War of the Rebellion: Serial 045 Page 0148 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

June 16, 1863-11. 25 a. m.

General H. W. BENHAM,

Alexandria:

The commanding general wishes the pontoons requiring repairs to be taken to the place where they can most readily be put in order; and he directs that you have all your trains in readiness for service at the earliest moment possible.

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS FIRST CORPS, Centreville,

June 16, 1863.

Major-General BIRNEY,

Commanding Third Corps:

The following just received from Headquarters Army of the Potomac: The general will give orders direct to the different corps. The corps at Manassas will remain there until ordered elsewhere. Let a staff officer from each corps at Centreville and Manassas, fully posted as to all its affairs, report here at 6 p. m. to-night and at 8 a. m. to-morrow.

DANL. BUTTERFIELD,

Major-General, Chief of Staff.

JOHN F. REYNOLDS,

Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Chief Engineer's Office,

June 16, 1863-5. 15 p. m.

General BUTTERFIELD,

Chief of Staff:

SIR: I present the following notes as the best the time affords. The records of the engineers have all been carried off by my predecessors. In making this up, I have the knowledge of Captain [W. H.] Paine, Major [W. R.] Sterling, Lieutenant [W. A.] Roebling, Mr. Crounse, and my own. At Hancock there is a ferry. At low water it is fordable. At Green Springs, Stuart's cavalry force made their crossing in the raid on Chambersburg last year. Williamsport is the best ford on the river; made so by General Patterson. On he Maryland side the road approach passes under the canal aqueduct, over the Conococheague. At the mouth of the Opequon is Forman's Ford. Blackford's Ford is a fine ford, just below Shepherdstown, where Lee's army recrossed after the battle of Antietam; no bridge across the canal; water was let out. Between Hancock and Blackford's Ford the Potomac in its present state in fordable in several other places for infantry and cavalry, sufficiently so to turn any small force guarding the main fords. At the dam above Harper's Ferry we had a pontoon bridge on the 23rd of May. The river is fordable at Harper's Ferry, and we have a bridge over the Shenandoah, just above its mouth. There is an outlet lock here from the canal into the river. The river from here is full of rocks down to Berlin; here there is a rope ferry and a good