had expected, and, by a report from my officer, Captain Lubey (received about 10 o'clock last night), I learn it reached the depot at Belle Plain at about 4.30 a. m. yesterday, when Captain L. received the following order:
Captain T. LUBEY:
CAPTAIN: The pontoon bridge will not be unloaded until after 100 teams are loaded with forage and to the front.
By command of General Ingalls:
J. E. JONES,
Captain and Assistant Quartermaster.
As Captain Lubey states the loading of these teams would require all yesterday and to-day, he has been endeavoring to construct a pontoon wharf (of 300 feet) and expedite the movements of his trains by all the means in his power, but I fear he has not left there yet, if he will be able to to-day even.
Under these circumstances, and with the reports and rumors I hear of other of our pontoons being at Fredericksburg, which I know are with the army and could before this have been there, I must suppose one or more bridges may be already laid there, of which the Department may have certain knowledge; and, if this is so, I would respectfully suggest the rescinding of the order to send this bridge, and that it should return here, to be held with the other bridging under the former orders, by which the animals - some 240 in number - can at once be returned to the Quartermaster's Department, where understand they are much wanted. If this should receive an immediate decision, it is probable an order would intercept Captain Lubey before he shall have made the land journey from Belle Plain, so unnecessary if other bridges are down at Fredericksburg.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. BENHAM,
BELLE PLAIN, Tuesday Morning, May 12, 1864.
Captain CHANNING CLAPP,
SIR: I have the honor to report that last evening I received the following order:
OFFICE OF DEPOT QUARTERMASTER,
Belle Plain, Va., May 11, 1864.
Captain T. LUBEY,
Fifteenth New York Engineers, Commanding Detachment:
SIR: The pontoon-boats and bridge material now at this place under your charge are require here. A bridge has already been constructed at Fredericksburg, and no more at present needed at that place. You will therefore remain with your men and material at Belle Plain to aid the quartermaster's department.
P. P. PITKIN,
Captain and Assistant Quartermaster, in charge of depot.
The inclosed communication* from General Halleck, and directed to General Benham, was handed to me by Captain Pitkin, who said it was General Halleck's desire, if General Benham was not present,
* Not found, but see Halleck to Benham, May 11, p. 633.