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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Engineering. (search)
l to the Mississippi River, and the deepening of the Mississippi itself to the Gulf of Mexico, is a logical sequence of the first project. The Nicaragua Canal would then form one part of a great line of navigation, by which the products of the interior of the continent could reach either the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean. The cost would be small compared with the resulting benefits, and some day this navigation will be built by the government of the United States. The deepening of the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River from 6 to 30 feet by James B. Eads was a great engineering achievement. It was the first application of the jetty system on a large scale. This is merely confining the flow of a river, and thus increasing its velocity so that it secures a deeper channel for itself. The improvement of harbors follows closely the increased size of ocean and lake vessels. The approach to New York Harbor is now being deepened to 40 feet, a thing impossible to be done without
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Southwest pass, engagement at (search)
Southwest pass, engagement at In the fall of 1861 there was a blockading squadron at the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River, composed of the steamer Richmond, sloops-of-war Vincennes and Preble, and steam-tender Water-witch, commanded by Capt. J. Pope. J. S. Hollins, formerly of the United States navy, was there in command of the Manassas, a Confederate ram. About 4 A. M. on Oct. 12, this ram appeared suddenly close to the Richmond, and by the time an alarm could be given by the watch, her iron prow had struck the war-steamer abreast the port fore-channels, staving a hole in the ship's side. Then she withdrew and attempted to breach the Richmond's stern, but failed. A signal of danger had been given to the other vessels. They slipped their cables and ran down to the Pass, while the Richmond gave the assailant a volley from her port battery. The commander of the Vincennes, mistaking a signal, attempted to set fire to his vessel. They abandoned her, but, happily, the ma