857, since when the cause has


22 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

ceased, its western limit conforming to the "bend of the current, which, is abrupt and
of sufficient depth to admit the lauding of the larger class of steamers.
"The extreme range from high to low water is about 14 feet. The current at high
water is about three and a half miles per hour, and at low water about two and a half
miles per hour.
"The current and wind affect raft and boats so that when a bridge is located at or
near an angle in the current, great difficulty is experienced in steering clear of the
piers.
"Route No. 5 will require five piers, the pivot-pier inclusive, (in accordance with section
2 of the act of Congress, July 25, last passed.)
"The channel lies near ' Broken Arrow Island ;' the draw must of necessity be located
there; the adjoining span, upon the last, according to said act, being 250 feet, and the
remaining spans 160 feet each in the clear.
"Route No. 4 would require eight piers; the spans adjoining on each side the draw
being 250 feet each, the remaining spans being 160 feet each in the clear.
"Route No. 3 would require seven piers, with spans the same as above.
"Route No. 2 would require five piers, with spans the same as above. Here piers
would be required for the bridges across Black River, and the small islands, with a
draw at Black River.
"Route No. 1 would require eight piers, with spans and draws as above. "Respectfully, yours, &c.,
"H. I. BLISS,
"Civil Engineer.
"T. B. STOBDARD, Esq."

In the above communication " Crossing No. 4" would seem to have been dismissed
as rather a ferry route ; Mr. Bliss's verbal objection being to the angle, in the current
where it leaves its bearing on Island City, or Barren's Island, denoted upon the map.
In the absence of chief engineer of our railroad I cannot now controvert this objection
but if not concurred in will hereafter, at Ins-instance, forward his theory.
Meanwhile, as to closing lateral channels to the main one by "wing-dams" at the
head of islands I would respectfully call your attention to two proposed " wing-dams,"
the one at A, head of " Broken Arrow," and B, at the head of " Isle La Plume."
The engineer employed to estimate the expense of closing the large "arm" of the
river at A, opposite " Washburn's Landing" being at the head of " Broken Arrow," put
the cost of a double row of piles, with brush between, from the head of said island to
the shore, at $3,000; and the one at B, head of " Isle La Plume," at $5,000.
(See map of this section herewith.)
Wing-darns might likewise be constructed from the northwest corner of the head of
Barren's Island to Bates's Island, and thence to the main land, at like expense per
lineal foot, were it desirable to increase the volume of this River in front of La Crosse,
with the consent of the owners of town-sites, and other private rights bounding on
the west channel.
Of the cost of material, it cannot be here itemized, being quite fluctuating, according
to the demand for "hands." The contractor would have, however, four competing
sources of supply from the Upper Mississippi, Black, La Crosse, and Root Rivers,
while for piers, a choice of sand-stone rock or lime-stone rock is found in
accessible strata skirting the railroad-track and in bluffs in sight of the proposed
works.
The local changes of the river within the compass taken for these five proposed
crossings have been continued chiefly to the small islands in vicinity of Nos. 1 and 2,
as affecting the business thoroughfare, or steamboat-channel, for the last sixteen years.
There have been seasons when freighted steamers from below could not find a
channel deep enough and have turned back, hence the origin of the far-famed
Davidson's or "Northwest Union Packet Company's Line" to meet the exigency.
There has been no change for the last sixteen years affecting the channel on the
east shore of Broken Arrow.
With respect to the kind of bridge to be built according to the short length
required at Broken Arrow Crossing, and the trial given the Frink "Iron Suspension
Truss Bridge" on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and elsewhere, and its relative
cost, our company would be more likely to give it the preference and as indestructible
by fire.
The approach to the west shore of "La Plume" would be from the prairie (thirty-
two feet above low water) by a down-grade to the eastern abutment of the bridge-site,
whose western abutment would correspond with the track of our Southern
Minnesota Railroad, a few rods distant, to which point (the east shore of Broken
Arrow) our company is under bond to extend Us track on or by 1st of January, 1868,
The testimony of the pilots, through their president, and its indorsement by
the steamboat captains, through Captain Davidson, president of the Northwest
Union Packet Company, is here added by way of appendix.


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 23

The impediments to the navigation of the river incident to bridging it being piers,
it follows the fewer the less the impediment, provided, always, these fixtures have
place parallel with the current, and of verge and reach enough to accommodate the
largest rafts that seek the down-river markets.
These two conditions we believed to be eminently fulfilled by one, at least, of the
five several crossings above set forth; meanwhile, for the tedious length of this
communication, your leave to elaborate the numerous points made in your letter, and
your known patient vigilance in personally scrutinizing the subject-matters while
on duty, must excuse it in part.
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. B. STODDARD,
President Southern Minnesota Railroad Company.
Major-General G. K, WARREN, U. S. A.,
In charge, &c., &c.

I, Henry J. Bliss, civil engineer, hereby certify that the plat hereto attached shows
accurately the different lines of railroads and projected railroads within the limits covered
by said plat. The point of divergence of the projected road to Winona from the
Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad is three and three-fourths miles from the depot at
La Crosse, and the distance from said point of divergence to a point opposite the railroad
depot in Winona, on the east bank of the Mississippi River, is twenty-eight miles,
lacking 300 feet. The distance to the depot in Winona from a point on the west bank
of the Mississippi, opposite the depot in La Crosse, is twenty-five and one-half miles.
The cost of grading and bridging the road from the point last named to the depot in
Winona is estimated at $207,000. The cost of grading and bridging on the east side
of the Mississippi, from the point of divergence before named to opposite Winona, will
not materially vary from the above sum. The character of the ground on the west
bank of the river is by far the most desirable for a railroad, it having no heavy grades
or short curves, and being for nearly the whole distance above the highest floods of the
Mississippi. Many miles of the line on the east side of the river is across low bottom
laud, subject to annual overflows, and across which a railroad can only be maintained
at heavy expense. The line indicated on the map between the letters A and B, a distance
of over eight miles in one stretch, was with slight exception from one to six feet
under water in the mouth of April last, though the water was then not so high as it
often is.
In consequence of the high range of hills indicated upon the map between the La
Crosse and Black Rivers, a departure from the Milwaukee and Saint Paul road at a
point farther east than that indicated upon the map is impracticable without two or
three miles of tunneling. The road on the east side of the Mississippi would cross
Trempe l’Eau and Black Rivers, the latter quite a large and important stream. The
line on the west side crosses no stream of any importance.
H. J. BLISS, Civil Engineer.
LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN, June 14, 1866.

THE NORTHWESTERN UNION PACKET COMPANY.

From an interesting article in the Saint Paul Pioneer, we extract the following items
concerning the Davidson line of steamers.
We spoke of the Northwestern Union Packet Company as a mammoth corporation.
It is indeed such, and has grown from a little " line of one boat." It now owns eleven
first-class side-wheel packets, and nineteen stern-wheel boats, together with one hundred
and fifteen barges. About 1,160 men are employed on its boats, in all capacities,
and some 300 or 350 on shore, (as agents, clerks, builders, &c.,) making nearly 2,000
men in the employ and pay of the company. The disbursements of the company for
wages, fuel, provisions, &c., amount to thousands daily. The company have two dockyards,
one at La Crosse, employing 100 men, and one on the Chippewa river, of equal
size. The company the past year have built eighteen barges of large size, and two first-
class boats. The capital stock of the company is $1,500,000.
During the past season the company, owing to the high price for labor charged by the
deck-hands, which ran up to $110 per month during harvest, imported some 500 or 600
negroes from Cincinnati at from $50 to $75 per month.
The general office of the company is at Dubuque. It has also principal offices in
Prairie cm Chien, La Crosse, and Saint Paul.


24 BRIDGE OVEE THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

IRON BRIDGE.

The new iron bridge being put up across White River, by the Indianapolis and Saint
Louis Railroad, will be completed in about ten days. It is what is called the " suspension
truss-bridge” the patent of Mr. Frink, superintendent of the Louisville and Nashville
Railroad. It is said to be lightest (consequently the cheapest) and most durable
bridge manufactured. The cost of this, which has four spans of 156 feet each, is
$40,000, and it is furnished by the Louisville (Kentucky) Bridge and Iron Company. One
of the main features of its superiority is that the top chord, which forms the main
support of the structure, is suspended by bolts in the cap of the towers, in such a manner
that it leaves it free to expand or contract, under the influence of heat or cold,
without causing the least wear or strain, to which all other iron bridges are believed
to be subject.
This is the only structure of the kind north of the Ohio River, though there are quite
a number on the Baltimore and Ohio, and ten or fifteen on the Louisville or Nashville
road; and as every piece of iron in them is tested before use to six times the amount
of strain it is expected to bear, they are of a very durable character. It is well worth
a visit to see.

DUBUQUE, IOWA, December, 1866.
SIR: Having been pilot upon the Upper Mississippi for the last ten years, it of
course has required us to study pretty carefully the changeful character of the stream
and especially to note the "permanent reaches," so called.
Among those reaches (by which we pilots mean parallel currents to the shore) the
current between " lie la Pliune," on the east side, and Broken Arrow Island, on the
other or west side, has not changed from the west shore for said period, but has uniformly
hugged the east shore of said " Broken Arrow," as denoted upon the earliest maps and
shown upon the diagram hereto annexed.
To whom it may concern.
THOMAS CUSTION, Pilot.
FRANK H. SESSON, Pilot.
W. A. ROOSEVELT, Engineer.
PRESIDENT of the Pilot Association of the Upper Mississippi River.
SAINT PAUL, December 21, 1866.
This is to certify that I have examined the copy of certificate of pilots of the Mississippi,
and fully accord with them.
H. F. PAVIDSON,
President Northwestern Union Packet Company.

MEMORIAL IN REGARD TO BRIDGING THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER.

To the honorable Senate and House of Representatives in Congress assembled:
The subscriber, a citizen of the State of Wisconsin, residing at the city of La Crosse
upon the Mississippi River, respectfully asks to call the attention of your honorable
bodies to a bill now pending before each House of Congress, authorizing the construction
of a railroad-bridge across the Mississippi, from Winona, in Minnesota, to a point
opposite in Wisconsin and to state some reasons why it should not pass in the form
presented. The fact is too well established to now require argument, that the bridging
of that river, even under the most favorable circumstances, increases the danger
and delays of navigation to a great degree; nor will it be contended that some bridges
across that river are not indispensable to accommodate the vast country beyond it. But
it is insisted that such obstructions to our great national highway shall be as few as possible,
and to the dangers and delays of such the navigating interests must submit.
While that interest is thus compelled to submit to great loss and delays, it is but fair
to ask that the great rival interest of railroads should submit to some inconveniences,
to make the obstructions of the river as few as possible. It is, therefore, contended
that where two trunk-railroads can be accommodated with one bridge, with no inconvenience
to one road and very slight to the other, that then such railroads should be
confined to one bridge, instead of being allowed to construct two within a short distance
of each other. The Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad has been completed and
in operation for some years from Milwaukee, on Lake Michigan, to La Crosse, on the
Mississippi River. Opposite La Crosse, at La Crescent, in the State of Minnesota, commences
he Southern Minnesota Railroad, now operating for twenty miles and rapidly ex-


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 25

tending to the eastern boundary of that State. It is endowed with a land-grant from,
the State and the United States, and will be one of the most important roads in Minnesota.
This road will demand a bridge at La Crosse, to connect with the Milwaukee Railroad.
Commencing at Winona, at a point twenty-five and one-half miles above a point
opposite the La Crosse depot, is another railroad running west, called the Winona and
Saint Peters Railroad. This road has seventy-five miles now in operation, and is fast
pushing westward. This is the road that is now applying for the privilege of bridging
at Winona, with a view of building a railroad to connect with the Milwaukee Railroad
at a point three and three-fourths miles east of the depot in La Crosse. The charter
under which this last-named piece of railroad is sought to be built was granted by
the State of Wisconsin to the La Crosse, Trempe l’Eau and Prescott Railroad Company
over nine years ago, but not one yard of the road has yet been constructed.
The opponents of two bridges instead of one maintain that the proper way for the
Winona and Saint Peter's Railroad to connect with the Milwaukee Road is to build the
connecting-link upon the west bank of the Mississippi, to a point opposite the La
Crosse depot, and then cross upon the same bridge with the Southern Minnesota Railroad.
The objections that have been stated by the friends of the bridge at Winona to
crossing at La Crosse, are : first, that to connect with the Milwaukee road would increase
the distance some twelve miles ; and, second, that it would add several hundred thousand
dollars to the cost. Of the first of these reasons not more than one-sixth part is
true, as the increased distance at the utmost will not exceed two miles, a very small
matter compared with the increased danger and delays to navigation which an extra
bridge would impose. The second objection which has been stated has no foundation
in fact. That the whole question may be understood at a glance, I append hereto a
map made by H. J. Bliss, esq., civil engineer, together with his certificate appended
thereto As to the general accuracy of the map and certificate I entertain no doubt,
as I am personally well acquainted with the routes on both sides of the river, and
with the engineer who makes the map and certificate.
So well satisfied are the people who oppose unnecessary bridging with the correctness
of the position here assumed, that they are willing to have the point for bridging
to be determined by a board of engineers, to be detailed by the Secretary of War; and
he therefore prays, if any bridge is authorized to be constructed, that the bill will
provide that it may be built " either at Winona or La Crosse, the point to be determined
by a board consisting of three competent Army engineers, to be detailed by the
Secretary of War, which board is directed to locate the bridge where it will least
obstruct navigation and best accommodate the lines of railroad now constructed or
soon to be constructed west of the Mississippi."
C. C. WASHBURN.

No. 11.

To the Hon. WM. W. BELKNAP,
United States Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:
DEAR SIR : In the matter of the location of the railroad-bridge by the Milwaukee
and Saint Paul Railway Company, across the Mississippi, between the county
of La Crosse, in the State of Wisconsin, and the county of Houston, in the State of
Minnesota, agreeably with the charter for the same, approved April 1, 1872, you are
called upon by the said railroad company to approve, and by the undersigned, James
Lyndes, mayor, in behalf of the citizens of La Crosse, and W. W. Jones, president,
on behalf of the La Crosse Board of Trade, to disapprove, of the location of said bridge,
for the following reasons, to wit:
1st. That the interest of commerce demands that in the location and construction
of railroad and other bridges across navigable waters there should be the least possible
obstruction to navigation.
2d. That there are already completed to the Mississippi River, at La Crosse, two
lines of railroad, each of about two hundred miles in length, one being the Southern
Minnesota Railroad, on the west side of the Mississippi, and the other the La Crosse
division of the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway, on the east side of the Mississippi,
and both of these railroad companies have acquired bridge-charters from Congress,
when one bridge might, would, and should be so located and constructed as to secure
to both railroads all needed facilities for crossing the Mississippi, instead of having
two bridges so located that neither can obtain convenient access to the other.
3d. That, in addition to these two lines of railroad, there is now being constructed
from Madison to or near La Crosse, on the east side of the Mississippi, a branch of the
Chicago and Northwestern Railway, one hundred and twenty miles in length, on
which about one-half of the work is done, and the remainder will probably be completed
during the present year.


26 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

4th. That in addition to these three lines of railroad there is also being constructed,
on the west side of the Mississippi the Dubuque and Minnesota Railroad, which will be
completed to a point opposite the city of La Crosse, about the 1st of August, 1872.
5th. That the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway are now constructing a line of railroad
from Winona, on the west bank of the Mississippi, to or near a point opposite their
present terminus, in La Crosse, on the east side of the Mississippi, in order to secure a
complete railway line for the Mississippi and Saint Paul Railway Company between
Chicago and Saint Paul, via Milwaukee and La Crosse.
6th. That, in addition to these five several lines of railroads already constructed or
being constructed to and from La Crosse, the said Dubuque and Minnesota Railroad
Company have signified a purpose to extend their line to Saint Paul, on a route a dozen
or twenty miles west of the Mississippi, on the margin of the prairie country.
7th. That, in addition to those six lines of railroad entering at La Crosse, from points
on both sides of the Mississippi, there is now being surveyed, with a fair prospect of
construction, the La Crosse and Black River Valley Railroad, to connect with the West
Wisconsin Railroad, the Wisconsin Central Railroad, Green Bay and Mississippi Railroad,
and other existing and projected lines of railway east of the Mississippi, for the purpose
of carrying lumber from the Wisconsin pine-districts to Minnesota and Iowa.
8th. That an eighth railroad, passing in a northeastern direction through the counties
of Cerro Gordo and Mitchell, in Iowa, and touching the State line of the county of
Mower, in Minnesota, is now being provided for by liberal subscriptions along its line
to the Mississippi, which may, and probably will, have its eastern terminus nearly opposite
La Crosse.
9th. That the extension of the Illinois Central and Mineral Point Railroads, agreeable
with charter and surveys already procured, of the railroad from Mineral Point to
La Crosse, is likely to be commenced at no distant day, as a compulsory measure of
self-defense, in view of the great enterprises that have been put in operation by powerful
rivals to secure the business of the Northwest and favorable connection with the
Northern Pacific Railroad.
10th. That the commerce of the Upper Mississippi and its tributaries is rapidly increasing,
and the navigation of these waters is growing with the increase of population
and the enlargements of the area of cultivation, and that the people look to these
navigable streams for cheap freight to and from the various markets, and to and from
the several railways between the Mississippi and the sea-board, and that, when practicable,
as in this case, the objects sought to be attained by Congress should be
secured by enabling the railways on both sides of the Mississippi to connect with and
transfer freight and passengers by means of a bridge that shall be so located as to facilitate
access to and communication with and between all roads centering at or near a
common point, and avoid a multiplicity of obstructions that are only needed to prevent
fair, free, and convenient bridge transit across the river for all that have not
secured charters.
11th. That while it is obvious there are and will be at least three great and powerful
rival and competitive lines of railways between La Crosse and Chicago, with about equal
distance for the two railways through Wisconsin known as the Milwaukee and Saint
Paul Railroad Company and the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company, the
extra distance of seventeen miles, via Dubuque and Illinois lines, will be fully counter
balanced by the absence of high grades, as the line runs almost on a dead level for the
greater part of the distance. But if the bridge is so located as to compel passengers
and freight via Dubuque to be sent by a circuitous route of three or four miles over
the bridge, as located by the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Company, at a point
which is a considerable distance above La Crosse, and also a couple of miles above
the month of the Pine Creek Valley, through which the Dubuque line of railroad will
necessarily pass in going to Saint Paul, it is evident the Dubuque company will be
deprived of fair competition for the freight and passenger business between La Crosse
and Saint Paul and between La Crosse and Chicago, whereas a fair and equitable location
of the bridge between La Crosse and La Crescent, across Baron's or Grand Island,
would enable all of the railways herein mentioned to form connections upon an equitable
basis at a common central point, accessible to all and involving only one draw
in said bridge, instead of having two or more bridges with several draws over Black
River and the Mississippi River.
12th. That irrespective of the complications or combinations that may exist among
and between any or all of these several railway interests, the people of the city of La
Crosse and the board of trade of this thriving city, which, although in its minority,
already numbers fully twelve thousand people, deem it their duty to ask that you will
reserve any action upon the approval or disapproval by you of the location of said
bridge for the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway until the next sessions of the legislatures
of Wisconsin and Minnesota, by which time some of the lines of railways now
being constructed will have reached the Mississippi, and definitely selected a fair, eligible,
and convenient point for the location and erection of a bridge that may secure
the laudable purpose of all concerned, unless you can adjust matters so as to secure a


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 27

location of said bridge by the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad Company below the out-
Jet of Black and La Crosse Rivers, so as to have only one bridge and one draw for all railway
purposes, and with the least possible detriment to navigation, as per accompanying
map and statistics, showing locations of bridge as asked for by the Milwaukee and
Saint Paul Railway, and showing also locations of bridge as earnestly recommended by
the undersigned.
Hoping that we may have a favorable response to this our remonstrance and request,
which are presented in the interests of national commerce, as well as those of a growing
city, whose chief crime is to aspire to the honor of being the second city in the
State, as it is the most prosperous one between Dubuque and St. Paul, we are, dear sir.
very respectfully yours,

SEAL OF CITY OF
LA CROSSE.

JAMES I. LYNDES,
Mayor of the city of La Crosse.
WM. W. JONES,
President La Crosse Board of Trade.

MADISON, May 24, 1872.
SIR I have read the foregoing statement, and can confirm its accuracy. One rail-
road-bridge at La Crosse is a necessity, and there should be but one. In appointing a
competent engineer to locate the bridge, I hope that you will instruct him to so locate
as will best accommodate all the railways centering, or likely to center, at or near that
point. There will be many roads as much interested in the crossing as the Saint Paul
and Milwaukee Railroad, and the entire commerce of the Mississippi River will be
prejudiced unnecessarily by the erection of more than one bridge.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. C. WASHBURN. Hon. W. W. BELKNAP, Secretary of War.

No. 12.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., May 28, 1872.

DEAR SIR : I shall be very much obliged if you will cause me to be informed when
the engineers to examine the location of the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway
Company's proposed bridge at La Crosse are appointed, and at what time they will
probably be on the ground. I would also take the liberty of suggesting, as being, in
my opinion, desirable, that the engineers of the railway should meet those appointed
by yourself for the purpose of showing and explaining their work, and furnishing such
information as may facilitate the latter in arriving at correct conclusions.
I remain yours, very truly,
ALEX. MITCHELL,
President Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway.
General W. W. BELKNAP.
Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.

No. 13.
VIROQUA, WISCONSIN, June 24, 1872.
DEAR SIR : I beg leave again, in behalf of many citizens of my district, who are,
deeply interested, to call your attention to the location of a bridge across the Missis-
sippi River at La Crosse. On the 24th of last May I received a communication from
you saying that a board of engineers would be appointed to locate said bridge under
section 5 of act entitled "An act to authorize the construction of a bridge across the
Mississippi River at or near the town of Clinton, and other bridges across said river,"
approved April 1, 1872, provided the city of La Crosse would pay the expenses of the
board. Since receiving that communication, I have secured *-he passage of the inclosed
act, which you will see gives additional power to the Secretary of War in locating
said bridge. I would call your attention to these words: " Secretary of War shall have
due regard to the security and convenience of navigation, to convenience of access, and
the wants of all railways and highways crossing said river." I am satisfied that such location
cannot be made satisfactorily without a careful examination of the river by a competent
board of engineers. If necessary, the city of La Crosse will pay the necessary
expenses of the board in locating such bridge.


28 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

I hope said board will be convened, with instructions to locate such bridge under
existing laws, and before any location is approved by yon, would respectfully ask to be
heard in behalf of the citizens of my district in said, location.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. RUSK.
Hon, W. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.

[GENERAL NATURE No. 102.]

AN ACT further regulating the construction of bridges across the Mississippi River.

Be it enacted ~by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America
in Congress assembled, That all bridges hereafter constructed over and across the Mississippi
River under authority of an act of Congress shall be subject to all the terms,
restrictions, and requirements contained in the fifth section of an act entitled "An act
to authorize the construction of a bridge across the Mississippi River at or near the town
of Clinton, in the State of Iowa, and other bridges across said river, and to establish
them as post-roads," approved April 1, 1872 ; and in locating any such bridge the
Secretary of War shall have due regard to the security and convenience of navigation, to
convenience of access, and to the wants of all railways and highways crossing said river.
Approved June 4, 1872.

JUNE 28, 1872.
SIR : I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 24th
instant, in regard to the location of a bridge across the Mississippi River near La
Crosse, and to reply that the whole question of the proposed bridge has been referred
to Major J. K. Warren, Corps of Engineers, for investigation, and until a report is
received from him the necessity for a board of 'engineers cannot be decided upon. Major
Warren, besides being conversant with the locality, has been directed, under an act of
Congress, to investigate and report upon bridging the Mississippi River, and his views
are therefore desirable. I will advise you when such report is rendered.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.
Hon. J. M. RUSK,
Viroqua, Wisconsin.

No. 14.

ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS, August 3, 1872.
GENERAL: I beg leave to submit herewith the report of the board of engineers convened
at La Crosse, Wisconsin, by paragraph 2, Special Orders No. 81, dated Headquarters
Corps of Engineers, July 8, 1872, upon the subject of a bridge across the
Mississippi River at the place above named.
The map referred to in the report, together with a profile sheet accompanying it, will be
sent forward by express. The other documents referred to the board from your
office, and those submitted to the board by parties interested, will also be forwarded to
you by express.
I remain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
J. N. MACOMB,
United States Army, President of the Board.
Brigadier-General A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Chief of Engineers U. S. A., Washington, D. C.

LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN, July 29, 1872.
GENERAL : The board of engineers appointed by paragraph 2, Special Orders No. 81,
dated Headquarters Corps of Engineers, July 8, 1872, for the consideration of projects


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 29

for bridging the Mississippi River at La Crosse, Wisconsin, would respectfully submit
the following report:
The matters referred to the hoard for examination and recommendation are somewhat
complicated on account of the unusual Dumber of opposing interests that have
been presented to the board, both in person and by letter. A brief summary of these
is necessary, in order that the Secretary of War may fully comprehend the situation.
La Crosse is a city of about 12,000 inhabitants, and its main portion is situated on
the east bank of the Mississippi, just below the lower mouth of the La Crosse River, a
small and unnavigable stream that flows from the northeast.
The Black River joins the Mississippi about a quarter of a mile above the La Crosse,
and a little more than half a mile above its mouth it receives the waters of the upper
mouth of the La Crosse, the delta between the two branches of the latter being low,
marshy laud, constantly overflowed. For the lower twenty miles, or thereabouts, the
Black River flows near the foot of the bluffs, on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi
Valley, and is connected with the Mississippi by various sloughs and bayous, the whole
region between the two rivers for about this distance being low, alluvial marshes and
islands, periodically overflowed in high water.
North La Crosse, the Fifth ward of the city, is on the Black River, just above the
upper mouth of the La Crosse, and the mile of interval between it and the main portion
of the city is low, swampy laud, entirely unoccupied, except where it has been
tilled in by the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad Company for their depot and
landing.
A couple of miles above La Crosse, on the opposite side of the river, is the village of
La Crescent. It contains about eight hundred inhabitants, and is situated on a bench
about half a mile back of the river. Its connection with La Crosse is kept up by a
ferry. Between La Crescent and the Mississippi is a strip of overflowed land and a
slough that, going southward, gradually widens into a morass, and finally into Target
Lake. This part of the bottom-land is very soft and difficult of passage. The construction
of a railroad through some portions of it would he difficult, though it is believed that it is
practicable everywhere except in the immediate vicinity of Target Lake.
The railroad system in and near La Crosse is as follows: The Milwaukee and Saint
Paul Railroad enters from the northeast by the La Crosse Valley, and has its depot
between the two mouths of the La Crosse. The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad
likewise enters from the same direction, the two tracks being side by side. Four miles
out the railroad to Winona diverges to the northwest, turning the southern point of
the high bluff between the valle3Ts of the La Crosse and the Black Rivers, and crossing
the Mississippi by the bridge at Winona. The road belongs to the Chicago and
Northwestern, but it is also used temporarily by the Milwaukee and Saint Paul. These
are all the roads in operation or now being built to La Cross*e on the Wisconsin side.
A survey has been made for a road up the Black River, which will be mainly for the
benefit of the lumber interest, and there is a possibility of a road up the Mississippi
from Prairie du Chien, and of one from Mineral Point. Both of the roads last mentioned
would have to enter by the Mississippi Valley, as the high range of the bluffs
about two miles back of La Crosse effectually prevents any railroad approach from
the east or southeast, except by the way of the La Crosse or Mississippi Valleys. The
Northwestern were offered .$200,000 bonus to come to La Crosse by a route from the
east through some of the small valleys in the bluffs, but found it impracticable, on account
of the heavy grades and the numerous tunnels. They finally chose the La
Crosse Valley, building by the side of the Milwaukee and Saint Paul. On the Minnesota
side of the river the only railroad in operation is the Minnesota Southern, which
runs due west up the Root River Valley. Its present terminus is on the Mississippi.,
near Target Lake, though it is claimed by some that its only legal terminus is at
La Crescent. This question, however, the board do not consider themselves called
upon to take up.
A branch of the Milwaukee and Saint Paul is graded from Winona to La Crescent,
and will soon be in working order. This is the branch with which the Milwaukee and
Saint Paul desires to connect by way of the bridge whose location is shown on the
map. The Chicago, Dubuque and Minnesota Railroad Company are building a road
up the west branch of the Mississippi, that will soon be opposite La Crosse, and being
desirous of competing for the La Crosse trade they particularly object to a bridge
above the main part of the city. • Their road will probably continue up Pine Creek to
the table-lands, and thence to Saint Paul, first connecting with the Southern Minnesota.
There is also a road projected to run northeasterly from Mason City, in Iowa,
which may terminate opposite La Crosse, but no work is known to have been done on
it. as yet. The company, however, has tiled a protest against a bridge above the city.
The only approaches to La Crosse from the west bank are those thus indicated: the
valley of the Mississippi and those of Root River and Pine Creek.
The board think it their duty, not only to consider the question of connections between
the roads that now exist, but also between all that will ever be built, as any bridge


30 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

large enough to span the Mississippi should be considered as a structure destined, with
proper repairs, to endure indefinitely. They are also unanimous in the opinion that no
more bridges should be allowed over the great navigable rivers than are absolutely
necessary, and that one bridge, properly constructed and managed, ought to suffice for
the present and prospective wants of all bridges and highways at La Crosse.
The localities presented to the consideration of the board are all designated on the
accompanying map, prepared under the direction of Major Warren, to which reference
is now made. These different locations will now be taken up in order. Before discussing
these sites it is proper to call attention to the law of June 4, 1872, which directs, among
other things, that all future bridges over the Mississippi shall be located "with due
regard to the wants of all railways and highways." This would seem to require that all
future railway bridges over the Mississippi shall also be highway bridges. As it is not
so stated directly, the board thought it best to get an official interpretation of the
meaning of this act, and therefore telegraphed to the Chief of Engineers for such interpretation.
A reply was received, stating that no authoritative decision on this matter
had been given by the Department of Justice. Under these circumstances the board
have acted on their best judgment, and have assumed that such must be its meaning,
in if not clearly expressed, and have based their report upon this conclusion.

THE MILWAUKEE AND SAINT PAUL PROPOSED SITE.

A bridge at this locality would be much longer than at any other place, from the
fact that it crosses the Black River, a navigable stream ; and a duplication of bridges
over the latter being as objectionable as over the Mississippi, the whole structure from
North La Crosse to La Crescent would have to be considered and worked as one bridge.
In the future, should many trains pass over the bridge, this would be a serious drawback.
Another objection is the unsuitableness of the locality for highways. Another
objection is the necessity which the construction of the bridge would impose of the
protection of the shores of the main channel by revetting, and of the partial obstruction
of the other channel, so as to prevent it from again becoming the main channel, as it was
in 1866. This would have to be done by the railroad company, and is not in itself difficult;
but as the work would require watching and repair, it would be undesirable to have
the security of navigation depend upon the faithful service of an uninterested party.
With revetting and obstructions as indicated, the channel-crossing will not be unfavorable,
as there is a good straight stretch of river, with a good entrance to the draw, from
above and below. Another objection is that this locality would be very inconvenient
to the Chicago, Dubuque and Minnesota Road, which claims the right of crossing, and
it might be so to others that desire to go to the main part of the city of La Crosse.
The Southern Minnesota, in seeking eastern connections, would hare to change its first
three miles and make a new terminus at La Crescent, but it would not be materially
lengthened. Another objection comes from the lumbermen, who wish free access to the
lower portion of Black River with their tow-boats, and who complain that the proposed
bridge, which crosses Black River, would occupy grounds which they need for
forming their rafts. It is an open question whether a bridge with a draw at this place,
where the current is almost nothing, and an open river below, would be so great an
obstruction to the lumber interest as a bridge over the Mississippi lower down, but the
representative of this interest claims that it would be a great one, and therefore we
put his claim on record. In addition to the above, it is stated by some river-men that
the channel near the side chosen is difficult to run in high water, as the low land on
both sides is flooded and there is trouble in steering clear of the tow-heads above. For
all the reasons given above, the board disapprove of the location selected by the Milwaukee
and Saint Paul Railroad Company. They would add that the interests in favor
of this bridge are the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad Company, the Fifth ward of La
Crosse, and the village of La Crescent. Those opposed to it are the rest of the city of
La Crosse, the Southern Minnesota Railroad, the Chicago, Dubuque and Minnesota
Railroad, the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, (this, however, is uncertain, as on
this point we have received conflicting testimony,) the Black River lumber interest,
the Black River Railroad, the Saint Paul and Iowa Southwestern Railroad, (projected,)
and some river-men. Most of these parties have called upon us and stated their cases
orally, and all have done so in writing.

WINTER BRIDGE—MILWAUKEE AND SAINT PAUL RAILROAD COMPANY.

This locality has been suggested by some, but the board cannot approve of it, because
It is almost as unsuitable for a highway as the first plan. It crosses Black River at a
more objectionable place and at a more objectionable angle. It crosses the main river
at a place not well suited to the wants of navigation, the current not being straight
enough for a sufficient distance nor sufficiently permanent. In one place it would require
similar rip-rapping, &c., of banks, and generally the locality is inferior to the one
first described, and therefore it is condemned.


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 31

STATE STREET OR UNION BRIDGE LOCATION.

This place is very well adapted for a highway-bridge, but not at all so for the wants
of navigation. It is just below a deep bend, and at the foot of a bar, through which,
the low-water channel is variable. Boats coming from above with tows come down
with a circular motion, which cannot be overcome in time to run a draw safely at this
place, especially in windy weather. Black River rafts would have difficulty in getting
far enough out in the river to clear the draw-spaces, and rafts from above would be in
danger of striking the piers obliquely. For these reasons we condemn this locality,
holding that in this question the interests of navigation are paramount.

THE LOWER OR SOUTHERN MINNESOTA CROSSING.

This crossing would be very objectionable to the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad,
and to any other seeking northern connections, and it is only partially convenient
for a highway, as it would only accommodate Root River and southern traffic, and
would be very inconvenient for La Crescent and other places in that direction. There
are no other objections to it j but these seem sufficient, and, therefore, it also is condemned.
The board having thus disapproved of all the projects thus for presented, now offer
their own?.
The convenience and security of navigation they think require the first consideration,
and then the wants of railroads and highways. From testimony and observation
the board believe that the straightest and most permanent channel in the vicinity of
La Crosse is opposite the city, where no change is known to have taken place since
the settlement of the country. This good channel extends from State Street to Jay, a
distance of about 1,600 feet. Above State street the current is curved on account of
the bend of the river, and below Jay it crosses to the foot of Grand or Barron's Island.
Descending boats, especially with tows or rafts, require at least 1,000 feet of straight
channel above a bridge in order to get into shape for running the draw, and at least
200 below the bridge in order to get under good headway again before crossing, and
in order to straighten up to run the draw while coming up stream. This requires that
the bridge be put near the foot of the straight stretch) and the foot of Mount Vernon
street is the place which we have selected. There is no difficulty in running this channel
during high water, as the high bank and the buildings of the city are always a
sure guide. The position is a compromise one for all railroads wishing either northern
or southern connection. It is well adapted for highways, and it is the best for navigation
that can be found in this vicinity. It is proposed to have but one bridge across
to the island, whose floor shall be planked over for the use of wagons, and to let each
railroad and highway diverge at once as soon as the channel is crossed, permitting
them to cross the other sloughs in any direction, at any elevation, and on any plan
that may suit them. By this arrangement the amount of bridging to be used in common
is reduced to the minimum, and its adaptability to a heavy traffic is greatly increased.
There are no engineering difficulties to prevent the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad
or any other coining down the La Crosse Valley from reaching the bridge by way
of the alley between Second and Third streets, if it be suitably widened, or by crossing
the La Crosse marsh and passing through the unoccupied lands behind the city,
and then coming down Jay street.
The axis of the bridge should be at right-angles to the current, and the piers parallel
to it. The abutment of the draw should be placed near the La Crosse bank, and
in water four feet deep at low water. The draw spaces are required by law to give
clear openings of 160 feet each, measured at low-water mark. Piling, sheathed with
plank, should be driven along shore above and below the abutment, as guides for
vessels entering and leaving the draw. The rests for the draw-spans should be connected
by wood-work with the pivot-pier for the same purpose. The law requires
that the span next to the draw-span shall be 250 feet in the clear. The two other spans
should evenly divide the space to the island, the entire distance being about 900 feet.
No ripraps should be permitted to rise higher than 3 feet below low water, nor with
a greater width on top than 3 feet. The elevation of the lowest part of the bridge
is required by law to be 10 feet above high water and 30 feet above low water. This
double requirement was made to cover cases of varying rise and fall. Its plain meaning
is that the bridge shall not fall below either height, although it necessarily must
exceed one of them in all cases except where the rise and fall happens to be just 20 feet.
At this place the oscillation being 16 feet, it follows that the lower chord of the bridge
must be at least 14 feet above high water in order to comply with the law. After
the plans are prepared by some authorized bridge company for a bridge on this side
they should be examined by some engineer, and should be approved by the Secretary
of War before work is commenced under them. The best accommodations for highways
is to have them on the lower chord of the bridge and the railroad above. This,


32 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

however, especially in draw-bridges, adds greatly to the expense, and the board is of
opinion that highways will, in the case before us, receive sufficient consideration if
the floor of the bridge be planked and the wagon-way be put on the same level as the
railway.
It is believed that all the railroad interests at La Crosse, except the Milwaukee and
Saint Paul, will be content with the site selected. It, moreover, will lengthen their
line by a little more than a mile and a half. As they are the only company proposing
to build a bridge at present, this recommendation, if adopted, may temporarily postpone
the accomplishment of this work, but while we regret lengthening this company's
lines we cannot see how we can do otherwise with a due regard for the rights of
navigation, highways, and other roads. Two bridges at this place would solve the
railroad difficulty, but they would be an unnecessary injury to navigation.
While discussing the subject of bridges the board feel it their duty to bring to the
attention of the Secretary the fact that three bridges have been constructed across the
Mississippi above this place—one at Hastings and two at Saint Paul—for which there
is no authority from Congress. They would also state that they have made a casual
inspection of the bridge across the Mississippi at Winona and find that it is not built
in conformity to law, the span adjacent to the draw-span being much less than 250
feet in the clear. They would recommend that an official inspection of these four
bridges be ordered in order that their defects may be discovered and properly reported
to the authority authorized to compel conformity to the law.
Respectfully submitted. J. N. MACOMB,
Colonel of Engineers, United States Army, President of the Board,
G. WEITZEL,
Major of Engineers
WILLIAM E. MERRILL,
Major of Engineers
Brigadier-General A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Chief of Engineers United /States Army, Washington, D. C.

No. 15.

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,
Washington, D. C., July 29, 1872.
SIR : ILI the location of a bridge or bridges over the Mississippi River
at La Crosse, a question has been raised as to the meaning of the act
of June 4? 1872, a copy of which is inclosed herewith. It is claimed by
some that the act in question requires that all future bridges over the
Mississippi River shall be highway as well as railway bridges.
I beg leave to suggest that the law be submitted to the Attorney-General
for his opinion in the case.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Brigadier-General, and Chief of Engineers.
Hon. W. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.

[General Orders No. 41.]
WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, June 12, 1872.
The following acts of Congress are published for the information and government of
all concerned:
I.—AN ACT to authorize the construction of abridge across the Missouri River at or near St. Joseph,
Missouri.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America
in Congress assembled, That it shall be lawful for "The St. Joseph Bridge-Building Company”
a corporation organized for that purpose under the general corporation laws of
* See page 40.


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 33

the State of Missouri, to construct a bridge across the Missouri River at or near Saint
Joseph, Missouri, and to lay on and over said bridge railway tracks for the more perfect
connection of any and all railways that are now, or which may hereafter be, constructed
to the Missouri River at or near Saint Joseph, or to the river on the opposite
side of the same, near Saint Joseph; and build, erect, and lay on and over said
bridge ways for wagons, vehicles of all kinds, and for the transit of animals, and to
provide ways for foot-passengers, and to keep up, maintain, and operate said bridge
for the purposes aforesaid ; and that when said bridge is constructed, all trains of all
railroads terminating at said river, and on the opposite side thereof, at or near Saint
Joseph, Missouri, shall be allowed to cross said bridge for reasonable compensation, to
be made to the owners of the same, under the limitations and conditions hereafter
named. The owners of said bridge may also charge and receive reasonable compensation
or tolls for the transit over the said bridge of all wagons, carriages, vehicles,
animals, and foot-passengers.
SEC. 2. That any bridge built under the provisions of this act may, at the option of
person or persons or corporation building the same, be built as a draw-bridge, with a
pivot or other form of draw, or with unbroken or continuous spans : Provided, That if
the same shall be made of unbroken continuous spans, it shall not be of less elevation
in any case than fifty feet above extreme high-water mark, as understood at
the point of location, to the bottom chord of the bridge, nor shall the spans of said
bridge be less than three hundred and fifty feet in length, and the piers of said bridge
shall be parallel with the current of the river, and the main span' shall be over the
main channel of the river and not less than three hundred feet in length: And provided
also, That if a bridge shall be built under this act as a draw-bridge, the same shall be
constructed as a pivot draw-bridge, with a draw over the main channel of the river at
an accessible and navigable point, and with spans of not less than one hundred and
sixty feet in length in the clear on each side of the central or pivot pier of the draw,
and the next adjoining spans of the draw shall not be less than two hundred and
fifty feet: and said spans shall not be less than thirty feet above low-water mark,
and not less than ten feet above extreme high-water mark, measuring to the
bottom chord of the bridge, and the piers of said bridge shall be parallel with the
current of the river : And provided also. That said draw shall be opened promptly, upon
reasonable signal, for the passage of boats whose construction shall not be such as to
admit of their passage under the permanent spans of said bridge, except when trains
are passing over the same, but in no case shall unnecessary delay occur in opening the
said draw during or after the passage of trains : And provided further, That the corporation
building said bridge may, if not unauthorized by the provisions of its charter of
incorporation, enter upon the banks of said river, either above or below the point of
the location of said bridge, for a distance of seven miles, and erect and maintain breakwaters
or use such other means as may be necessary to make a channel for said river,
and confine the flow of the water to a permanent channel, and to do whatever may be
necessary to accomplish said object, but shall not impede or obstruct the navigation of
the said river; and all plans for such works or erections upon the banks of the river
shall first be submitted to the Secretary of War for his approval.
SEC. 3. That any bridge built under this act, and according to its limitations, shall
be a lawful structure, and shall be recognized and known as a post-route, upon which,
also, no higher charge shall be made for the transmission over the same of the mails,
the troops, and the munitions of war of the United States than the rate per mile paid
for their transportation over the railroads or public highways leading to the said bridge.
SEC. 4. That in case of any litigation arising from any obstruction, or alleged obstruction,
to the free navigation of the Missouri River, at or near the crossing of said
bridge, and caused or alleged to be caused thereby, the cause shall be commenced and
tried in the district courts of either judicial districts of Missouri or Kansas in which
the said bridge or any portion of such obstruction touches ; and the right to alter or
amend^this act so as to prevent or remove all material obstructions to the navigation
of said river by the construction of said bridge is hereby expressly reserved, and all
such alterations, when required by law, shall be made at the expense of said bridge
company ; and the plan on which such bridge is intended to be built, and shall be built,
shall be first submitted to and approved by the Secretary of War.
SEC. 5. That the Saint Joseph Bridge-building Company, after the passage of this act,
shall not have the right to assign the charter which said company now holds by assignment
from the Saint Joseph and Denver City Railroad Company, and which was
granted to said last-named company by virtue of an act of Congress approved July
fourteenth, eighteen hundred and seventy, to any other company, person, or persons;
nor shall said bridge-building company be permitted, under the said charter so obtained,
as aforesaid, from the Saint Joseph and Denver City Railroad Company, to construct
any other bridge than the one now being constructed at Saint Joseph, Missouri.
Approved March 1872.

H. Ex. 71---3


34 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

II.—AN ACT to authorize the construction of a bridge across the Mississippi River at or near the town
of Clinton, in the State of Iowa, and other bridges across said river, and to establish them as post-
roads.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in
Congress assembled, That it shall be lawful for any person or persons, company or corporation,
to build a bridge across the Mississippi River, at such point on said river, within
fifteen miles of the town of Clinton, in the State of Iowa, as may accommodate the
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad and its connections on the west side of said
river, and to lay on or over said bridge railway tracks for the more perfect connection
of any railroads that are, or shall be, constructed to the said river at or opposite said
point, under the limitations and conditions hereinafter provided; that said bridge
shall not interfere with the free navigation of said river beyond what is necessary in
order to carry into effect the rights and privileges hereby granted; and in case of any
litigation arising from any obstruction, or alleged obstruction, to the free navigation
of said river, the cause may be tried before the district court of the United States of
any State in which any portion of said obstruction or bridge touches: Provided, That
said bridge shall not be so located or constructed as to interfere in any manner with
the approaches to the railroad-bridge now erected at Clinton, or with the piers of the
same, or so as to obstruct in any manner the passage of said bridge by boats, vessels,
or rafts, or to render such passage more difficult or dangerous : Provided, however, That
this clause shall not be construed to prohibit the crossing of the approaches to said
bridge, if such crossing shall be found necessary.
SEC. 2. That any bridge built under the provisions of this act may, at the option of
the company building the same, be built as a draw-bridge, with a pivot or other form
of draw, or with unbroken or continuous spans : Provided, That if the said bridge shall
be made with unbroken and continuous spans, it shall not be of less elevation, in any
case, than fifty feet above extreme high-water mark, as understood at the point of
location, to the bottom chord of the bridge ; nor shall the spans of said bridge be less
than two hundred and fifty feet in length, and the piers of said bridge shall be parallel
with the current of the river, and the main span shall be over the main channel of the
river, and not less than three hundred feet in length : And provided also, That if any
bridge built under this act shall be constructed as a draw-bridge, the same shall be
constructed as a pivot draw-bridge, with a draw over the main channel of the river at
an accessible and navigable point, and with spans of not less than one hundred and
sixty feet in length in the clear on each side of the central or pivot pier of the draw;
and the next adjoining spans to the draw shall not be less than two hundred and fifty
feet; and said spans shall not be less than thirty feet above low-water mark, and not
less than ten above extreme high-water mark, measuring to the bottom chord of the
bridge; and the piers of said bridge shall be parallel with the current of the river,
where said bridge may be erected : And provided also, That said draw shall be opened
promptly, upon reasonable signal, for the passage of boats.
SEC. 3. That any bridge constructed under this act, and according to its limitations,
shall be a lawful structure, and shall be known and recognized as a post-route, upon
which, also, no higher charge shall be made for the transmission over the same of the
mails, the troops, and the munitions of war of the United States than the rate per
mile paid for their transportation over the railroads [or?] public highways leading to
the said bridge, and the United States shall have the right of way for postal-telegraph
purposes across said bridge.
SEC. 4. That all railway companies desiring to use the said bridge shall have and be
entitled to equal rights and privileges in the passage of the same, and in the use of the
machinery and fixtures thereof, and of all the approaches thereto, under and upon
such terms and conditions as shall be prescribed by the Secretary of War, upon hearing
the allegations and proofs of the parties in case they shall not agree.
SEC. 5. That the structure herein authorized shall be built and located under and
subject to such regulations for the security of navigation of said river as the Secretary
of War shall prescribe, and the said structure shall beat all times so kept and managed
as to offer reasonable and proper means for the passage of vessels through or under
said structure ; and the said structure shall be changed at the cost and expense of the
owners thereof, from time to time, as Congress may direct, so as to preserve the free
and convenient navigation of said river. And the authority to erect and continue said
bridge shall be subject to revocation, modification by law whenever the public good
shall, in the judgment of Congress, so require, without any expense or charge to the
United States.
SEC. 6. That the Muscatine Western Railroad Company, or their assigns, a corporation
existing under the laws of the State of Iowa, be, and is hereby, authorized to construct
and maintain a bridge across the Mississippi River at the city of Muscatine, in
the State of Iowa, The bridge authorized to be built by this section is hereby declared
to be a post-route, and shall have all the privileges, and is subject to all the
terms, restrictions, and requirements contained in the foregoing sections of this act.
SEC. 7. That a bridge may be constructed and maintained across the Mississippi


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 35

River, at any point they may select, between the counties of Carroll and Whitesides,
in the State of Illinois, and the counties of Jackson and Clinton, in the State of Iowa,
either by the Western Union Railroad Company or the Sabula, Ackley, and Dakota
Railroad Company, or both of them, or by either or both of their successors or assigns,
or by any person, company, or corporation having authority from the States of Illinois
and Iowa. The bridge authorized to be built by this section is hereby declared to be
a post-route, and has all the privileges, and is subject to all the terms, restrictions,
and requirements contained in the foregoing sections of this act.
SEC. 8. That a bridge may be constructed and maintained across the Mississippi
River at any point they may select, between the county of La Crosse, in the State of
Wisconsin, and the county of Houston, in the State of Minnesota, by the Milwaukee
and Saint Paul Railway Company, their successors or assigns, or by any person, company,
or corporation having authority from the States of Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The bridge authorized to be built by this section is hereby declared to be a post-route,
and has all the privileges, and is subject to all the terms, restrictions, and requirements
contained in the foregoing sections of this act.
SEC. 9. That the right to alter or amend this act, so as to prevent or remove all
material obstructions to the navigation of said river by the construction of bridges, is
hereby expressly reserved.
SEC. 10. That this act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage,
without any expense or charge to the United States.
Approved April 1, 1872.

III.—ACT to authorize the construction of a bridge across the Missouri River, at Boonville, Missouri.

Be it enacted ~by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in
Congress assembled. That the Boonville Railroad Bridge Company, a corporation existing
under the laws of the State of Missouri, be, and is hereby, authorized to construct and
maintain a bridge over the Missouri River, between the city of Boonville, in Cooper
County, and Franklin, in Howard County, in said State, and to lay on or over said bridge
railway tracks for the more perfect connection of any railroads that are, or shall be,
constructed to the said river at or opposite said point, under the limitations and conditions
hereinafter provided ; that said bridge shall not interfere with the free navigation
of said river beyond what is necessary in order to carry into effect the rights and
privileges hereby granted; and in case of any litigation arising from any obstruction,
or alleged obstruction, to the free navigation of said river, the cause may be tried before
the district court of the United States of the State of Missouri in which any portion
of said obstruction or bridge touches.
SEC. 2. That any bridge built under the provisions of this act may, at the option of
the company building the same, be built as a draw-bridge, with a pivot or other form
of draw, or with unbroken or continuous spans: Provided, That if the said bridge shall
be made with unbroken and continuous spans, it shall not be of less elevation, in any
case, than fifty feet above extreme high-water mark, as understood at the point of location,
to the bottom chord of the bridge; nor shall the spans of said bridge be less
than two hundred and fifty feet in length ; and the piers of said bridge shall be parallel
with the current of the river, and the main span shall be over the main channel
of the river, and not less than three hundred feet in length : And provided also, That if
any bridge built under this act shall be constructed as a draw-bridge, the same shall
be constructed as a pivot draw-bridge, with a draw over the main channel of the river
at an accessible and navigable point, and with spans of not less than one hundred and
sixty feet in length in the clear on each side of the central or pivot pier of the draw;
and the next adjoining spans to the draw shall not be less than two hundred and fifty feet;
and said spans shall not be less than thirty feet above low-water mark, and not
less than ten above extreme high-water mark, measuring to the bottom chord of the
bridge ; and the piers of said bridge shall be parallel with the current of the river : And
provided also, That said draw shall be opened promptly, upon reasonable signal, for the
passage of boats; and in no case shall unnecessary delay occur in opening the said draw
during or after the passage of trains.
SEC. 3. That any bridge constructed under this act, and according to its limitations,
shall be a lawful structure, and shall be known and recognized as a post-route, upon
which also no higher charge shall be made for the transmission over the same of the
mails, the troops, and the munitions of war of the United States than the rate per
mile paid for their transportation over the railroads or public highways leading to the
said bridge, and the United States shall have the right of way for postal-telegraph
purposes across said bridge.
SEC. 4. That all railway companies desiring to use the said bridge shall have and


36 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

be entitled to equal rights and privileges in the passage of the same, and in the use of
the machinery and fixtures thereof, and of all the approaches thereto, under and upon
such terms and conditions as shall be prescribed by the Secretary of War, upon hearing
the allegations and proofs of the parties in case they shall not agree.
SEC. 5. That the structure herein authorized shall be built under and subject to such
regulations for the security of the navigation of said river and lake as the Secretary of
War shall prescribe; and the said structure shall be at all times so kept and managed
as to offer reasonable and proper means for the passage of vessels through and under
said structure; and the said structure shall be changed at the cost and expense of the
owners thereof, from time to time, as Congress may direct, so as to preserve the free
and convenient navigation of said river; and the authority to erect and continue said
bridge shall be subject to revocation by law whenever the public good shall, in the
judgment of Congress, so require.
SEC. 6. That the right to alter or amend this act, so as to prevent or remove all material
obstructions to the navigation of said river by the construction of bridges, is hereby
expressly reserved.
Approved May 11,1872.

IV.—AN ACT to authorize the West Wisconsin Railway Company to keep up and maintain a bridge
for railway purposes across Lake Saint Croix, at the city of Hudson, in the State of Wisconsin.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America
in Congress assembled, That the West Wisconsin Railway Company is hereby authorized
to keep up and maintain the bridge heretofore constructed by it for the uses and purposes
of its railway across Lake Saint Croix, at the city of Hudson, in the county of
Saint Croix, and State of Wisconsin, the said bridge having been constructed as follows,
namely : With a draw of three hundred and twenty feet in length, affording two
spans of one hundred and forty feet each in the clear, for the passage of steamboats
and other craft; also with a span of one hundred and thirty-six feet in the clear, for
the passage of rafts; that the draw to said bridge shall be opened promptly, upon
reasonable signal, for the passage of boats; that said bridge so constructed shall be
deemed and taken to be a legal structure, and shall be a post-road for the transmission
of the United States mails. And all railroad companies desiring to use said bridge
shall have and be entitled to use and run their trains over the same, as now built and
track laid over it and its approaches, under and upon such terms, rental, or remuneration,
first to be fixed by the Secretary of War, after hearing all the evidence and
proofs of both parties, in case the parties cannot agree on terms.
SEC. 2. That the structure herein authorized shall be built under and subject to such
regulations for the security of the navigation of said river and lake as the Secretary
of War shall prescribe, and the said structure shall be at all times so kept and managed
as to offer reasonable and proper means for the passage of vessels through and
under said structure; and the said structure shall be changed at the cost and expense
of the owners thereof, from time to time, as Congress may direct, so as to preserve the
free an<L convenient navigation of said river and lake; and the authority to erect and
continue said bridge shall be subject to revocation by law whenever the public good
shall, in the judgment of Congress, so require.
SEC. 3. That in case of any litigation arising from any obstruction or alleged obstruction
to the free navigation of the Saint Croix River at or near the crossing of said
bridge, and caused or alleged to be caused thereby, the cause shall be commenced and
tried in the district court of the United States for either the district of Minnesota or
the western district of Wisconsin.
SEC. 4. That the right to alter or amend this act, so as to prevent or remove all
material obstructions to the navigation of said river by the construction of bridges, is
hereby expressly reserved.
Approved May 15, 1872.

V.—AN ACT to authorize the construction of a bridge, and to establish the same as a post-road.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America
in Congress assembled. That it shall be lawful for any person or persons, company or
corporation, having authority from the States of Iowa and Illinois, to build a bridge
across the Mississippi River at Fort Madison, Iowa, and to lay on or over said bridge
railway tracks, for the more perfect connection of any railroads that are or shall be
constructed to the said river at or opposite said point, under the limitations and conditions
here in after provided ; that said bridge shall not interfere with the free navigation
of said river beyond what is necessary in order to carry into effect the rights and
privileges hereby granted ; and in case of any litigation arising from any obstruction


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CEOSSE. 37

or alleged obstruction to the free navigation of said river, the cause may be tried before
the district court of the United States of any State in which any portion of said
obstruction or bridge touches.
SEC. 2. That any bridge built under the provisions of this act may, at the option of
the company building the same, be built either as a pivot draw-bridge, with a pivot
or other form of draw, or with unbroken or continuous spans: Provided, That if the
said bridge shall be made with unbroken and continuous spans, it shall not be of less
elevation in any case than fifty feet above high-water mark, as understood at the point
of location, to the bottom chord of the bridge, nor shall the spans of said bridge be less
than two hundred and fifty feet in length; and the piers of said bridge shall be
parallel with the current of the river, and the main span shall be over the main channel
of the river, and not less than three hundred feet in length: And provided also,
That if any bridge built under this act shall be constructed as a pivot draw-bridge,
the same shall*be constructed with a draw over the main channel of the river at an
accessible and navigable point, and with spans of not less than one hundred and sixty
feet in length in the clear on each side of the central or pivot pier of the draw, and
the next adjoining spans to the draw shall not be less than two hundred and fifty feet,
if the proper location of the draw over the channel will admit spans of this width
between it and the shore, and said spans shall not be less than thirty feet above low-water
mark, and not less than ten feet above extreme high-water mark, measuring to
the bottom chord of the bridge; and the piers of said bridge shall be parallel with the
current of the river where said bridge may be erected: And provided also. That said
draw shall be opened promptly, upon reasonable signal, for the passage of boats, and
in no case shall unnecessary delay occur in opening the said draw during or after the
passage of trains.
SEC. 3. That any bridge constructed under this act, and according to its limitations,
shall be a lawful structure, and shall be known and recognized as a post-route, upon
which, also, no higher charge shall be made for the transmission over the same of the
mails, the troops, and the munitions of war of the United States than the rate per mile
paid for their transportation over the railroads or public highways leading to the said
bridge; and the United States shall have the right of way for postal-telegraph purposes
across said bridge.
SEC. 4. That all railway companies desiring to use the said bridge shall have and be
entitled to equal rights and privileges in the passage of the same and in the use of the
machinery and fixtures thereof and of all the approaches thereto, under and upon such
terms and conditions as shall be prescribed by the Secretary of War, upon hearing the
allegations and proofs of the parties, in case they shall not agree.
SEC. 5. That the structure herein authorized shall be built and located under and
subject to such regulations for the security of navigation of said river as the Secretary
of War shall prescribe; and to secure that object the said person or persons, company
or corporation, shall submit to the Secretary of War, for his examination and approval,
a design and drawings of the bridge and piers, and a map of the location, giving, for
the space of at least one mile above and one mile below the proposed location, the
topography of the banks of the river, the shore-lines at high and low water, the direction
and strength of the currents at all stages, and the soundings, accurately showing
the bed of the stream, the location of any other bridge or bridges, and shall furnish
such other information as may be required for a full and satisfactory understanding of
the subject; and until the said plan and location of the bridge are approved by the
Secretary of War, the bridge shall not be built; and if any change be made in the plan
of construction of said bridge during the progress of the work thereon, or before the
completion of said bridge, such change shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary
of War ; and the said structure shall be at all times so kept and managed as to
offer reasonable and proper means for the passage of vessels through or under said
structure; and the said structure shall be changed at the cost and expense of the
owners thereof, from time to time, as Congress may direct, so as to preserve the free
and convenient navigation of said river. And the authority to erect and continue said
bridge shall be subject to revocation or modification by law whenever the public good
shall, in the judgment of Congress, so require, without any expense or charge to the
United States.
SEC. 6. That the right to alter or amend this act, so as to prevent or remove all
material obstructions to the navigation of said river by the construction of bridges,
without expense to the United States, is hereby expressly reserved.
Approved May 25, 1872.
VI.—AN ACT authorizing the construction of a bridge across the Arkansas River at Little Rock
Arkansas.

Be it enacted by the Senate and Home of Representatives of the United States of America
in Congress assembled, That it shall be lawful for the Little Rock Bridge Company, a


38 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

corporation having authority from the State of Arkansas, to build a railroad, transit,
and wagon bridge across the Arkansas River at or near the city of Little Rock, in
Arkansas ; and that, when constructed, all trains of all railroads terminating at the
Arkansas River, at or near the location of said bridge, shall be allowed to cross
said bridge for a reasonable compensation, to be paid to the owners thereof; and in
case of any litigation arising from any obstruction or alleged obstruction to the free
navigation of said river, the cause may be tried before the district court of the
United States in and for the eastern district of said State of Arkansas.
SEC. 2. That any bridge built under the provisions of this act may, at the option of
the company building the same, be built as a drawbridge, with a. pivot, or with unbroken
or continuous spans: Provided, That if the said bridge shall be made with
unbroken or continuous spans, it shall not be in any case of a less elevation than fifty
feet above extreme high-water mark, as understood at the point of location, to the
bottom chord of the bridge, nor shall the span over the main channel of the river at
low water be less than two hundred and fifty feet, nor shall there be a greater number
of spans than four crossing the remaining width of said river, and the piers of said
bridge shall all be parallel with the current of said river: And provided further, That
if any bridge shall be constructed under this act as a draw-bridge, the same shall be
a pivot-draw over the main channel at low water, with spans of not less than one
hundred and fifty feet in the clear on each side of the center or pivot pier of said
bridge, and that there shall not be a greater number of fixed spans than four crossing
the remaining width of said river; and said bridge shall not be less than thirty-six
feet above the low-water mark as understood at the location of said bridge, measuring
to the bottom chord of said bridge, and all the piers of said bridge shall be parallel
with the current of said river: And provided also, That said draw shall be opened
promptly, upon reasonable signal, for the passage of boats whose construction shall not be
such as to admit of their passage under said bridge, except when a railroad-train is
passing over the same ; but in no case shall any unnecessary delay occur in opening
said draw after the passage of such train.
SEC. 3. That any bridge constructed under this act, and according to its provisions,
shall be a lawful structure, and shall be recognized and known as a post-route, upon
which no higher charge shall be made for the transmission over the same of the mails,
the troops, and munitions of war of the United States than the rate paid for their
transportation over the railroads or public highways leading to said bridge; and the
United States shall have the right of way for postal-telegraph purposes across said
bridge.
SEC. 4. That said bridge shall not be built or commenced until the bridge company
aforesaid shall submit to the Secretary of War, for his approval, a plan with the necessary
drawings of their bridge conforming to the above requirements, nor until he
shall approve the plan and location of said bridge and notify the company of the
same in writing; and should any change be made in the plan of the bridge, during
the progress of the work thereon, such change shall be subject likewise to the approval
of the Secretary of War ; and the said structure shall be at all times so kept
and managed as to offer reasonable and proper means for the passage of vessels
through or under said structure ; and the said structure shall be changed at the cost
and expense of the owners thereof, from time to time, as Congress may direct, so as to
preserve the free and convenient navigation of said river. And the authority to erect
and continue said bridge shall be subject to revocation or modification by law whenever
the public good shall, in the judgment of Congress, so require, without any expense
or charge to the United States.
SEC. 5. That the right to alter or amend this act, so as to prevent or remove all material
obstructions to the navigation of said river by the construction of said bridge
without expense to the United States, is hereby expressly reserved.
Approved May 31, 1872.

VII.—AN ACT authorizing the construction of a bridge across the Missouri River opposite to or within
the corporate limits of Nebraska City, Nebraska.

Be it enacted ~by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America
in Congress assembled, That it shall be lawful for the Nebraska City Bridge Company, a
corporation having authority from the State of Nebraska and from the State of Iowa,
to build a railroad, transit, and wagon bridge across the Missouri River, opposite to or
in the immediate vicinity of Nebraska City, in the county of Otoe, and State of Nebraska;
and that, when constructed, all trains of all railroads terminating at the Missouri
River at or near the location of said bridge shall be allowed to cross said bridge,
for a reasonable compensation, to be paid to the owners thereof; and that all other
property, goods, passengers, teams, and other modes of transit shall be allowed to cross
said bridge; and that said bridge shall not interfere with the free navigation of said


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 39

river beyond what is necessary in order to carry into effect the rights and privileges
hereby granted; and in case of any litigation arising from any obstruction, or alleged
obstruction, to the free navigation of said river, the cause may be tried before the district
or circuit court of the United States of any State in or opposite to which any portion
of said obstruction or bridge may be.
SEC. 2. That the corporators named in the above incorporation shall hold the said
charter here granted in trust for the sole and exclusive use and benefit of any person or
persons, company or companies, corporation or corporations, who shall build, erect, and
complete such bridge herein provided in accordance with the provisions of this act;
and said original incorporators shall transfer and assign, without any remunerative
compensation, all their rights to any party or parties, company or companies, corporation
or corporations, who shall erect said bridge ; and if said corporators, or any of
them, shall refuse or fail to make such transfer, upon the payment of the reasonable
expenses thereof, they may be compelled to do so by any court having jurisdiction
Provided, That the said Nebraska City Bridge Company, and their associates, shall fail
to commence in good faith the erection of said bridge within one year from the passage
of this act, and complete the said bridge without unnecessary and unreasonable
delay in accordance with the provisions of this charter.
SEC. 3. That any bridge built under the provisions of this act may, at the option of
person or persons or corporation building the same, be built as a draw-bridge, with a
pivot-draw, or with unbroken or continuous spans: Provided, That if the same shall
be made of unbroken continuous spans, it shall not be of less elevation, in any case,
than fifty feet above extreme high-water mark, as understood at the point of location,
to the bottom chord of the bridge, nor shall the spans of said bridge be less than two
hundred and fifty feet in length ; and the piers of said bridge shall be parallel with the
current of the river, and the main span shall be over the main channel of the river,
and not less than three hundred feet in length : And provided also, That if a bridge shall
be built under this act as a draw-bridge, the same shall be constructed as a pivot
drawbridge, with a draw over the main channel of the river at an accessible and navigable
point, and with spans of not less than one hundred and sixty feet in length in the clear
each side of the central or pivot pier of the draw, and the next adjoining spans to
the draw shall not be less than two hundred and fifty feet; and said spans shall not be
less than thirty feet above low-water mark, and not less than ten feet above extreme
high-water mark, measuring to the bottoin, chord of the bridge, and the piers of said
bridge shall be parallel with the current of the river : And provided also, That said
draw shall be opened promptly, upon reasonable signal, for the passage of boats whose
construction shall not be such as to admit of their passage under the permanent spans
of said bridge, except when trains are passing over the same, but in no case shall
unnecessary delay occur in opening the said draw during or after the passage of trains:
And provided further, That the corporation building said bridge may, if not unauthorized
by the pro visions of its charter of incorporation, enter upon the banks of said river,
either above or below the point of the location of said bridge, for a distance of seven
miles, and erect and maintain breakwaters, or use such other means as may be necessary
to make a channel for said river, and confine the flow of the water to a permanent
channel, and to do whatever may be necessary to accomplish said object, but shall
not impede or obstruct the navigation of the said river; and all plans for such works
or erections upon the banks of the river shall first be submitted to the Secretary of
War for his approval.
SEC. 4. That any bridge constructed under this act, and according to its limitations,
shall be a lawful structure, and shall be known and recognized as a post-route, upon
which, also, no higher charge shall be made for the transmission over the same of
the mails, the troops, and the munitions of war of the United States than the rate per
mile paid for their transportation over the railroads or public highways leading to the
said bridge.
SEC. 5. That all railway companies desiring to use the said bridge shall have and be
entitled to equal rights and privileges in the passage of the same, and in the use of
the machinery and fixtures thereof, and of all the approaches thereto, under and upon
such terms and conditions as shall be prescribed by the Secretary of War, upon hearing
the allegations and proofs of the parties in case they shall not agree.
SEC. 6. That the plan and specifications, with the necessary drawings of said bridge,
shall be submitted to the Secretary of War for his approval, and until he approve the plan
and location of said bridge it shall not be built or commenced ; and should any change be
made in the plan of said bridge, during the progress of the work thereon, such change
shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary of War; and all changes in the
construction of said bridge that may be directed by Congress shall be made at the cost
and expense of the owners thereof.
SEC. 7. That the right to alter or amend this act, so as to prevent or remove all
material obstructions to the navigation of said river by the construction of bridges,
is hereby expressly reserved.
Approved June 4, 1872.


40 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

VIII.—AN ACT authorizing the construction of a bridge across the Missouri River at Brownville,
Nebraska.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in
Congress assembled, That it shall be lawful for the Brownville, Fort Kearney and
Pacific Railroad Company, a corporation organized under the laws of the State of
Nebraska, having authority for that purpose from the States of Nebraska and Missouri,
to build a bridge across the Missouri River at Brownville, Nebraska, and to lay on and
over said bridge railway-tracks for the more perfect connection of any railroads
that are or shall be constructed to the said river at or opposite said point; and that,
when constructed, all trains of all roads terminating at said river at or opposite said
point shall be allowed to cross said bridge for a reasonable compensation to the owners
of said bridge, under the limitations and conditions hereinafter provided. And in
case of any litigation arising from any obstruction, or alleged obstruction, to the free
navigation of said river, the cause may be tried before the district court of the United
States of either State in or opposite to which any portion of said obstruction or bridge
may be.
SEC. 2. That said Brownville, Fort Kearney and Pacific Railroad Company may, at
their option, build said bridge as a draw-bridge, with a pivot or other form of draw,
or with unbroken and continuous spans: Provided, That if the said bridge shall be
made with unbroken and continuous spans it shall not be of less elevation in any case
than fifty feet above extreme high-water mark, as understood at the point of location,
to the bottom chord of the bridge, nor shall the spans of said bridge be less than two
hundred and fifty feet in length ; and the piers of said bridge shall be parallel with
the current of said river, and the main span shall be over the main channel of the river
and not less than three hundred feet in length : And provided also, That if said bridge,
built under this act, be constructed as a draw-bridge, the same shall be constructed as a
pivot draw-bridge, with a draw over the main channel $f the river at an accessible and
navigable point, and with spans of not less than two hundred feet in length, in the
clear, on each side of the central or pivot pier of the draw, and the next adjoining
spans to the draw shall not be less than two hundred and fifty feet; and said spans
shall not be less than thirty feet above low-water mark, and not less than ten feet
above extreme high-water mark, measuring to the bottom chord of said bridge ; and
the piers of said bridge shall be parallel with the current of the river : And provided
also, That said draw shall be opened promptly, upon reasonable signal, for the passage
of boats ; and in no case shall unnecessary delay occur in opening the said draw during
or after the passage of trains.
SEC. 3. That said bridge constructed under this act, and according to its limitations,
shall be a lawful structure, and shall be recognized and known as a post-route, upon
which, also, no higher charge shall be made for the transmission over the same of the
mails, troops, and the munitions of war of the United Stated, than the rate per mile
paid for their transportation over the railroads or public highways leading to the
said bridge.
SEC. 4. That all railway companies desiring to use the said bridge shall have and be
entitled to equal rights and privileges in the passage of the same, and in the use of the
machinery and fixtures thereof, and of all the approaches thereto, under and upon such
terms and conditions as shall be prescribed by the Secretary of War, upon hearing the
allegations and proofs of the parties in case they shall not agree.
SEC. 5. That the structure herein authorized shall be built under and subject to such
regulations for the security of the navigation of said river and lake as the Secretary
of War shall prescribe, and the said structure shall be at all times so kept and managed
as to offer reasonable and proper means for the passage of vessels through and
under said structure; and the said structure shall be changed at the cost and expense
of the owners thereof, from time to time, as Congress may direct, so as to preserve the
free and convenient navigation of said river; and the authority to erect and continue
said bridge shall be subject to revocation by law whenever the public good shall, in
the judgment of Congress, so require.
SEC. 6. That the right to alter or amend this act so as to prevent or remove all
material obstructions to the navigation of said river by the construction of said bridge
is hereby expressly reserved.
Approved June 4, 1872.

IX.—AX ACT further regulating the construction of bridges across the Mississippi River.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America
in Congress assembled, That all bridges hereafter constructed over and across the Mississippi
River under authority of any act of Congress shall be subject to all the terms,
restrictions, and requirements contained in the fifth section of an act entitled "An act
to authorize the construction of a bridge across the Mississippi River, at or near the


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 41

town of Clinton, in the State of Iowa, and other "bridges across said river, and to establish
them as post-roads," approved April 1, 1872; and in locating any such bridge the
Secretary of War shall have due regard to the security and convenience of navigation,
to convenience of access, and to the wants of all railways and highways crossing said river.
Approved June 4, 1872.

By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TCTVVNSEND,
Adjutant-General.

No. 16.

VIROQUA, WISCONSIN, August 6, 1872.
DEAR SIR : I have been informed by Colonel J. N. Macomb, president of the board
of engineers detailed for the purpose of locating a bridge at La Crosse, in accordance
with the provisions of the act regulating the location of bridges on the Mississippi,
approved June 4, 1872, that they have recommended the location of the bridge at the
foot of Mount Vernon street, in the city of La Crosse. I would respectfully ask the
approval of this recommendation, believing it to be the best possible location and
obviating the necessity of any other at or near that point. This location is entirely
satisfactory to all parties concerned, except the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad,
who desired to so locate the bridge as to deprive all other roads of the free use of it by
compelling them to lengthen their lines several miles, and also to locate it so as to
obstruct and impede navigation. The location recommended by the engineers is the
only one that can be made in that vicinity with security to the interests of navigation.
Very respectfully,
J. M. RUSK.
General W. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.

No. 17.

VIROQUA, WISCONSIN, September 7,1872.
DEAR SIR: Your telegram of the 5th instant, in relation to the location of the bridge
at La Crosse, is just received; the copy of the opinion of the Attorney-General has not
yet arrived. I do not claim that all bridges across the Mississippi are to be highway
bridges. The supplemental act approved June 5, 1872, was drawn by Senator Howe
and myself with special reference to the location of the bridge at La Crosse ; and before
I introduced it I submitted it to the Engineer Department, and they gave me their
opinion that it was sufficient. I then procured its passage through both Houses, and
under this act the board of engineers were detailed to locate the bridge. This act provides,
among other things, that the Secretary of War, in locating said bridge or
bridges, shall have due regard to the security of navigation, the convenience of access
of all railways and highways crossing said river at that point. I do not claim that
this necessarily compels them to build a high way bridge, but I do claim that it is necessary
to take the highways into consideration in making the location.
The location made by the engineers at the foot of Mount Vernon street is the best
location that can be made for the security of navigation and for the convenience of all
railways crossing said river at or near that point, and all roads favor this location but the
Milwaukee and Saint Paul.
I would urge that you approve the location made by the engineers, and if you do not
consider the law sufficient to make it a highway bridge leave that for future determination
or legislation.
Yours, truly,

J. M. RUSK.
Hon. W. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.

SEPTEMBER 13, 1872.
DEAR SIR : Your letter of the 7th instant, upon the subject of the location of the
railroad-bridge at La Crosse, is before me.


42 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

In order to meet your views, if possible, I will have to reconvene the board of engineers,
and the members have accordingly been telegraphed to, to meet at once,
I beg to assure you that I will do all iu my power to close the matter with as little
delay as possible,
Very truly, yours,
WM, W, BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.
Hon. J. M. RUSK, M. C.,
Viroqua, Wisconsin.

No. 18.

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,
Washington, D. C., September 9, 1872.
SIR: In view of the opinion of the honorable Attorney-General, dated August 7, 1872,
regarding the construction of the laws relating to bridges across the Mississippi River,
whether, under act of June 4, 1872, all such bridges as are therein referred to are required
to be highway as well as railway bridges, and the fact that this opinion was not
received in time to be laid before the board of engineers which has recently made a
report upon the question of location of bridge or bridges at or near La Crosse, Wisconsin,
and that the board has entertained a construction of the law different from that of
the Attorney-General, it seems proper that it should be reconvened to reconsider the
subject. It is, therefore, respectfully recommended that the board be reconvened, and
with your sanction it will be so ordered.
By command of Brigadier-General Humphreys, and in his absence.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN G. PARKE,
Major of Engineers.
Hon. W. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.
Approved by the Secretary of War, September 12, 1872.
H. T. CROSBY,
Chief Clerk.

No. 19.

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,
Washington, D. C., September 16, 1872.
SIR: The board of engineers, of which you are the presiding officer, convened
to consider and report upon the question of bridging the Mississippi River at or near the
town of La Crosse, Wisconsin, has been, by authority of the Secretary of War, directed
to reconvene by Special Order from this office, 111, paragraph 1, September 14, 1872.
The object of again calling the board together is set forth in the accompanying copy
of a letter from this office, addressed to the Secretary of War, and for the information
of the board a copy of the opinion of the Attorney-General therein referred to is also
transmitted.
The original report of the board and accompanying papers, transmitted with your
letter of August 3, will be sent you in a separate package by mail, and the map by
express.
By command of Brigadier-General Humphreys.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN G. PARKE,
Major of Engineers.
Colonel J. N. MACOMB,
Corps of Engineers, Rock Island, Illinois.

No. 20.

DEPARTMENT or JUSTICE, August 7,1872.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 3d instant, in
which you request my opinion upon the question whether, by the act of June 4, 1872,


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 43

entitled "An act further regulating the construction of bridges across the Mississippi
River," all such bridges as are therein referred to are required to be highway as well
as railway bridges.
The act requires that "all bridges hereafter constructed over and across the Mississippi
River under an act of Congress, shall be subject to all the terms, restrictions, and
requirements contained in the fifth section of an act entitled 'An act to authorize the
construction of a bridge across the Mississippi River at or near the town of Clinton, in
the State of Iowa, and other bridges across said river, and to establish them as post-
roads, approved April 1, 1872," and that "in locating any such bridge, the Secretary
of War shall have due regard to the security and convenience of navigation, to convenience
of access, and to the wants of all railways and highways crossing said river."
It is, I presume, under the last clause of the act, which prescribes that due regard
shall be had, in the location of these bridges, to the wants of railways and highways
crossing the river, that the question to which you call my attention is raised.
Examining the copies of the several acts for the construction of bridges over the
Mississippi and other navigable rivers, which accompany your letter, I find that in
most of them provision is made for railway purposes and use only, while in a few of
such acts provision is made for wagon-ways. It may properly be inferred, therefore,
that when only use for railway purposes is provided for, use in connection with public
highways is not intended. In view of this there need be no difficulty in construing
and applying the requirements of the act in relation to the regard to be had in locating
the bridges, "to the wants of all railways and highways crossing the river." If a
bridge is to be located under an act in which only railway use is mentioned and provided
for, the wants of railways only are to be considered; but if under an act providing
for both railways and wagon-ways, then the wants of both descriptions of road
must be regarded, and the location must be made with a view to the accommodation
of both. Under this interpretation of the clause referred to the act is in harmony
with all the acts for the construction of bridges over navigable rivers. Moreover, had
Congress intended so important a modification of previous acts as a requirement that
the bridges in question should all be constructed for both railways and highways, it
is hardly to be supposed that it would have been content to make so vague a provision
for the purpose as the words of this clause would constitute. It would, in fact, be
leaving interests of very great value and consequence to the chances of a doubtful
implication ; and as most of these bridges are authorized to be built by railway companies,
interested only in the accommodation of their own business, it is not to be presumed,
in the absence of explicit provision to that effect, that Congress meant to burden
them with the heavy additional expense that would have to be incurred to accommodate
their bridges to the uses of common highways or wagon-roads.
The true intent of the provision of the act relative to the location of bridges is, it
seems clear, to define more particularly the duty of the Secretary of War in making
such locations. In the fifth section of the act for the construction of the bridge across
the Mississippi at or near Clinton, &c., he is required to take care that it be located
so as not to interfere with the security of navigation; but here he is required to have
regard also to the convenience of access, and to the accommodation of the railways
and highways, for the uses of which the bridges are intended.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. WILLIAMS,
Attorney-General.
Hon. WILLIAM W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.

No. 21.

MILWAUKEE AND SAINT PAUL RAILWAY,
25 William Street, New York, September 18, 1872.
DEAR SIR: Yours of the 17th is received, inclosing a copy of opinion of Attorney-
General of construction of law authorizing a bridge across the Mississippi River near to
La Crosse, &c., also copy of report of board of engineers on same subject, also notifying
us that the board would reconvene on Monday the 23d instant, at La Crosse. For
all of which we are much obliged to you.
I am sorry to annoy or trouble you in this matter, but as we are the only persons or
company in the wide world who are proposing to build a bridge in that locality, we
take the liberty of asking you to postpone the meeting of the board for one week. In
the mean time we propose to withdraw our present papers, and ask the Secretary's
approval of those which we will submit as soon as they are prepared, say on Monday
the 28th instant. We shall also, at the same time, ask you to modify or extend your
instructions to the board to this effect.
The Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Company have, under and pursuant to section
8 of the act approved April 1, 1872, entitled "An act to authorize the construction


44 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

of a bridge across the Mississippi River," &c., located their proposed bridge, as will
be shown upon the new map to be filed. We wish you to instruct the board to inquire
and report—
1st. Whether said location, if the bridge is properly constructed, will seriously impair
the free navigation of the Mississippi River at or near that place?
2d. Is or not the proposed location convenient of access to all existing constructed
railroads terminating at or near that point?
The above are, as we conceive, the only points on which the Secretary is authorized
to act. Of course you can ask the board of engineers to give you or him advice on any
subject you please. This is all we ask for, and all the Secretary has any authority to
act upon.
Please telegraph the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Company, at 25 William
street, New York, at their expense, your conclusions on this letter.
I am yours, very respectfully,
N. A. COWDREY,
By M. KINLAY.
A. HUMPHREYS,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Engineers.

No. 22.

MILWAUKEE AND SAINT PAUL RAILWAY COMPANY,
25 William Street, New York, September 20, 1872.
DEAR SIR : I addressed an official communication to you personally this morning,
relating to a bridge across the Mississippi River, withdrawing a map heretofore filed
by Mr. Mitchell, president, and commenting upon the instruction given to the board
of engineers, and asking for your approval of the location made by the Milwaukee and
Saint Paul Company, under the act authorizing the same, because I desire that you will
personally read the same before referring it to the Engineer Department. We are very
desirous of expediting the construction of this bridge as rapidly as possible for the convenience
of the States of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
I will call upon you personally early next week to make any explanation or give
any information you may desire.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. A. COWDREY.
Hon. WT. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.

MILWAUKEE AND SAINT PAUL RAILWAY COMPANY,
25 William Street, New York, September 9, 1872.
SIR: The Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Company are a commercial corporation
engaged in transporting persons and property into and between the States of Wisconsin
and Minnesota, crossing the Mississippi River, which at that place is the
boundary line between said States, with their traffic, at the point indicated on the annexed
map as the terminal point of their line of railway in each of said States—indicated
upon said map by the letter A for Wisconsin, and B for Minnesota. This point
is a little less than two miles, in* a straight line, from the principal steamboat-landing
in the city of La Crosse.
The company have, pursuant to the eighth section of the act of Congress entitled
"An act to authorize the construction of a bridge across the Mississippi River at or
near the town of Clinton, in the State of Iowa, and other bridges across said river, and
to establish them as post-roads," approved April 1, 1872, selected the point on the river
between A and B as the location where they propose to construct and maintain a bridge
across the Mississippi River.
In furtherance of this laudable enterprise, authorized by Congress, they respectfully
ask the Secretary of War to make and establish such regulations as to construction
and location of said bridge for the security of the navigation of said river and for the
wants of all railroads crossing said river at that point as are reasonable and proper.
In relation to what has already taken place concerning said bridge the Milwaukee
and Saint Paul Railway Company beg to say :
First. That they hereby withdraw from your consideration a "map of crossing and
bridge at La Crosse, Wisconsin, filed by Hon. Alexander Mitchell, president, May 20,
1872; file-mark 893;" so that the same is not now before you for action.
Second. You have, at the request of Hon. J. M. Rush, who is not proposing to build
any bridge, and who, so far as the law is concerned, is a mere intermeddler with the


BRIDGE OTHER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 45

disbursement of the money of other people who do propose to build a bridge, appointed
a board of engineers June 7, 1872, file-mark 977, with instructions dated July 8, 1872.
We rind no fault with the appointment of the board, although it was done without
authority, not having been asked for by any party in interest. If you say that a citizen
of La Crosse has an interest, the reply is, so has a citizen of Chicago, Milwaukee,
or Saint Paul, and all persons traveling or doing business over said road have a greater
interest than a citizen of La Crosse can have.
We, respectfully ask you to give the board new instructions to the following effect:
First. Make the law under which they act, with a copy of the opinion of the Attorney
General, dated August 8, 1872, construing a part of said act, a part of their instructions.
Second. Require them to report to you whether the bridge, as located by the railway
company proposing to build it, if properly built, will seriously interfere with or impair
the secure navigation of the Mississippi River at the point designated.
Third. Will the bridge, if properly built where located, be of convenient access to all
existing constructed railways terminating at or near that point, disregarding speculative
proposed railways.
We ask for new or modified instructions for the reason that the members of the board,
when formerly convened, said verbally in substance that they knew nothing of the law
or of the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Company. Neither was mentioned in
their instructions, which alone governed them. And their report, made under date of
July 29,1872, shows that they entirely misapprehend their own authority, the authority
of the Secretary of War, and the authority of Congress in the matters on which they
reported.
The only parties authorized by Congress to build a bridge there, or anywhere near
there, are the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Company, their successors or
assigns, or any person, company, or corporation having authority from the States of
Wisconsin and Minnesota. No such persons or companies exist except the Milwaukee
and Saint Paul Railway Company and the Southern Minnesota Railroad Company,
which latter company is on the eve of bankruptcy, and do not propose to build any
bridge, and will shortly be in the hands of its creditors, of whom we are, or chiefly
represent, the principal. So that we may safely say that where the Milwaukee and
Saint Paul Railway Company want the bridge, the Southern Minnesota Railroad want
it in the same place.
The board heard and apparently attached importance to moonshine railway companies,
only marked out on paper, who have not moved a shovelful of earth, and are
never likely to do so; such as the Black River Railroad, the Saint Paul and Iowa
{Southwestern Railroad, &c.
Congress, who alone has anything to say as to the policy of erecting bridges across
rivers dividing two States, has enacted that there may be two bridges across the
Mississippi River in that vicinity. The board of engineers are of» opinion that but one
is required, and that but one should be erected, all of which is nothing to them or to
the War Department so far as the acts of April 1, 1872, and June 4, 1872, are concerned.
The board of engineers also report to the Secretary of War that " three bridges have
been constructed across the Mississippi River above La Crosse, one at Hastings and
two at Saint Paul, for which there is no authority from Congress ;" but they fail also
to tell the Secretary that Congress has no authority to give where the river is entirely
in one State. Congress can only " regulate commerce among States." Each State has
full authority to grant the right to bridge streams within its own boundaries, so long
as they do not prevent the free use of navigable rivers. All three of the above-named
bridges are entirely within the State of Minnesota.
The above comment on the report of the board of engineers is made, not because any
one is hurt by it, but to show how the board misapprehend their instructions.
Their instructions could cover no more ground than the law itself does. The law
only authorizes the Secretary of War to approve the location and construction of a
bridge across the Mississippi River at such point as the Milwaukee and Saint Paul
Railway Company may select between the county of La Crosse, in the State of Wisconsin,
and the county of Houston, in the State of Minnesota. (See act of April 1,
1872, sections 5 and 8, and opinion of Attorney General of August 8, 1872.) When the
Secretary has acted on that authority he has exhausted all his authority in the premises.
The board of engineers can have no greater authority or duty in the premises
than has been conferred by Congress upon the Secretary.
Hence the propriety in our asking the Secretary to limit the instructions to said
board of engineers to the act of Congress under which the Secretary is acting.
Respectfully your obedient servant,
THE MILWAUKEE AND SAINT PAUL RAILWAY COMPANY,
Hon. W. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.
By N. A. COWDREY,
Attorney.


46 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

No. 23.

MILWAUKEE AND SAINT PAUL RAILWAY COMPANY,
25 WILLIAM STREET, POST-OFFICE Box 1468,
New York, September 20, 1872.
DEAR SIR: We have this clay mailed a communication to the Secretary of War, withdrawing
from his consideration a map of crossing and bridge at La Crosse, Wisconsin,
file-mark 893; also any application for his approval of our location of bridge heretofore
before him.
We have made a new application to him, and therein stated our objections to the
instructions given to the board of engineers under the old application. We are desirous
of expediting the construction of the bridge for the convenience of the people
of Minnesota and Wisconsin, who travel upon our railroad. With this object in view
I will call upon you personally to make any explanations desired, on Monday or Tuesday
of next week.
I have not yet heard from you upon our application to postpone the meeting of the
reconvened board for one week, but as they now have nothing before them I suppose
they will not meet without new orders from the Chief of Engineers.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. A. COWDREY,
For Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Company.
A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Engineers, Washington, D. C.

No. 24.

WASHINGTON, D. C., September 21, 1872.
SIR: Having been informed that the attorney of the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway
Company has addressed a communication to you in regard to the location of a
bridge across the Mississippi River at La Crosse, in which he has taken occasion to
reflect on my course, I would most respectfully ask for a copy of said communication.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. RUSK. Hon. W. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.
Copy mailed to General Rusk at La Crosse, September 24, 1872.
W. W. B.

No. 25.

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,
Washington, D. C., October 11, 1872.
SIR: In the matter of bridging the Mississippi River at or near the town of La
Crosse, Wisconsin, I have now to submit the second report of the board of engineers.
At the time the subject was first under their consideration the board adopted a
construction of the act of June 4, 1872, " regulating the construction of bridges across
the Mississippi River," different from that subsequently announced by the Attorney-
General. On the receipt of the opinion of the Attorney-General the board was reconvened
and directed to reconsider the subject, with the opinion of the Attorney-
General before them. The conclusion of the board is as follows :
"After a full consideration of all that has been urged by all the parties in interest,
the board feel constrained to adhere to their original decision that the only bridge
that should be permitted across the Mississippi at or near La Crosse should be at the
foot of Mount Vernon street."
In this opinion and in the views of the board I concur, and recommend to your
favorable consideration and approval the site selected at the foot of Mount Vernon
street. The board recommends that the bridge be required to have the height of ten
feet above high water, instead of thirty feet above low water, as the latter requirement
would, at this locality, necessitate an excessive height above high water, which
would injuriously affect the railroad-approaches to the bridge.
The board likewise recommends the repeal of the act approved February 21, 1868,
authorizing the bridging of the Mississippi River by the Southern Minnesota Railroad
Company, whenever the construction of a railroad-bridge is begun on the site selected
by the board. The necessity for the repeal of this act is not obvious, since the two


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 47

recent acts of April 1 and June 4, 1872, modify all previous acts authorizing bridges
across the Mississippi River.
As the carrying out of these two recommendations of the board involves the necessity
of further legislation, it is suggested that the two reports of the board, together
with accompanying papers, be submitted to Congress at its next session.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. HUMPHREYS,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Engineers.
Hon. W. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.

[Indorsement.]

Recommendation of the Chief of Engineers approved.
WM. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.
OCTOBER 11, 1872.

LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN, September 26, 1872.
GENERAL: The board of engineers appointed by paragraph 2, Special Orders No. 81,
dated headquarters Corps of Engineers, July 8, 1872, for the consideration of projects
for bridging the Mississippi River at La Crosse, Wisconsin, and reconvened by paragraph
1, Special Orders No. Ill, dated headquarters Corps of Engineers, September 14,
1872, would respectfully present this their second report.
The order reconvening the board was accompanied by a copy of the decision of the
Attorney-General, that the act of June 4, 1872, did not require that future bridges over
the Mississippi should be highway as well as railroad bridges.
As the board, in their previous report, had assumed, in default of any authorized
interpretation of the act in question, that it did require future bridges to be adapted
to the use of highways, and were guided in their report by this assumed requirement,
it is manifestly necessary that the whole matter should be reconsidered under the new
conditions.
The board met at La Crosse on the 25th instant, and at once notified the representatives
of the opposing interests that they were prepared to receive whatever they might
choose to present. All parties were fully heard who desired the privilege, the principal
interests represented being the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad, the city of La
Crosse, and the Black River lumber interest. The two former have tiled, in writing,
the arguments which they presented orally, and by request we have attached these
arguments to this report.
Our former report gave, in detail, the reasons in favor of the bridge-site which we
recommended, and our objections to the other site proposed. It is not necessary to
recapitulate those reasons, but it is proper to add that the objections urged by the lumber
interest to the construction of a bridge over the Black River near its mouth have
been presented to us, at this meeting, in a more forcible manner than at our former
one, and deserves stronger mention.
The plan proposed by the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad Company for crossing
the Black River is such that the marsh on the east side, which is now covered at high
water, would be obstructed by bridge-piers, and its passage by rafts would be greatly
hindered. Near the site chosen for this bridge, all the Black River rafts are prepared
for the voyage down the Mississippi, and the greatest possible freedom of maneuvering
is an imperative necessity. It was stated that, while the lumber interest object to any
increase in the number of bridges over the Mississippi, they yet know that a bridge at
or near La Crosse is inevitable, and, recognizing this necessity, they decidedly prefer to
all others the site selected by the board of engineers. They state that, when their rafts
start from the mouth of Black River, they start with full crews and all appliances for
running bridges; and, that being thus fully prepared, the passage of a well-located bridge
is not a serious matter, provided it is not too close to their starting-point.
On the other side, the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad Company, by their attorney,
urged, in defense of the site which they have chosen, that they would agree to do
anything that might be necessary in the vicinity of their proposed crossing to retain the
west channel as the main channel of the river, and claimed that the authority conferred
by law on the Secretary of War was sufficient to enforce their perpetual compliance
with whatever conditions might be prescribed as necessary to this end. They
also stated that they would obviate the objection raised by the board—that the whole
distance from the east bank of Black River to the west bank of the Mississippi would
have to be considered and operated as one bridge—by constructing a double track on
the swampy and low laud between the west bank of Black River and the east bank of
the eastern channel of the Mississippi. This would change the continuous bridge, 8,400
feet long, into two bridges, one 2,400 feet long and the other 1,250 feet, with a double-


48 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

track 4,750 feet long between them. This modification would partly, though not
completely, obviate the objection in question. The attorney for the railroad also raised the
question of the right of the board to select a site for a bridge, maintaining that their
duties were limited to the simple approval or disapproval of the site selected by the
bridge company. This objection we record without comment, as our instructions from
the Chief of Engineers are definite as to our duties, and the question of legality is one
that should be discussed elsewhere.
In reference to the site which they have chosen, the board would state that the connection
by way of Jay street with the present Milwaukee and Saint Paul track seems
less desirable than that by way of the alley between* Second and Third streets. By
this alley connection can be made near the round-house, either by following the line of
the plank-road or by going up the Mississippi shore to the present railroad-depot. The
latter route would utilize the last mile of the present track, which by the other route
would become a side-track. The distance by our lines and measurements from the
point of departure on the present track to the point where all lines meet on the other
side of the Mississippi is four miles by the plank-road, and four and one-eighth miles
by the extension along the river of the present track, the amount of such extension
being three and one-eighth miles. Between the same two points the distance by the
bridge proposed by the railroad is two and one-fourth miles. We therefore find that
by the bridge which we have recommended the line of the Milwaukee and Saint Paul
Railroad Company is lengthened from one and three-fourths to one and seven-eighths
mile. This increase of length is slightly greater than that given in our first report.
The arguments advanced before the board were almost without exception drawn
from the present condition of affairs in railroad and other matters in the vicinity. But
the board of engineers take a greatly wider and more comprehensive view of their
duties. Their appointment was manifestly due to the general feeling, both in and out
of Congress, that the great natural highways of the country should not be needlessly
obstructed by bridges, whether for railroads or for highways. The question before
them is not a railroad question at all, nor is it a question as to the benefit or injury
that any action of the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad Company may do to the
citizens of La Crosse, but it is solely and exclusively a bridge question. Interior towns
are traversed or neglected by railroads without any thought of an appeal to Congress,
no matter how much injury may result. It is therefore manifest that it is the river
only, and the protection of navigation upon it, that has caused this board to be assembled,
and that the good or bad effect of our recommendation upon the business of
La Crosse is a secondary matter, and only to be considered in order that no unnecessary
injury may be done to other interests while guarding those of navigation. In
case, however, river towns desire to open communication with the opposite side by
bridges, they then become interested parties on the bridge side, and their interests must
be consulted in connection with the other interests desiring to bridge the river, in
order to avoid a needless multiplicity of bridges, which in all cases are to some extent
obstructions to navigation. This is the case at La Crosse, and to that extent and for
that reason the interests of the city demand consideration.
Bridges over rivers as large as the Mississippi may practically be considered as
everlasting, it being assumed that the great interests which use them will always be
able and willing to keep them up. Viewing the question in this broad light, the
board feel that no local or temporary interests, nor any considerations of cost not
excessive, should be allowed to control their judgment. They feel that they are
deciding upon a structure that will have its effect for good or evil forever, and that
therefore it should be so located in the beginning that it shall never need to be
removed. They also consider that one bridge at this vicinity, if properly placed,
should make any others unnecessary, and that it is not unreasonable to expect that
bridge interests should make some sacrifices to other interests. Railroad companies
desiring to bridge a river apparently think that they are doing a favor to the traveling
public, and that therefore everything else should make way for them, ignoring the
fact that their object is to save time and cost of ferriage, in order to facilitate and add
to their business and increase their resulting profits. They forget that the
privilege of crossing one of the great natural highways is not an inherent right, but
a great favor, and that this favor to them is always an interference with that use of the
natural highway, to which every man, rich or poor, is by nature and law entitled. It
is not unreasonable to expect that parties wishing to abridge this natural right should
pay for so great a privilege, nor to require that they should come to the place selected
for the bridge, rather than be permitted to put the bridge, where it will suit them,
regardless of its effect on the rights of others.
That these remarks are not uncalled for may be seen by an examination of the
following list of the bridges already built over the Mississippi River between the Falls of
Saint Anthony and the junction of the Missouri, all of which, as we have often stated,
are to a greater or less extent obstructions to navigation:
1. Highway bridge at Saint Paul.
2. Railroad-bridge at Saint Paul.


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 49

3. Railroad-bridge at Hastings.
4. Railroad-bridge at Winona.
5. Railroad-bridge at Dubuque.
6. Railroad-bridge at Clinton.
7. Railroad-bridge at Rock Island. (There are two here, but one is to be removed.)
8. Railroad-bridge at Burlington.
9. Railroad-bridge at Keokuk.
10. Railroad-bridge at Quincy.
11. Railroad-bridge at Hannibal.
It seems proper here to repeat the statement given in our first report, that the first
three bridges in this list have been built without any authority from Congress, and
that the bridge at Winona apparently does not conform to law in the length of its spans,
and, therefore, should receive an official inspection.
The bridges above named are all finished and in use. Besides these, Congress has
authorized the construction in the Upper Mississippi of the additional bridges in the
accompanying list, the majority of which will doubtless soon be in operation:
1. At Red Wing, Minnesota, (act of April 1, 1872.)
2. At La Crosse, Wisconsin, (Southern Minnesota Railroad: act of February 21, 1868.)
3. At La Crosse, Wisconsin, (Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad: act of April 1, 1872.)
4. At Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, (act of July 25, 1866.) .
5. At Savanna, Illinois, (Western Union Railroad: act of April 1, 1872.)
6. At Clinton, Iowa, (second bridge : act of April 1,1872.
7. At Muscatine, Iowa, (act of April 1, 1872.)
8. At Fort Madison, Iowa, (act of April 1, 1872.)
9. At Warsaw, Illinois, (act of April 1, 1872.)
10. At Quincy, Illinois, (second bridge: act of February 25,1886.)
11. At Quincy, Illinois, (third bridge: act of April 1, 1872.)
12. At Louisiana, Missouri, (act of March 3, 1871.)
In view of the fact that Congress is yearly appropriating large sums toward the
improvement of western rivers, it certainly seems that this beneficent policy should
not be counteracted by authorizing the establishment of unnecessary permanent
obstructions. The two lists given above show that if all the authorized bridges are built
there will be twenty-three bridges over the Upper Mississippi, a number which cannot
but seriously affect navigation, and which, therefore, ought to be reduced as much as
possible. The following list shows the sums appropriated since the war for the
improvement of our rivers and harbors, exclusive of the appropriation for " surveys and
examinations/' and the portions of these sums that were allotted to the rivers which
drain into the Mississippi:
For all rivers and harbors.
1866 ................$3,443,048 1870 ....... $3,795,900
1867...... .........4,447,782 1871 ......... 4,773,500
1868 ...... ........1,500,000 1872 ......... 5.338,000
1869 ...... ...... ...2,000,000
For rivers in the Mississippi River Valley.
186K..........$1,475,000
1867 ...........1,173,500
1868.......... .872,000
1869............714,285
1870 .........$1,676,000
1871............1,744,000
1872............2,027,000
It was argued on the part of the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Company that we had no
right to consider the future and its probabilities, but must control our decision by the
wants of existing interests only. For the reasons given above, the board entirely disagree
with this view. We believe that we must anticipate the future, and try to foresee
it, so that it may be provided for now, and thus the need of another bridge near
La Crosse be obviated. Who can predict the future needs of any part of our marvelously
increasing country? In 1848, Wisconsin was admitted into the Union; in 1840
its population was 31,000; in 1850, 305,000; in 1860, 776,000; and in 1870, 1,055,000. In
1856 the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad was commenced, and it now owns 1,200
miles of railroad, and operates 1,500. In view, then, of the fact that this great corporation
had no existence less than twenty years ago, and has grown so rapidly to its
present dimensions, how can any one now set a limit to the future of railroads in Wisconsin
and Minnesota, and feel sure that the embryo railroads which have protested
against the Milwaukee and Saint Paul location will not in a few years be great corpo-
H. Ex. 71——4


50 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

rations demanding another bridge at La Crosse, and referring to their present protests
to enforce their demands?
Should the Milwaukee and Saint Paul location be approved, the local interests of La
Crosse would probably soon demand the privileges of building a highway-bridge at or
near the site we have chosen, and this would soon be followed by the construction of
a third bridge by the Southern Minnesota, at Isle La Plume. The latter corporation
has signified its assent to the site which we have chosen, but it would probably decline
using a bridge on the Milwaukee and Saint Paul site, unless it was forced to change its
terminus to La Crescent, a matter that is now before the courts, but whose precise
status we have been unable to ascertain to our satisfaction.
Under these views, and after a full consideration of all that has been urged by all
the parties in interest, the board feel constrained to adhere to their original decision,
that the only bridge that should be permitted across the Mississippi, at or near La
Crosse, should be at the foot of Mount Vernon street. They would recommend, however,
that the bridge be only required to have the height of 10 feet above high water,
instead of 30 feet above low water, as the latter requirement would at this locality
necessitate a height of 14 feet above high water, which seems more than is necessary.
A reduction of 4 feet in the height of the main bridge would cause a very desirable
diminution of the cost of constructing the bridge approaches. We also think that as
soon as a bridge is begun by an authorized company on the site which we have selected,
the charter granted to the Southern Minnesota Railroad for bridging the Mississippi
should be repealed.
Respectfully submitted.
J. N. MACOMB,
Colonel of Engineers, U. S. A., President of the Board.
G. WEITZEL,
Major of Engineers.
WM. E. MERRILL,
Major of Engineer

MILWAUKEE AND SAINT PAUL RAILWAY,
Milwaukee, October 8, 1872.
DEAR SIR: I have the honor to transmit to you herewith in. the matter of the location
of the La Crosse bridge—
1. Affidavit of Alexander Mitchell as to location of road, bridge, &c.
2. Protest of Milwaukee and Saint Paul Company.
3. Points in favor of Milwaukee and Saint Paul Company's location.
4. Map showing location, &c.
Mr. Mitchell desires me to ask you to telegraph him when your report is transmitted
to Washington ; also to ask you to furnish him a copy of the report. We shall pay
any expense incurred thereby. We desire also that the inclosed papers accompanying
the report.
Very respectfully, &c.,
J. P. C. COTTRILL,
Counsel for Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Company.
Colonel J. N. MACOMB,
Corps of Engineers, United States Army.

[First indorsement.]

ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS, October 29, 1872.
Respectfully forwarded to the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, for file with
the report of the board of engineers on subject of La Crosse Bridge, which report was
forwarded on the 7th instant.
J. N. MACOMB,
Colonel of Engineers, U. S. A, President of Board,

To Colonel J. N. Macomb, Colonel of Engineers, United States Army ; G. Weitzel, Major of
Engineers, United States Army; William E. Merrill, Major of Engineers, United States
Army :
The Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Company, by its counsel, hereby respect-
rally submits the following points, in favor of its proposed location of a bridge across
the Mississippi River at La Crosse, in the State of Wisconsin, and against the location
of such bridge at Mount Vernon street, as proposed by the report of the board which
you compose, dated July 29, 1872.


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 51

It submits herewith the affidavit of Alexander Mitchell, president of said company,
showing that its line is located pursuant to law, to the east and west lines of the
States of Minnesota and Wisconsin, respectively, at the points of the proposed location
of said bridge, and that in good faith, and prior to the passage of the act of June
4, 1872, it had expended money in surveys, &c., touching said location. The map of
its location was tiled May 20, 1872, and such location and expenditure was made prior
to that date.
It also submits herewith its protest against the assumed right either of your board
or of the honorable the Secretary of War to do any act relative to the location of said
bridge beyond simply approving or disapproving the location thus selected ; its claim
that such disapproval of location can only be based upon a clear showing that such
location is a substantial impediment to the free and reasonable navigation of said river,
and its further protest that your board has no authority to designate a new location
for such bridge not proposed by the parties who propose to construct the same, or who
are interested in the question of its location.
This protest is respectfully insisted upon; and the 8th section of the act of April 1,
1872. is referred to which authorizes this company to construct and maintain the bridge
“at any point they may select."

II.

Your report of July 29, 1872, states in substance that the board, unadvised as to the
construction of the act of June 4, 1872, as to whether the proposed bridge should be
constructed as a highway as well as a railway bridge, and having telegraphed for but
not having received an interpretation of the act in this particular, had acted upon their
best judgment, and had assumed that such must be its meaning, and had based their
report upon this conclusion.
The report itself shows that this construction was a controlling element both in disapproving
the location made by our company, and in recommending the Mount Vernon
street location.
The opinion of the Attorney-General of the United States, of date of August 7, 1872,
decides that highways are not to be considered in the matter of the proposed location;
and in view of that opinion this company now treats the question of location as if all
questions of highways or of building the bridge so as to embrace a wagon-way were
wholly eliminated from consideration.
In view also of the fact that your former report was wholly based upon the above-
stated construction of the act, it treats the whole subject of location as being fully
re-opened : and considers that so far as its location is concerned that it is not embarrassed
by any conclusions heretofore reached. Insisting, nevertheless, upon its protest
as to jurisdiction, and not conceding further power in the premises, to either the honorable
Secretary of War or to your board, than simply to disprove our location, if
fairly and substantially found to be an impediment to navigation, we proceed to consider
in order the objections stated to our location and the reasons assigned in favor
of that proposed by you.

III.

Preliminary to that, we claim that the question here is simply between our location
and that at Mount Vernon street. The so-called "Winter bridge, Milwaukee and Saint
Paul Railway Company," " State street or Union bridge location," and " the lower or
southern Minnesota crossing," were each in the former report condemned. No new fact
or testimony as to them has been produced since the former hearing; hence they still
stand as condemned, and our location and yours are only to be considered; ours in the
former report being only disapproved, and not disapproved by itself as an impediment
to navigation, but only in fact reported as being upon the whole less desirable than the
Mount Vernon street site.

IV.

OBJECTIONS TO OUR LOCATION.

a. That our length of bridge is an objection, and in this connection that the Mount
Vernon street site will make a shorter bridge for common use.
To this we say that an increased length of bridge is of interest only to us, who
propose to build it; that it does not affect the question of how far it may or may not
impede navigation; and that a saving of two miles in length of line may well warrant
an increase of length of bridge, though this is a question appertaining to and affecting
us alone. Besides, the distance between the west side of Black River and the east
bank of the Mississippi is some four thousand feet, the interval being capable of being
made substantially solid ground. In this interval double tracks can be made, thus
converting the proposed bridge in fact into two short spans or bridges, one over the


52 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

Black and one over the Mississippi River, each independent of the other, while the use
of either will not affect the navigable use of the other river.
Should, however, the Mount Vernon site be adopted, (the bridge being common only
over the main channel to Grand Island, with each road diverging as it may choose
from the east side of Grand Island,) the Saint Paul company being the only party having
authority to bridge the entire river to the Minnesota shore, may" in the exercise of
that authority build a private bridge over the west bayou or slough, and, until further
congressional authority is given, none of the so-called contesting roads can come to
the common bridge at all. In this view the Mount Vernon street location defeats entirely
one object of Congress that has been assumed to be of weight in this investigation,
investigation i.e. “the wants of other railways crossing said river."
b.. The second objection to our location is its unsuitableness for highways. The
opinion of the Attorney-General disposes of this in our favor.
c. The third objection is the imposition of the protection of the shores of the main
river by revetting and of the partial obstruction of the other channel so as to prevent
it from becoming the main channel, as it was in 1866; and that it would be undesirable
to leave this to an uninterested party.
It is submitted that in no sense is our company an uninterested party. Aside from
its constant liability to suits for damages for obstructions to navigation, although
maintaining the bridge under the authority of Congress, the act of April 1, 1872,
expressly provides—
1st. That the bridge " shall be built and located under and subject to such regulations
for the security of navigation as the Secretary of War shall prescribe; " and
2d. That u the said structure shall be at all times so kept and
managed as to offer
reasonable and proper means for the passage of vessels through or under said structure;"
and
3d. That " the said structure shall be changed at the cost and expense of the owners
thereof from time to time, as Congress may direct, so as to preserve the free and convenient
navigation of said river;" and
4th. That " the authority to erect and continue said bridge shall be subject to revocation,
modification by law whenever the public good shall in the judgment of Congress
so require." (Sec. 5, act of April 1, 1872.)
This board, in fixing the Mount Vernon street location, named regulations for the
future and for all time, relative to the bridge in the interests of navigation. They
may do the same as to our location in the particulars named in this objection. The
structure must be maintained and kept at all times so as not to impede navigation.
Congress may enact further regulations involving, if necessary, a change of the structure;
and may even wholly revoke the authority under which it is built, if such regulations
are not complied with, or if the public good, after the experiment of its construction
is made, shall so require.
It cannot, therefore, be said that we are an uninterested party.
But we offer to give bonds for the prompt and faithful observance of all reasonable
and proper regulations, both in regard to protecting" the main channel by revetting
and the partial obstruction of the other channel, so as to prevent its again becoming
the main channel.
And the report says that " with revetting and obstructions as indicated, the channel
crossing will not be unfavorable, as there is a good straight stretch of river with a
good entrance to the draw from above and below.”
This language is stronger with reference t o our location than anything stated or
that can be stated in favor of the Mount Vernon street location ; and this very revetting
and these obstructions are in terms covered by the 5th section of the act of April
1, 1872, which provides that the bridge shall be built so as to secure the free navigation
of said river.
d. The next objection is that our location would be inconvenient to the Chicago,
Dubuque and Minnesota road, and that it might be to other roads desiring to go to the
main part of the city of La Crosse.
As to the former, they have no corporate existence at all in Wisconsin, arid no right
to build, maintain, or operate any road in that State. If they are to be considered at
all, the proof and map submitted show that their line in Minnesota is located to a
point of junction with ours north of the line of our proposed bridge, and that they can,
with less expense to themselves, cross the river at our location than at Mount Vernon
street. The Southern Minnesota would have to build but half a mile of road to reach
our location—at a cost not greater than it would cost them to reach the bridge at
Mount Vernon street—and even if this half mile was all additional outlay to them,
they should rather be compelled to build a half mile more than we to build and
forever maintain two miles more. Their one-half mile would occasion no derangement
to their general line of road. It is immaterial to them whether they go up the river
at La Crosse on the east or the west side of the river, as all their business must find
both its outlet and its inlet over our line and via North La Crosse. But in compelling
the additional two miles of construction upon us, at a first cost of $200,000 and an an-


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 53

nual outlay of $10,000 for maintaining the increased distance—considering the general
derangement that it will entail of all our through connections, the additional time
necessary to pass the lengthened line, we not being allowed by law to run trains
exceeding six miles per hour in cities, and also considering that we are the only party that
proposes to build, the interests of the Southern Minnesota Company and indeed of
“others” are merely trifling as compared with ours. The report is clearly in error,
upon the facts shown, in stating that the Southern Minnesota Company must change
its first three miles in coining to our location ; but if true, such change as the report
says would not lengthen their line, and the connection as we propose would clearly
be to their advantage.
e. The interests of the Black River lumbermen. The report makes a statement
merely in this regard, but the board evidently did not regard it an objection, as they
simply record the fact. The report indeed fairly implies that to them a bridge at our
location would be preferable to one at Mount Vernon street, or, as the report says, "lower
down." It was clearly demonstrated that their interests would be better subserved
by our location, as their rafts could then be made up below the bridge, near the mouth
of Black River, and start from there to go down ; while with the bridge at Mount Vernon
street, their rafts must again be detached, with no suitable place within convenient
or reasonable distance below, in which to unite them again. It is not, we submit, an
open question, but it is an actual demonstration, that " a bridge with a draw at this
place, where the current is almost nothing and no bridge below," would be a less obstruction
than a bridge lower down.
f. The report mentions that it is stated by some river-men that the channel at our
location is difficult to run in high water, as the land on both sides is flooded, and there
is trouble in steering clear of the tow-heads above. This is mentioned merely as a
statement made ; the board evidently did not consider that it rose to the dignity of an
objection. Its want of weight will be still more apparent when it is considered that
the bridge with its necessary attendant appendages in use will furnish landmarks for
navigation for all time to come of the most certain and unmistakable nature.
We thus answer, and as we think conclusively, all the objections and statements in
opposition to our location.

V.

INTERESTS OPPOSING AND ENTITLED TO OPPOSE,

Under both acts parties interested in the navigation of the river and railways are
alone entitled to be heard. No private interest is entitled to be consulted, and neither
the Fifth ward of La Crosse can favor, or the remainder of La Crosse oppose. We submit
that no railroad can oppose which is not built, and none that has not authority to
cross the river. We have some 1,200 miles of road in use, and operate»some 300 miles more.
We are the only party authorized or proposing to build, and no additional burden
should be placed upon us beyond the cost of building, unless the interest of navigation
imperatively demand it. Our location does not impede navigation, and should therefore
be approved. And we may refer to the fact that on this hearing no other railway
company is represented by the personal attendance of any officer or counsel.

VI.

THE MOUNT VEKNOX STREET LOCATION.

a. We claim that there is no power in the board to designate an entirely new location
not proposed by any party in interest, and the other proposed locations having
been condemned, that the only question for decision is whether our location impedes
navigation. The board has already decided that it does not; hence, on this ground
alone, our site should be approved.
b. This site is called a compromise in the report of July 29. We submit that it possesses
no single element of a compromise. It is a sacrifice and burden to us with
nothing whatever conceded; it yields to all the opposing interests all they claim,
while they concede nothing. It grants nothing to us in consideration of the burdens
which it imposes, but simply burdens, embarrasses, and sacrifices us and our business
interests. A compromise presupposes mutual concessions in view of partial advantages
gained. But here we gain nothing and the opposing interests concede nothing.
They gain all; we lose all. They secure the location where they demand it, or substantially
so, at our entire cost, to which they contribute nothing whatever. We are
subjected by it to an immediate additional outlay of $200,000, an annual outlay of
$10,000 in maintaining the increased line, to loss of time and facilities for competition,
delay in transportation, both of freight and passengers, loss of business, derangement
of our business connections, and other losses and inconveniences without a particle of
benefit conceded, and the opposition gain all. We build and they enjoy; we sow and
they gather. The expense is ours—the ad vantage theirs. We have never before heard


54 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

of a case where the defendant has utterly defeated the plaintiff in his clear right, and
where the verdict was justified and the plaintiff compelled to console himself with the
reflection that the result was a compromise.
But our location is a compromise and a concession; and if the question is to be
determined in that view our site should be approved. We have the authority to build
from La Crosse County to Houston County, limited only by the question of the effect
upon navigation. Suppose we go north, as we may do, to the extreme north line of
La Crosse County. We shorten our line still more, and all opposing interests must
then come to us. But in view of actually constructed roads we go more southerly,
take them all in, and yet a further demand is made upon us, not useful to them and
only expensive and embarrassing to us. Oar location, then, is a compromise; the
Mount Vernon site is merely a sacrifice, and that to no good.
And here it is proper to observe that the only eastward outlet to all the business
that comes to La Crosse is through the valley of the La Crosse River where our line is
built. The business must go that way; why then not say that the bridge shall be
built so as to immediately let the business out by its only possible and natural
outlet?
c. The report of July 29 states that there are no engineering difficulties in our coming
to Mount Vernon street through the alleys in the blocks between Second and Third
streets, but it fails to state—
1st. That this route lengthens our line two miles.
2d. That it increases the cost of construction $200,000 at the outset.
3d. That it imposes an annual outlay in maintaining the increased length of line of
$10,000.
4th. That it destroys the best and most substantially built portion of La Crosse.
5th. That it necessitates a grade at Mount Vernon and other streets not high enough
for underground crossings, and thus substantially destro3rs the use of such streets, as
the crossings must be overground.
6th. That it subjects us to much loss of time upon through trains, as by the laws of
Wisconsin they can be run not to exceed six miles per hour through the corporate
limits of La Crosse.
7th. That it deprives us of many other manifest facilities for competing with other
lines reaching to Saint Paul.
8th. That it subordinates all our business interests and connections to the fancied
local wants of La Crosse, which is not in fact entitled to be considered at all.
9th. That it compels the only party which proposes to put in the money and pay the
cost to submit to the whims and caprices of other parties not really beneficial to them.
10th. That it inflicts positive injury upon all our freight and passenger business,
without corresponding benefit to any one.
11th. That it substantially compels the removal of our depot and business
-offices, elevators, &c., from their present location, compels us to buy the whole of blocks 16,
17, 18, 19, and 20, in La Crosse, remove all the buildings there from, and acquire lands
upon the river besides, thus destroying and rendering valueless the buildings, river-
property, &c., now owned by us at North La Crosse.

VII.

The back location through La Crosse is still more objectionable. It involves a tunnel
of 3,000 feet in length, costing $50 per foot and amounting to $150,000, besides
right of way and other expenses of construction, with all the other inconveniences
before stated as to the other route. Our right of way could, perhaps, be procured there
more cheaply, but the aggregate cost of construction would, by this route, be very
considerably increased. It needs scarcely a moment's consideration to show that this route
is wholly impracticable.
We submit that every argument in favor of the Mount Vernon street location can
be and is successfully answered; that each objection to our location is fully satisfied:
and that the question is in fact concluded by the admission of the former report that
" with revetting and obstructions, as indicated, the channel will not be unfavorable,
as there is a good stretch of river, with a good entrance to the draw from above and
below.”
We therefore confidently submit that our location should be approved, and that such
approval exhausts the power of the board in the premises.
J. P. C. COTTRILL,
Of Counsel for the Milwaukee and Saint Paid Railway Company.


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE. 55

To Colonel J. N. Maconib, Colonel of Engineers, United States Army ; G. Weitzel; Major of
Engineers, United States Army; William E. Merrill, Major of Engineers, United States
Army :
The Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Company hereby respectfully protest against
the assumption by the board which you compose, of any jurisdiction, in reference to
locating or recommend ing the location of a bridge at the city of La Crosse, in the State
of Wisconsin, or between the county of La Crosse, in the State of Wisconsin, and the
county of Houston, in the State of Minnesota, that is not conferred by the fifth and
eigth sections of the act of Congress entitled "An act to authorize the construction of
a bridge across the Mississippi Rver at or near the town of Clinton, in the State of
Iowa, and other bridges across said river, and to establish them as post-roads” approved
April 1, 1872.
Said company also respectfully protest against any action either by the board which
you compose, or by the honorable Secretary of War, touching the location of said bridge
further than simply an approval or disapproval of such location and selection of location
as has been made for said bridge by the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Corn-
The said company further respectfully submits and insists that its location of said
bridge is ample and sufficient for the security of the navigation of said river, and for
the wants of all railways crossing said river at or near the point of location; and that
its location ought therefore to be approved.
The said company further respectfully submits and insists that the board which you
compose has no authority or power to designate a location for said bridge, not proposed
by said company, or by some person or corporation authorized to construct such bridge,
and that the honorable the Secretary of War has no authority or power to approve
such independent location so selected by you.
THE MILWAUKEE AND SAINT PAUL RAILWAY COMPANY,
By ALEX. MITCHELL, its President.

In the mailer of the location of a bridge across the Mississippi River at La Crosse, in the Stale
of Wisconsin, pursuant to the act of Congress of April 1, 1872.

OF WISCONSIN, Milwaukee County, ss:
Alexander Mitchell, being duly sworn, deposes and says as follows, to wit:
That he is the president of the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Company; that
said company is a railway corporation duly chartered and existing under and by virtue
of the laws of the State of Wisconsin; that one of the divisions and branches of the
railroad of said company is constructed and in operation to the city of La Crosse, in
said State, and, pursuant to the laws of said State, is located to the west line of the
State of Wisconsin, near said city of La Crosse, and upon the line and to the point in
the west line of said State, shown upon the map filed in this proceeding, as shown
upon said map.
That the Saint Paul and Chicago Railway Company is a corporation duly chartered
and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the State of Minnesota, and that, pursuant
to the laws of the last-named State, the railroad of the last-named company has
been located and is in process of construction to La Crescent, in the State of Minnesota,
and to the east line of said State, upon the line and to the point in the
east line of said State, shown upon said map; that the railroad of said last-
named company is now in actual operation and completed from the city of Saint Paul
to the city of Winona, in said State of Minnesota, and the same, as built and as to be
built to the east line of said State of Minnesota at said La Crescent, is now, by purchase
and by authority of the legislature of the State of Minnesota ratifying and con-
tinning such purchase, owned by the said Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Company,
which is now engaged in completing the same to La Crescent at the point aforesaid,
and as shown upon said map.
That the said terminal points on the west line of the State of Wisconsin, and on the
east line of the State of Minnesota, to which said railroads have been located and are
now being constructed, are the points that have been designated by said Milwaukee
and Saint Paul Railway Company as the proposed location of their bridge across the
Mississippi River.
That prior to June 4,1872, said company had located its proposed bridge at La Crosse,
as shown upon the map presented and filed by it, and had, prior to May 20,1872, made
a considerable expenditure in good faith in so locating their lines of road and in preparing
plans preparatory to building the bridge at said points, and had proceeded in
good faith to build said bridge at its proposed location.
ALEX. MITCHELL.
Sworn to before me this 3d day of October, 1872.
J. P. C. COTTRILL
Notary Public.


56 BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CROSSE.

No. 26.

ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS, October 7, 1872.
GENERAL : In returning to the office of Chief of Engineers the documents enumerated
in my letter of August 6, 1872, I would respectfully state that the following, herewith
inclosed, were presented at the second meeting of the board:
Profile of route for railroad, by chief engineer of Milwaukee and Saint Paul Rail-
road.
A paper declaring the Southern Minnesota Railroad Company's adherence to their
original protest.
Telegram from J. H. Howe, of Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Company, to
J. M. Rusk, authorizing him to speak in behalf of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad
Company.
Telegram from J. K. Graves, president C. D. and M. and C. C. and D. Railroad, to
Jno. S. Lester, giving his views in regard to the location of La Crosse bridge.
I remain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
J. N. MACOMB,
Colonel Engineer, United States Army.
Brigadier-General A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Chief of Engineer, United States Army, Washington, D. C.

[Received en 2d October, 1672.—J. K. M.]

J. T. DODGE,
Chief Engineer.
MILWAUKEE AND SAINT PAUL RAILWAY,
OFFICE OF CHIEF ENGINEER OF LA CROSSE BRIDGE.
Winona, Minnesota, September 30 1872.

DEAR SIR : Inclosed please find profiles of river-crossings near La Crosse, as
requested.
Very respectfully,
J. T. DODGE,
Chief .Engineer. J. N. MACOMB,
Colonel Engineers, U. S. A.
Hon. W. W. Belknap, Secretary of War, and the board of engineers locating bridge at La
Crosse :

The Southern Minnesota Railroad Company adheres in every particular to all its
statements contained in the protest, heretofore filed, in relation to the location of a
railroad bridge at La Crosse, and further respectfully ask that the present location be
not changed.
We are informed by advice from New York that certain parties connected with the
Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway have filed private papers representing that we, as a
road, have no right to interfere, or have voice in this matter, because liable to be
foreclosed and sold; that road assuming that they must eventually become our purchasers.
If the mortgages given by us are eventually foreclosed, all roads entering at La
Crosse will certainly not be debarred from coming in as bidders, and the road is quite
as much a necessity to other roads as the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway, and to
assume that we are to be sold out and bid in by that corporation is a piece of unwarrantable
impudence. A foreclosure has not yet been decided on, and we do not believe it will be,
as we expect our interest will be paid, negotitiations to that effect now being in progress
among the bond-holders. If foreclosure does follow, all know it will
be years in its accomplishments, and other companies are quite as likely to be the
purchasers as the Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway Company.
We claim that no one corporation doing to-day on the road, whose cars must cross
the bridge in question, no more business than we are, as can be shown, and draining a
country which will in the future yield no more business than does the country through
which we run, and which, for all time to come, must do far less business than the three
roads whose traffic this bridge must accommodate will do, has a right, in order to shorten
their own line one and a half miles, to draw all that traffic and travel, to come from
the other roads, three miles out of its natural channel, to accommodate them. It is not
just nor right, and we respectfully protest against its being permitted. We further ask
that no weight be given to assertions giving color to the idea that the Milwaukee and
Saint Paul Railway may at some time own our road. Our road is now in our possession
and likely to remain there, and the Milwaukee and Saint Paul people are guilty of gross
misrepresentation in presuming to claim any interest in it.
The bridge where now located will accommodate more traffic and more railway travel


BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI AT LA CEOS8E. 57

than in any other place, and better serve the interests of a large majority of the traveling
and trading public, for whose use it is to be constructed.
J. AV. LOSEY,
Attorney and Director of the Southern Minnesota Railway Company,
and authorized to alone represent Its Interest in this matter.
SEPTEMBER 25. 1872.

[Telegram.]
THE NORTHWESTERN TELEGRAPH COMPANY.

Dated Fort Howard, 26, 1872. (Received 12.10 p.m.)
To J. M. RUSK:
I have just received a dispatch from Mr. Lester. You are in full possession of my
views given at our recent interviews in Chicago. There has been 110 change in them,
and you alone are authorized to speak for our company.
J. H. HO WE.
D. H.—Chicago and Northwestern Railway.—Received from General Rusk on 26th
September, 1872.

[Telegram.]

THE .NORTHWESTERN TELEGRAPH COMPANY.

Dated Dubuque, 25, 1872. (Received at 9 a. m., 20.)
To JNO. L. LESTER:
Impossible for me to be present. Our position is unchanged. Bridge should be located
at your city. This would enable us to compete successfully with other roads for
business, and would prove of vital importance to your commercial interests. If located
as proposed by Milwaukee road it would rule us out, and prove a serious injury to
everybody. We had some trouble about location of Dubuque bridge. It became my
duty, as mayor of city, o decide, and I have never regretted my action. The bridge
was built directly in front of the city. Everybody now admits it is properly located.
The money necessary to build in front of your city can be had as easily as for any
other place.
J. K. GRAVES,
President C. and D. and M. and C. C. and D. Railroad.
H. Ex. 71—5