A Magnificent Piece of Masonry.--The Union Arch, which spans a gorge over one hundred feet have the bed of the Potomac
, at Cabin Joun Ron, seven miles west of Washington
, was telexed by Capt. Montgomery C. Meigs
, now Quartermaster General
of the army, and is a triumph of engineering skill.
It is a single arch thrown from the natural abutment of solid rock at the base of one hill to the corresponding one on the other side — It is a most beautifully proportioned stone arch.
of greater span than any other in this country or Europe
That which approaches it nearest in magnificence is the famed bridge of sandstone, across the river Dee
, at Chester
, in England
— a circular arch of two hundred feet span and forty feet rise.
The Union Arch is circular (a segment) with a span of two hundred and twenty feet and fifty-seven feet three inches height.
Of course, as Capt. Meigs
is a Northern man, he wears the laurels of the whole American continent.
often boast of our, Washington
, our Jefferson
, our Madison
Star Spangled Banner, our York
New Orleans, and now it is our great works, our
Those who are sufficiently interested to sift the matter, will find that the "magnificent piece of masonry" eulogized above, owes its planning and execution mainly to the skill and perseverance of a Southern engineer, Mr. Alfred L. Rives
, (son of Hon. Wm. C. Rives
,) now Captain
in Corps of Engineers in the Confederate Army.
In his thorough training in the highest scientific schools of France
, Capt. Rives
learned some things which Northerners do not understand — among them, that true genius does not desire to deck itself in borrowed feathers.
The roars beneath the lion's skin
have been so loud in all quarters, that the long ears of the chief animal are hardly yet developed to European
eyes; but the jackdaw they sometimes detect beneath their own plumage.