master at Harper's Ferry. The bridge at Berlin was dismantled in rafts and brought to the north, and a train of 36 boats and material was made up in rafts in the canal and on its was to Washington.
At 10.30 the next morning a train of 40 more boats and all the remaining bridge material, except the river bridge, had been loaded and was on its way to Washington, the boats and most of the material by land, the whole accompanied by the remainder of his command.
Leaving Captain McDonald, who was to take charge of the Harper's Ferry bridges, with his company to put the boats and material of the Berlin bridge into the canal and forward to Washington, Colonel Spaulding took the cars for Washington on the afternoon of the 13th, accompanied by Captain Brainerd, Lieutenant Falley, quartermaster, and his assistant, where he arrived about 10.30 p.m., and proceeded to the brigade depot above the navy-yard. There he found that General Woodbury, commanding the Engineer Brigade, was living in the city, near the War Department. He proceeded immediately to his house and showed him his orders. It was then about midnight. General Woodbury desired him to call at his office the next morning at 9. When he called at his office, on the morning of the 14th, General Woodbury desired him to wait while he called on General Halleck. He was absent about one hour. On his return he directed him to put his pontoon material in depot at the brigade shops, on the Anacostia, as fast as it arrived from Berlin, and go into camp with his men. The order to make up the land train being thus countermanded, and knowing that General McClellan had been relieved after the order was given, Colonel Spaulding inferred that the plan of campaign was changed with the change of commanders, and that the pontoon train was not required.
He visited General Woodbury's office again on the morning of the 15th. When he called, General Woodbury was not in, and he was told he had gone to see General Halleck. While waiting his return he was told a dispatch had been received from Lieutenant Comstock, chief engineer Army of the Potomac, wishing to know if he had been heard from with his train. After some time General Woodbury came in. In the course of conversation, he repeated the order to put the train in depot as fast as they arrived. The first train from Berlin had arrived the previous evening. During the day the second train arrive, and soon after noon all the trains which he had started from Berlin were in Washington, the bridge in depot, and the teams and men in camp.
Subsequently General Woodbury directed Colonel Spaulding to make up two trains of 24 boats each, in rafts, to go by water, a train of 20 boats, with transportation for 40, to go by land; to draw the necessary number of additional horses and harness required for the land train; to prepare it as soon as possible, and march his detachment with it to Fredericksburg. Whether this order was given him on the afternoon of the 15th or 16th, he is not able now to say, not having the papers with him. His impression is that it was given him late on the afternoon of the 15th. Before dark on the evening of the day that he received the order, he had made up the two trains that were to go by water, towed them below the bridge over the Anacostia, and made them fast to the steamer Hero, that was to tow them to Belle Plain. He thinks the steamer did not start until the next day, and that she was delayed on the passage by getting aground, not arriving at Belle Plain until November 18. No wagons were sent with these trains, nor was any intimation given Colonel Spaulding that they were required for immediate use. Neither did he learn that any such intimation was given