In consequence of the movements which were taking place at the close of the last week, no favorable opportunity offered for making up the usual report for that period. The troops having been withdrawn from the neighborhood, the work on the redoubt and battery at Prince George Court-House was suspended on the evening of the 23rd ultimo, but the felling of timber and other preliminary arrangements continued at the Old Court-House. On the 26th I traced the line for the work at that point, and on the following day placed this and another redoubt, the latter located on a site nearly south of the former, in charge of Lieutenants Howell and Lydecker. Very little was accomplished, however, as operations were almost immediately suspended, a movement being in contemplation toward the left flank. Captain Gillespie during this time continued the superintendence of the new line extending from the City Point railroad to the Appomattox.
On the 28th, in company with General Hunt, chief of artillery, and Captain Gillespie, I made a thorough inspection of the line of intrenchments immediately in front of Petersburg from the Appomattox south, and suggested such additions and improvements as were needed. On the evening of the same day an order was published that "the whole army will be under arms, ready to move at 4 a.m. of the 29th"-the following morning. Instructions were immediately given to the officers commanding the Battalion of U. S. Engineers and the detachment of the Fiftieth New York Volunteer Engineers to suspend all operations on the different field-works in course of construction and to hold their commands and the pontoon trains in readiness to obey any further directions. During the active operations of the army to the west of the Weldon railroad on the 29th and 30th of September and 1st and 2nd of October, the officers of the U. S. Corps of Engineers, Captains Harwood and Gillespie, Lieutenant Benyaurd, Lydecker, and Phillips, the latter having but recently reported, and also Captain Paine, aide-de-camp, accompanied me on the staff of the commanding general, and were engaged under my directions in making different reconnaissances between the Halifax and Boydton roads in connection with the movement taking place. Lieutenant Howell, on the night of the 28th, had been ordered to report to General Gregg, commanding the cavalry division, and accompany him in his operations on the left flank of the army.
On the morning of the 2nd instant, immediately after, the enemy had been repulsed in his final attack made upon Ayres' division, of the Fifth Corps, I examined a line to connect Fort Wadsworth, on the Weldon railroad, with the Pegram house, and selected sites for new works. Lieutenant Howell, assisted by Lieutenant Lydecker, was directed to trace and profile the one near the Pegram house, Lieutenant Benyaurd that in the rear of the Chappell house, and Captain Gillespie a third one between the last and Fort Wadsworth; details to aid them came from the Engineer Battalion. Subsequently, however, these officers were respectively relieved from the charge of the works, and their construction turned over to the officers and men of the Fiftieth New York Volunteer Engineers, as will be seen from the following extracts from the reports made me by Lieutenant-Colonel Spaulding, dated on the 1st and 8th of October. These reports give also in detail the operations of his command previous to and during the recent movements:
Captain Folwell was at work with two companies of this command from Sunday morning until Wednesday evening (when the work upon the several forts and batteries was suspended) upon Batteries Nos. 8,9, and 26, and upon Fort McGilvery.