War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0146 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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material already prepared, it will probably be entirely completed to-day. It is proper to state that the difficulty of constructing this bridge was materially increased for the following reasons, viz: All small corduroy or crib material was cut and prepared at a distance of more than a mile from the bridge. The road intervening was impossible for teams, at one time being covered with water for a distance of 100 yards from 14 inches to 3 1/2 feet in depth. This detachment spent the whole of one stormy night in temporarily arranging this road in order that the teams furnished to haul corduroy could be rendered available. for this purpose they carried several thousand rails a distance of 400 yards. At daylight the same men commenced the bridge and completed a length of 140 feet during the morning, when they were relieved by a detachment under Major Magruder, who advanced the work about 500 feet more. Yesterday a further force of 65 men under Lieutenant Lubey, and six wagons were sent to assist.

In addition to the work done by these separate detachments a foot bridge, constructed on small trestles, has been built for a distance of about 1,200 feet across the river and overflowed bottom land near the bridge built by Captain Ketchum. The main stream was spanned by three canvas pontoons with their accessories. It is now in a condition for the passage of infantry in single file.

In obedience to your orders, during the storm on the night of June 3 Major Magruder, with 117 men, built a rifle pit across the west end of Captain Ketchum's bridge for the protection of those guarding it. Of the Fiftieth Regiment, one company is stationed at White House in charge of pontoon and intrenching property, engaged for the last few days in loading pontoons and their accessories on the cars to send to Dispatch Station. A detachment under Lieutenant Hine has been stationed at Bottom's Bridge for the purpose of guarding and strengthening the two trestle bridges at that point.

I give a short extract from Lieutenant Hine's report of the 1st and 2nd instant:

During the day and night of the 1st the water remained stationary. At 3 a. m. on the 2nd instant the river suddenly commenced rising at the rate of 6 inches per hour, and 8 a. m. the bridges were impassable, all of the approaches being washed away. I applied last night in person to General Heintzelman, sent a dispatch to the nearest brigade (Third, Hooker's division) this morning, then went myself for men ; but it was 10 o'clock before communication was open across the bridge.

At 10.30 a. m. the water was 3 feet and 2 inches higher than at 3 a. m. when it commenced rising, and the bridges in imminent danger of being swept away, when, as a last resort, I cut the dikes on both sides of the river between here and the railroad bridge, inundating the whole valley, but spreading the water so much that it rose no higher. By this the bridges are saved, and I have 200 men now at work raising the approaches and completing the timber bridges I had commenced. By daylight tomorrow morning I shall have a bridge 24 feet wide, capable of sustaining any required weight, complected. I have kept General Heintzelman apposed by telegraph during the day of the condition of the bridge, so that no serious interruption has occurred.

On the 4th instant Major Embick, with a detachment of two companies, was sent to Bottom's Bridge to assist Lieutenant Hine. This detachment has constructed a permanent bridge, double roadway of the strongest description; two spans, 30 feet; four spans, 15 feet; length, 120 feet; width of roadway, 24 feet. The approaches on either side have been corduroyed for the distance of 1,200 or 1,300 feet, under the direction of officers this detachment. This bridge will render unnecessary the two trestle bridges at the point.

A detachment under Captain Spaulding was directed to construct a trestle bridge about half a mile above New Bridge. On the 2nd instant Captain Spaulding reports:

Owing to the sudden rise of the river having floated all the bridge material at the point where it had been deposited, to prevent its being observed by the enemy it became necessary for me to remove all the material to higher ground to prevent its being carried off before it could be used in the bridge. As this work was nearly all done in the water, the operation was necessarily a slow one, so that I did not get to work at the construction of the bridge until about daylight. When I had the bridge about three-fourths complete the second trestle cap from the bank broke, making it necessary for me to dismantle all of the bridge except one span to put in a new cap