I at once returned to Aquia Creek, and found that the pontoons, having been delayed by the blocking of the road by the trains of the Sixth Corps, which had started before the bridges were up, had only been able to reach Aquia Creek late in the afternoon, and I learned from General Warren that General Butterfield, fearing they would obstruct or be too late to join the other trains of the army on the left bank, had ordered they should be crossed to Liverpool Point, on the right bank of the Potomac for passage to Alexandria.
As I had found the road very bad at the Occoquan Bridge, and thought it much better 2 miles below, I telegraphed to you about 9 p. m. that I would hold a long bridge ready until 8 the next morning. Between 11 and 12 p. m., General Warren informed me that this bridge was desired, and I had it started, with a proper working force, and to reach the bar of the Occoquan about daylight. I then remained at Aquia until 11 a. m. of the 16th, until several hours after the mass of the pontoons had left for Washington, and until about one-half the land transportation had been crossed to Liverpool Point, when I proceeded to Alexandria to arrange for the arrival and proper disposition of the command. The regulars and the Fiftieth [New York] Regiment arrived about noon of the 16th with the Occoquan bridge. About 8 p. m. of the 16th, I received an order to have a bridge of 1, 200 feet in the Georgetown Canal by daylight of the 17th, which I at once directed the whole command to prepare, it requiring much time to unload trucks and rearrange the boats for passing the locks. The regular engineers were assigned to the duty of laying this bridge. About 2 a. m. of the 17th, I received a dispatch, directing the bridge to be laid at Noland's Ford by noon of the 18th, and it appearing necessary by that dispatch. I ordered 250 more men of the Fiftieth to accompany the bridge. This wording of the dispatch left me to believe that I was to go up also, leaving my trains here until otherwise ordered, since, by the time I could prepare the order for the additional men, &c., the last of the boats had started for Georgetown, so that I was not able to send the last information to Captain Turnbull. The men of the Fiftieth, however, though delayed some two hours by the fault or misunderstanding of a steamer captain, were started about 8 a. m. Captain Turnbull was fortunately up with all his boats in the canal about 6 a. m., and he wrote me that he was pushing them through the set of locks above there, which was what I expected and desired. Between 5 and 6 a. m., I sent to the quartermaster to have teams arranged for, to tow them up the canal, but was told I must send to Washington for them, and the delay of the boats as above made it necessary to send a staff officer by land to Washington, and about 10 a. m. he was able to arrange for the teams, when I reached the upper locks about 12. 30 o'clock. Captain Turnbull, as he states, as no direct order had been given (in fact, though it was sent, it was not pushed forward to him, because he reported he was doing it, and because his men were fatigued), stopped the pushing of the boats trough the locks, so that they did not all gen through until 1 to 2 p. m., when the teams were connected as fast as possible, and the boats moved off rapidly before 3 p. m., and with every prospect of being at Noland's Ford by the hour originally ordered. No delay on the part of any of this command was occasioned unless probably one or two hours were lost by stopping the passage of the