War of the Rebellion: Serial 045 Page 0565 Chapter XXXIX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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WASHINGTON, July 6, 1863-4. 45 a. m.

(Sent from War Department, 10. 30 a. m.)

General S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

The quartermaster does not expect he can have teams ready for one bridge before late in the day. My own tired teams can move one but slowly by land. I have now one bridge nearly all out of the water, and mounted, to be hauled and placed in the canal above the Georgetown locks, to start with two companies at the earliest moment. It is hoped that it will reach Harper's Ferry in thirty or forty hours from Georgetown.

If during the morning I learn the railroad is open to Harper's Ferry, I will send a second bridge that way' otherwise, I will send it by the canal with a working force. It seems impossible to haul it there by the animals under three days.

Please inform me if the commanding general wishes me to send more than the proper force to lay each bridge, as my command, which he ordered me here to reorganize, id badly used up by its march of 150 miles in eight days.

H. W. BENHAM.

WASHINGTON, July 6, 1863-9. 15 a. m.

General S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

Major Brainerd, with about 200 men and one full bridge, started at 8 a. m., and are on the way to the canal above Georgetown. Towing teams are asked of the quartermaster, to meet them at 10 a. m. Major Brainerd has orders to send to Poolesville, and open and act on orders for me.

Another bridge is now loading, and will be ready by 12 m. or 1 p. m., with over 300 men, to go by the same route, unless telegraph operator at Frederick, whom I have asked, reports trains will move to Harper's Ferry by 3 p. m. to-morrow. My tired animals and the delay required for others, with the heavy rain now pouring since midnight, forbid the attempt to haul the bridges by trains.

I understand the order to require the bridges, and men to lay them, to be sent to Harper's Ferry, and not to countermand General Meade's direct order to me to reorganize the balance of brigade and trains here. If I am in error, please inform me, and I will follow immediately.

H. W. BENHAM.

WASHINGTON, July 6, 1863-3. 45 p. m.

General S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Frederick, Md.:

I saw one bridge was well on its way up the canal above Georgetown before 2 p. m.

I have just learned that the railroad is open to Harper's Ferry, and the teams with the second bridge are now about moving down to the railroad depot, in the expectation of the cars for them, for which I telegraphed to Baltimore three hours ago, being there shortly. If they arrive in time, this bridge may be at Harper's Ferry early to-morrow.

H. W. BENHAM.