less, for some hours of time before the earliest daylight. I then sent Lieutenant [Martin] Van Brocklin to General Sedgwick to report these circumstances and request that he would come down and take the command, and soon after I again sent to General Sedgwick by my quartermaster, to urge him to come down or send some officer to take command. Some time after this, Captain [Charles A.] Whittier, of General Sedgwick's staff, met me, and requested me to accompany him, which I did; but he being on foot and I mounted he soon left me, and soon after Colonel [Martin T.] McMahon came to me, and I begged him to remain with me to aid in pushing the work; but we also were soon separated. Some time after daylight, I was told that General Newton had been sent down to take command, but I did not see him, I being then superintending the laying of the bridges, till I left for General Reynolds' column.
Some fifteen to twenty minutes after I had noticed that the day was dawning, I saw the first boat crossing and the firing commenced, and in a few minutes the boats returned, and were in large numbers, as I saw, at the bank on our side without any one being near or ready to refill them, as some of my oarsmen came up to me to report. I then exerted myself to the utmost to rally the men near me, and with success, to go down the bank and fill the boats again, during which exertions my horse was shot under me, but, descending the bank with him, I about this time met General Brooks, telling him what I had done as to the ordering of his men, which he appeared to fully approve, as I then requested him to order my men also if he found it necessary, and at this time, in leaning over to shake hands with General Brooks, my wounded horse staggered so that I could not retain my seat in the saddle, and I slipped to the ground, and immediately after, finding my horse disabled, I sent him away by my brigade veterinary surgeon, and ordered another to be sent down to me.
Immediately after the second crossing of the boats, or at about 6 a. m., the bridges of the Regulars, under Captain Reese, was commenced, being finished at 7 o'clock; the first bridge of the Fifteenth Regiment, under Major [Walter L.] Cassin, was begun after 6 o'clock and finished at about 7.15 o'clock; the third bridge, the boats of which I had brought down to use for crossing, intending to return them to its train, was ordered to be laid, and its equipage, sent down by General Newton's directions, given to
I attributed the failure of the crossing of the men and the laying of the bridges by the hours designated to the failure of the crossing squads to join the boats as I had asked, and to the want of the presence of some senior officer with full powers to direct both the crossing and the laboring forces. After the third bridge was commenced, I sent a report of the facts to General Sedgwick by my quartermaster, and hearing that there had been a repulse at the lower crossing, and that the bridges had not been laid there, I proceeded to that position, finding Generals Reynolds and Wadsworth and Lieutenant-Colonel Pettes on the heights just above the road, at Pollock's Mill Creek. I then distinctly learned that the boats were for the most part in the water, but that the fire from the other side had prevented the troops from entering the boats to cross, and, of course, that the bridges could not be laid as projected. General Reynolds gave a reason that the crossing was not effected because I had ordered that the troops should not move till forty boats were put in the water, but I corrected this mistake, and to his satisfaction, as I understood by the further evidence of General Wadsworth that I had ordered that forty boats should be carried from the woods above, and