War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0145 Chapter XXIII. GENERAL REPORTS.

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mile west of Black Creek; 1,000 sticks cut and collected for corduroying the road near New Bridge.

Respectfully submitted.


Brigadier-General of Volunteers.

General J. G. BARNARD,

Chief Engineer, Army of the Potomac.


Camp near New Bridge, Va., June 7, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to render the following report of the operations of the Fifteenth and Fiftieth Regiments, composing the Engineer Brigade, for the first week of the month June:

A detachment of the Fifteenth of the Fifteenth Regiment, under Captain Ketchum, was employed for several days getting out lumber at the saw-mill, when the shaft of the balance-wheel broke and rendered the machinery useless. The lumber was delivered to Lieutenant Nichols, Fourth Vermont Volunteers, by order of Colonel Alexander. The further operations of Captain Ketchum's detachment are contained in Colonel Murphy's regimental report, from which I extract the following:

Captain Ketchum relieved Captain Brainerd, of the Fiftieth Regiment, to build a trestle bridge 2 miles below New Bridge. Owing to the character of the bottom and the sudden rise of water much delay was experienced; but at 2 a. m. on the 2nd instant a bridge 330 feet in length, consisting of seven trestles and seven pontoon-boats, was constructed. Captain Ketchum was assisted in this work all night by a detail from the regiment under Major Magruder.

Until the 5th instant Captain Ketchum's men were employed in framing supplemental supports to trestle caps, lashing side rails, and straightening up trestles, &c., on account of the fall of the water. Subsequently he was detailed to relieve Captain Chester at the lower foot bridge, where he was again assisted by detail under Major Magruder. This work was continued until 9 p.m. of the 5th, when, owing to the darkness and the cramped condition of the men from long-continued standing in the water, the work was stopped, after laying upwards of 500 feet bridge.

captain Ketchum is now framing the timber for a permanent structure (New Bridge), the bridge previously framed by him having been used by the United States Engineers under Captain Duane. In this work Captain Ketchum is assisted by a detail of carpenters from the Fiftieth Regiment. A second detachment of the Fiftieth, under Captain Chester, has been employed in cutting and preparing corduroy material, and also on the following pieces of work:

1st. A road leading from the near of General Smith's headquarters to the New Bridge road. On this there was a distance of about half a mile that was graded by throwing out sand from ditches, and many spots were corduroyed and five small bridges built.

2nd. A continuation of the trestle bridge laid by Captain Spaulding. In this Captain Chester's men were assisted by a detail from this camp, working at night. The road passing the skirt of woods approaching this bridge has been corduroyed for a long distance. Captain Spaulding's bridge terminated abruptly in deep water, and in order to continue it all the trestle and pontoon material that could be found was used before commenting with corduroy. When whole distance of crib and corduroy from the termination of the trestle bridge to the point now completed is 900 feet. Of this some 400 feet of corduroy requires adjusting before heavy artillery can safely pass, and one place of about 30 feet in length is still open, but will be closed to-day. Stringers are also partially in position in advance, and Captain Chester is quite confident that all the material portion of the bridge will be completed to-day.

3rd. A foot bridge for infantry where General Naglee commenced a crossing of the creek. This bridge is now 760 feet in length, and crosses two deep channels, in which the water was respectively 7 and 9 feet deep. Last night when Captain Chester with-drew the detachment there was no spot between the end of the bridge to the one already constructed by General Naglee in which the water was over 1 foot deep, and as the distance is not over 250 feet in length, the water rapidly falling, and most of the