to form the pier head of another wharf, which we might want hereafter, and which we could build as soon as the pontoon-boats were set at liberty. These three double canal-boats and the barge carried us out some 220 feet farther into the stream than we were at the beginning, and at this point we had a sufficient depth of water for our light transports to come alongside and discharge. while this was going on outside the point of starting the work of making a roadway from there to the shore was also being done. First, a flat-boat or scow was brought up and secured on the line between the canal-boats and the shore and some 20 feet from the former, the connection between the two being made by a long gang-plank. then three or our of the pontoon rafts were floated into position next to the scow, the connection between being soon made in the usual manner with balks and chess, so as to make a regular pontoon bridge. A gang-plank for an apron established the connection with the shore, and we were now ready to discharge. This wharf was finished before dark. Some of our artillery was already on the wharf, for a battery was in the first barge that had been placed. The artillerists, with a detail from the infantry to assist, soon took the batteries ashore without the aid of horses and placed them in position on the left of our line.
By 12 o'clock at night four batteries with the command were landed and ready for action, and the transports containing their horses were alongside of our wharf and alongside of each other, all ready to land. The officers of the artillery were clamorous for their horses, particularly Captain Arnold, who displayed great energy and judgment during the whole operation. And hare I ought also to mention Captain (now Major) Perry, of the Fifteenth New York, whom I left in charge of the wharf during the remainder of the night and the whole of the following day. To him more than to any one were we indebted for the rapidity with which the landing was effected.
Shortly after 12 o'clock at night I left the wharf, and when I returned in the morning I found the artillery nearly all landed.
I have entered into these details of the proposed landing below Gloucester and of the actual landing which was made at West Point not from any vanity, but to show precisely what was done with the means we had at hand. When the way of effecting a landing was first discussed I found officers of great intelligence entertained very crude notions on the subject, and many of them were disposed to leave such matters to the sailors on the transports. Having had a good deal of experience at different times in landing building materials, sometimes under difficult circumstances, I knew that it would not do to trust to the crews of the vessels to land their cargoes, and hence I applied for a detachment of the Fifteenth New York Regiment and established a workshop on once of the steamers at Cheeseman's Creek, where all our preparations were made. The result you have above.
Early the next morning (May 7) the enemy came in contact with our pickets, and about 9 o'clock the firing grew serious. The affair of that day was a musketry contest in the woods. Very little commanding was done on either side. The plateau upon which we landed was separated from the high land by a stream and impracticable marsh on the west side and by a smaller stream and ravine on the on the south side, leaving, however, a peninsula about a quarter of a mile wide between the heads of the streams. This peninsula was thickly wooded; it was the key of the position, and it was there, or rather just in front of it, that the contest for its possession took place. Our troops held it throughout the day.