28th I directed the commencement of a redoubt, rifle pits, felling of trees, &c., Lieutenant McAlester was unable to procure an adequate force to throw up rapidly a defensive line, and this redoubt was quite incomplete when the attack at this point was made, about 1.30 p. m. of the 31st. A few pieces of artillery were placed in it behind the unfinished parapet, and in attempting to spike them, I think it was, the gallant Colonel Bailey lost his life.
By the rise of the Chickahominy the two bridges built by General Sumner became impracticable by the night of the 31st. The bridges at Bottom's Bridge with difficulty were preserved from destruction, but the rising waters overflowed the adjacent road, and soon these bridges became useless for wagons or horses. Fortunately the railroad bridge had been repaired, and by this alone the left wing of the army was supplied. By means of planks laid between the rails, infantry and, with some risk, horses could pass. this for several days was the only communication between the two wings of the army.
Immediately after the battle of Fair Oaks Lieutenant McAlester was directed to complete the redoubt already mentioned, and to extend the defensive line to the right, to embrace Fair Oaks, and to the left, to connect with the White Oak Swamp. At the time Colonel Sully, under General Sumner's orders, commenced a line of barricades, continuing the line toward Golding's house. Lieutenants Comstock and Farquhar were ordered to General Sumner's headquarters to aid on this work, make reconnaissance, &c.
Colonel Alexander took by your orders immediate charge of the bridges, and a vigorous effort was made to corduroy the approaches on each side-a thing indispensable to making the two trestle bridges practicable. The labor was completely thrown away. After being permitted to go on for a few days it was arrested by the enemy's fire, and the approaches on the enemy's side to these two bridges never did become practicable.
Two days after the battle of the 1st-viz, June 3-I was directed to join General Sumner's headquarters temporarily. Previous to leaving I had urgently recommended the construction of a bridge at a point not far below the lower trestle bridge, where the debouches on each side could be completed out of view of the enemy and under the protection of our own forces, now holding Golding's house. General Woodbory and Colonel Alexander made an exploration of the stream under direct orders from headquarters, and selected a point for a bridge favorable enough otherwise, but failing in the important object of bringing the two wings of the army into immediate connection, it being but 300 or 400 yards above Sumner's upper bridge. This bridge was built over the stream upon framed trestles; through the swamp it was supported by cribs. The approaches to the bridge over the low bottom lands were either raised corduroy or on the north side simply earth raised 2 or 3 feet, the soil being here sandy, with a layer of brush 1 foot below the upper surface, deep lateral ditches being made. The whole structure of the bridge and approaches was about 1,400 yards long. The trestle-work and crib-work bridge was mostly done by troops of the Engineer Brigade, under Woodbury; the approaches on the north by the Ninth and Twenty-second Massachusetts Regiments, Colonels Cass and Gove, both of whom were killed in the battles following; those on the south side by the Third Vermont. The bridge was ready for the passage of teams on the 14th, covered with carte, and the approaches entirely completed on the 17th. The bridge proper was 1,080 feet long, roadway 11 feet wide, number of cribs 40, of framed trestles 6. Simultaneously two infantry