House or James River, while we reconstructed the road to Richmond, for the purpose of daily communication with Washington? I make these suggestions reluctantly. You have no doubt considered them already. If you have or have not, they can to do harm.
(Copy to General Halleck.)
WASHINGTON, November 22, 1862.
Lieutenant Colonel R. INGALLS,
Chief of Quartermaster:
General Woodbury, in command of Engineer Brigade, with 48 pontoons, was reported at Aquia Creek on the 20th.
J. C. KELTON,
AQUIA CREEK, November 22, 1862.
General AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE,
Commanding Army of the Potomac:
I have found General Woodbury here. He says the pontoon train left Washington last Wednesday; that it had orders to come up as rapidly as possible. It has 20 pontoons on the train, and wagons to carry 20 more, which are at Belle Plain. I sent out from the latter place to turn in the empty pontoon wagons. I ordered Major Magruder, at Belle Plain, to land his wagons, and load up his pontoons. He has about 50 pontoons, and some 26 wagons. The quartermaster will furnish teams; common wagons cannot carry pontoons. I see no way of having enough at Fredericksburg before to-morrow evening.
Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief Quartermaster.
November 22, 1862-4.30 p.m.
GENERAL: The sergeant sent out last night to meet the pontoon train has just returned. He was unable to communicate with the train until this morning. He brings the inclosed note from the officer commanding it, which I forward, hoping it will reach you while at headquarters.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
E. R. PLATT,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
CAMP, DETACHMENT FIFTIETH NEW YORK ENGINEERS,
Near Occoquan, November 22, 1862.
GENERAL: The roads are in such a shocking condition that I find I cannot make over 5 miles a day with my bridge train, and to do even this much I am obliged to haul many of my wagons for miles by hand, and work my men half the night. Under these circumstances I have