he said he would attend to, and at my last interview, above alluded to, he informed me that these squads did join the boats while they were closing up on the upper bank; that is, during the next forty or fifty minutes. This is very possible, but it is also certain that, as the leading boats passed down to the river's edge about or just after 1 a. m., these squads were not with any of the first four or five boats, for I personally superintended the placing of these boats, inquired for them, and went round the boats to assure myself of their presence, if possible, and it could not have been 1.30 o'clock when I met General Russell, who complained that I had inverted the order of his men, & c., or that Captain Reese so ordered it. A subsequent explanation with Captain Reese satisfied me that this arose from his understanding an order of mine for closing up the boats on the upper bank to be intended for the lower or river edge. But it did not relate to the men, nor, from the precautions I took, did it change the placing of the boats from where I intended. As General Russell then would not acknowledge my authority to direct him as to the placing of his men, which I considered so vital to the success of the operation, I did not see what I could possibly do further than to let the boats pass down and become filled whenever it might happen; but, meeting General Russel again, I again made the effort to have him obey me, and, on his refusal, I arrested him and reported it, as stated previously. The interview with General Brooks shortly after was, as can be proved, entirely calm, and showed only an earnest wish on my part that there should be but one directing head, as I think he admits, for, when I found he refused to allow me to direct in relation to his troops, I asked him if he would, or requested him to, take the direction of the whole operations, telling him the responsibility rested with him, and in my first impulse said, "I will obey your orders," but, recollecting myself, said, "I will endeavor to have your wishes complied with, and all my men are at your disposition," to which I heard no reply from him; and this refusal of his was also duly reported to the general in command. I then awaited until after I discovered the approach of daylight and the first movement of the boats before I could take effective action, for which my first efforts were to have the boats filled to cross over the protecting force, and as soon as possible after the boats were available the two bridges first ordered were commenced and completed within one to one and a half hours, as reported.
The first interview with General Russell and his refusal occurred at very nearly 1.30 o'clock, not later, I feel certain, and I had no effective control of the troops from that time until after daylight, more than three hours, which were thus lost toward laying the bridges.
That I had reason to believe the troops of General Brooks were under my direction as well as the others, these being engaged in a precedent part of the operations, I think that, independent of other reasons, the necessity of the case, my security, & c., I feel that I need only appeal to the report I had the honor to make to the commanding general on the 18th of March, expressly stating that for such and similar operations I considered it indispensable to success that the force aiding and protecting the engineer troops should all be under the direction of one head, and upon which report was indorsed, by the proper staff officer of the general, that when troops were needed for such purposes they would be furnished. These were now needed and had been furnished, and, I could only suppose, furnished according to the terms under which I had asked them and had supposed this approved. If anything further were needed, I had the words of General Sedgwick to myself per