War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0177 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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suffered severely. They were in full view, and consisted of four battalions of infantry, with five pieces of artillery. McMullin's two pieces of artillery are on the road and the four howitzers are here. The Twelfth in en route from Princeton, I suppose, as it arrived there yesterday, and was met by orders to hasten its march. I have just sent forward two companies of infantry, two howitzers, and one company of cavalry to feel the enemy in front, and, if possible, I will force the passage of the Narrows. If judged improper to advance directly, I shall await the arrival of the Twelfth and endeavor to turn the enemy's position, although the route is circuitous and rough. The strong reconnaissance is not intended for an attack, but it may result in that.

Lieutenant-Colonel Hayes destroyed the stores captured at Pearisburg before e falling back. The necessity of retreating from that point, although reported to be not a defensible position, I regret, although it was simply impossible to throw forward re-enforcements to maintain it after the notice of approaching force was received.

I will dispatch couriers as soon as I hear from the front.

Provisions should be hurried forward.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding First Provisional Brigade.

Abstract from Return of Blenker's division, Petersburg, W. Va., for May 11, 1862.

Present for duty.

Command. Officers. Men.

Division staff 6


First (Stahel's) Brigade 133 2,738

Second (Steinwehr's) Brigade 119 2,441

Third (Bohlen's) Brigade 93 2,001

Fourth New York Cavalry 23 345

Artillery (eighteen pieces) 12 360

Total 386 7,885

Command. Aggregate Aggregate

present. present and


Division staff 6 6

First (Stahel's) Brigade 2,980 3,264

Second (Steinwehr's) Brigade 2,605 3,128

Third (Bohlen's) Brigade 2,265 2,879

Fourth New York Cavalry 369 627

Artillery (eighteen pieces) 411 429

Total 8,636 10,333

POTOMAC CREEK, May 12, 1862.


SIR: I respectfully beg leave to submit the following notes and suggestions, in the hope and belief that they will aid you in securing a permanent and efficient organization for the construction or reconstruction of such bridges as the advance of your division may render necessary.

I desire to give you full benefit of my experience in the construction of the bridge at Potomac Creek, assuming that trestles are to be used, and that they are to be constructed in the shortest time possible, to be afterward replaced by permanent structures if required.

I assume also that the bridges are to be built of round sticks, cut