War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0126 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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companies, except one, have been ordered to join their DIVISIONS as they proceeded to the front, and I have only four companies of Bissell's engineer regiment and the One hundred and twenty-seventh Illinois, which General Sherman agrees to allow to remain until its DIVISION moves.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain of Engineers.

Brigadier General JOSEPH G. TOTTEN,

Chief Engineer of the Army.

P. S. -Captain Kossak sick from exposure and local fever. Has been ordered to Saint Louis until further instructions.

Numbers 5. Report of Lieutenant Colonel James H. Wilson, Assistant Inspector-General, U. S. Army, Chief of Topographical Engineers, of operations April 24-May 11.


In rear of Vicksburg, MISS., May 30, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of engineer operations during the time in which I was the senior officer of engineers with the army in the field:

On April 24, having accompanied General Grant to Smith's plantation, I was directed by him to examine the route by Vidal, Negro, and Brushy Bayous to Perkin's plantation, with the view of getting a practicable line of communication to the Mississippi River.

The following is a copy of my report made to General McClernand, commanding the troops in that vicinity:


Smith's Plantation, La., April 24, 1863.

Major-General McClernand,

Commanding Thirteenth Army Corps:

GENERAL: After examination of Vidal Bayou, and consultation with Brigadier-General Hovey, I am of the opinion that, in order to cross any number of troops greater than one DIVISION to the Mississippi levees, and secure a practicable line of communication, much time will be gained by constructing two boat-bridges on the route, following Vidal, Negro, and Brushy Bayous: the one nearer the mouth of Gilbert Bayou, now in construction, and to be ready by tomorrow evening; the other between the mouths of Negro and Mound Bayous. For the construction of the latter, twelve or fourteen of the small flats now used as ferry-boats at Smith's plantation will be necessary.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


The bridges recommended in the above were begun and constructed by Captain Patterson, with his company of pioneers and details of men from the troops, under the direction of Brigadier General A. P. Hovey, commanding Fourteenth DIVISION.

For description of these bridges I refer to the following report:


Smith's Plantation, Madison Parish, La., April 27, 1863.

Lieutenant Colonel J. H. WILSON:

COLONEL: In accordance with your instructions, received this morning, I proceeded to Vidal and Negro Bayous, to inspect the bridges constructed across them, and have the honor the report as follows:

The bridge over Bayou Vidal is formed of a large, 100 feet long and 24 feet