May 21.-Overtook the advance; reported to General Franklin: received instruction from him to go ahead on New Bridge road. Went on and encamped about 1,000 feet inside our pickets; unable to get to the site of New Bridge on account of presence of the enemy on north side of the river.
May 22.-Unable still to take any measurement of the bridge, which condition of things continued until Sunday.
May 25.-Took measurement and commenced framing bridge.
May 26.-Completed framing of bridge.
May 27.-Getting out saw-logs to be cut into plank for covering bridge. Engaged all night in hauling timber to site of bridge.
May 28.-Finished hauling timbers and plank to site of bridge after night.
May 29.-Took possession of saw-mill; got out timber for permanent bridges.
Length of bridge over the Chickahominy River, known as New Bridge, 114 feet, with seven spans; 10-inch stringers, four in timber; width of roadway, 10 feet.
The third detachment, under Captain Chester, was also assigned to the duty of repairing roads and bridges. I condense from his daily reports:
Since the 18th instant I have followed the road along which General Stoneman's command passed, repairing such as required it, laying corduroy, and building small bridges.
May 19 and 20.-Laid corduroy and graded about 150 feet of road near the first crossing of the turnpike road and the railroad after leaving White House; also built four small bridges and laid corduroy at various points on the road along which General Franklin's command passed from the crossing of Black Creek to a point half a mile beyond the blacksmith's shop; in all, about 1,000 feet of road corduroyed, and much ditching and grading. Finding the road crossing the valley about a mile and a half beyond the last point mentioned (about half a mile beyond the White Curch) impassable at midnight, built the bridges across streams about 8 feet wide and 5 feet deep; used in each nine or ten stringers, of from 10 to 15 inches in diameter, laid on crib abutments; also laid corduroy over about 800 feet of road in manner as follows: Longitudinal stringers were first laid over these stick averting 7 inches in diameter, the interstices again filled with smaller stick, and the whole covered with brush and dirt. A large portion of the force was kept constantly employed in ditching and grading, and the work thus performed was not less valuable than that before described. From this time until the present date my detachment has followed the roads over which General Franklin's division passed, leaving the Hanover road, however, at the cross road near present headquarters by General Woodbury's orders for a point nearly on Chickahominy Creek, about a mile above New Bridge. The work executed on the road since then is too various in character to describe in detail. I will mention, however, important work performed near each of the two mills; also that since we have been encamped near the Chickahominy roads have been cut through the woods in aggregate about three-fourths of a mile in length, about 50 feet in width, and have collected about 1,000 heavy sticks to be laid in the bottom for small bridges and corduroys. The men have worked cheerfully and faithfully at whatever hour I have called them out, and I am much indebted to the officers for their energetic co-operation.
The Fiftieth Regiment was also divided into several detachments. One detachment, under Lieutenant Roosa, was left at White House Point for the purpose of unloading the barges and guarding the engineer property at that point. A second detachment, under Captain Gilbert, was also left for the purpose of preparing a pontoon train. A train of thirty-four boats, with their accessories, for the construction of a bridge, one bay in each, was fitted out and anchored, ready for immediate use. Two pontoon trains complete are now moored at White House Point, ready for use for transport by land or water. A third detachment, under Captain Spaulding, was assigned to the duty of constructing trestle bridges. I condense from the report of Colonel Stuart, his commanding officer, as follows:
The detachment under Captain Spaulding, consisting of Companies C and E, put in a trestle bridge over the Chickahominy at Bottom's Bridge Crossing and made the necessary approaches on Thursday, May 22, and a second of the same character on Friday, May 23. These bridges were each 120 feet long. They are in constant use. Since the 23rd this detachment has been making examinations for crossings; has made some roads and transported trestles, &c., for one bridge to a point on mile above New Bridge. Captain Spaulding reports that he has two trestle bridges ready to be thrown over the Chickahominy as soon as a crossing is decided upon.