KML file for Google Earth: dunsmore-crossings-nfcda-1.kml
Commentary by Kris Townsend and Robert Dunsmore
In Mullan's 1863 report to Congress, two listings of river crossings and other notable landmarks were included. The listing on page 124 of that report, dated January 2, 1860, was provided by W. W. Johnson, civil engineer. The list of river crossings and landmarks on pages 128–133 was provided by John Wiesner, meteorologist and astronomer. That report is dated January 25, 1860. Both lists were prepared under Mullan's supervision while wintering at Cantonment Jordan near the St. Regis river.
Johnson measured distance and elevation from a spring near the river's edge on the west side of the 'Mission Hill'—just inches above the river level at that time. Wiesner measured distance from Fort Walla Walla and elevation above sea level. Selected data from both listings were combined into the table provided below.
In today's Wallace, Idaho, Mullan called present Placer creek the south fork and today's South Fork Coeur d'Alene he called north fork. He also restarted the count of river crossings as if a new river was beginning.
On the "North Fork" crossings represented on this map, Mullan built two or three bridges in 1859 due to existing conditions. He bridged a slough and quicksand area at the fifteenth crossing and a bridge at the twenty-first crossing where the river dropped into a deep canyon.
In 1861, Mullan’s crews built sixteen major bridges for the second through seventeenth crossings on the "Coeur d'Alene". (See Crossings Part 1) Mullan also built a bridge at the first crossing of the "North Fork" near present Canyon Creek. This was his last bridge on what is now called the South Fork.
In the table below, the listed distances are for the 1859 route. The 1861 route added approximately 10 miles between Walla Walla and the Coeur d'Alene mission. Thus, to determine distance using the newer 1861 route, add 10 miles to the numbers provided here.
|Placer Creek (Mullan's South Fork)||606||24.50||2806||222.89|
Mullan, John. 1861. Military Road from Fort Benton to Fort Walla Walla, House Executive Document No. 44. 36th Congress, 2nd Session (1860-1861), Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.
—.1861. United States Military Road Expedition from Fort Walla Walla to Fort Benton, W.T., Senate Executive Document 1. 37th Congress, 2nd Session (1861-1862), Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.
—. 1861. Military road from Fort Benton to Fort Walla-Walla : letter from the Secretary of war, transmitting the report of Lieutenant Mullan, in charge of the construction of the military road from Fort Benton to Fort Walla-Walla. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.
—. 1863. Report on the Construction of a Military Road from Fort Walla-Walla to Fort Benton. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.