of the passes examined by him; and his general report, sent to the Secretary of War
, bears the date of February 25.
Both of these reports appear in the first volume of the official publications on the Pacific Railroad route, made by order of Congress.
His general conclusions were that between the parallels of 45° 30′ and 49° north latitude there are but two passes through the range practicable for a railroad,--that of the Columbia River
and that of the Yakima River
; that the latter was barely practicable, and that only at a high cost of time, labor, and money, while the former was not only undoubtedly practicable, but remarkably favorable.
The Secretary of War
, in his report to Congress, dated February 27, 1855, says, “The examination of the approaches and passes of the Cascade Mountains
, made by Captain McClellan
, of the Corps
of Engineers, presents a reconnoissance of great value, and, though performed under adverse circumstances, exhibits all the information necessary to determine the practicability of this portion of the route, and reflects the highest credit on the capacity and resources of that officer.”
In addition to his duties upon the railroad-survey, Captain McClellan
had been directed by the Secretary of War
to superintend the construction of the military road from Walla-Walla to Steilacoom
This road was built after he had left the Pacific
region; but the contracts and arrangements were made by him before his departure.
He returned( home in the spring of 1854.