KML file for Google Earth: dunsmore-crossings-sr-2.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 lists were combined in the table below.
Wiesner did not list crossings 26–45. In the table below, his mileages for those crossings has been extrapolated by adding 198.52 to Johnson's mileage. That distance was determined by comparing the difference between Wiesner's distance from Walla Walla to Cantonment Jordan (257.85) and Johnson's distance from the mission to Cantonment Jordon (59.33). Dunsmore has since determined that the mean distance for Johnson's mileages between Walla Walla and the mission is 198.39. In his museum display on the Mullan Road from Spokane Ferry to Bitterroot Ferry, the original 198.52 was used and is also used on the table presented below.
In 1860, Mullan outlined his plan to build bridges for crossings 1–26, build ten more bridges on crossings 27–36, and shift the road to the north to eliminate crossings 37–46. Some "frameworks" (likely piers) were completed during the fall of 1861 with the decking being left to 1862. Nearly all of Mullan's bridges were constantly threatened by each year's spring freshets and did not survive long.
|Crossing 18, stream 2||1387||46.65|
|Crossing 18, stream 3||1389||46.70|
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.