his train and artillery, fifty-five pieces, passed in less than one hour (between 2 and 3 a. m. May 5), immediately after which these bridges were taken up, the boats concealed, and eventually brought away safely on the 6th instant.
On May 3, Captain Reese was ordered to move his bridge from Franklin's Crossing near to the old railroad bridge side, and Major Cassin to take his from the same place to the Lacy house, and both were towed up and railed at the points named at about 5.30 a. m., May 3. May 3, Major Beers, from Pollock's Mill Creek, was ordered to remove his bridge by teams, and relay it at the Lacy house, which was done by 6.30 a. m., May 3.
As to Colonel Colgate's and Major Spaulding's trains, at upper or United States Ford - April 28, Major Spaulding was first ordered with his two trains from his old encampment, on Warrenton road, to Banks' Ford; then, on April 29, he was ordered to United States Ford, where, on April 30, he laid down his two bridges. On May 3, at 10.30 p. m., Colonel Colgate arrived at United States Ford with a third bridge, which was laid down on the 4th instant, 10 to 11.30 a. m. These three bridges, after the recrossing of the main army, were taken up on the 5th by 8 a. m., and arrived at or near this camp last night (Colonel Colgate the night before), every officer and man of the Engineer Brigade having, as far as I am able to learn, I have the pleasure of stating, done his duty in the most praiseworthy manner. And to this I am gratified to add that every requisition upon the Quartermaster's Department has been most kindly and promptly met by Colonel Ingalls and his assistants, Major [William] Painter and Captains [William G.] Rankin and [Luther H.] Pierce.
I may state here that after I had removed the bridges at Banks' Ford, on May 5, at about 9 a. m., I heard there was an order for me to report at United States Ford. I searched for the written order at the telegraph office and elsewhere, but it did not reach me till between 1 and 2 p. m., and at about the latter hour I started with my staff and orderlies to report as directed, arriving at and over United States Ford at about 4 p. m., and from there reported by an aide at general headquarters. This aide informed me that i was authorized to return to my camp if I had good officers to leave there, so I at once returned to the charge of the trains here, starting at 5.30 o'clock, and, after communicating with General Sedgwick's headquarters on my way, arrived here at about 11 p. m. on the 5th instant.
I respectfully submit a tabular schedule of times, places, & c., of the laying of the pontoon bridges during the last movement, which, perhaps, may be deemed desirable.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. BENHAM,
General S. WILIAMS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac.