tions, with the bridging and other material held ready there when the anticipated emergency should arrive.
The whole command is now here, having got all its trains and material ashore on the afternoon of the 15th instant; and yesterday the battalion of the Fifteenth Regiment, some 400 men, besides the camp guard, was early at work upon the roads some 3 miles beyond this, the superintendent of a construction force of General Meigs having proposed to me to repair the roads within that distance. The fraction of the depot company of the Fiftieth Regiment now here is in charge of the pontoon wharves, which are now constructed as far as required, and to the great satisfaction, as I understand from General Meigs, of his Department. These roads, by the report of my inspector-general, whom I have specially charged with them, will probably be put in very good order, as to all the worst places, in the course of two or three days, which my own reconnaissance confirms, although, perhaps, while they are being much used, it may be expedient to continue a company or part of a company in the are of them, or some pioneer workers from the infantry here, if the engineers are needed elsewhere; and with reference to this, I would respectfully request your further instructions, if convenient, by the hands of my adjutant-general, by whom I send this, as to whether, when this work shall have been executed, I shall move on with my men at once to the headquarters of the army to the charge of the brigade, there, or return to the depot, to hold myself and command ready to act on the previous confidential orders of the 16th and 17th ultimo.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. BENHAM,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
May 17, 1864.
Brigadier General H. W. BENHAM,
Commanding Engineer Brigade:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date, and in answer I am directed by the major-general commanding to say that when you shall have put in good order the road between the landing at Belle Plain and Fredericksburg you will leave sufficient detachment to keep the road in good condition, and then return with the remainder of your command to the depot in the vicinity of the navy-yard at Washington.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
Near Spotsylvania Court-House, Va., May 17, 1864.
Colonel MATHEW MURPHY,
Commanding Sixty-ninth New York Volunteers:
You will report with your command to Major General George G. Meade, commanding Army of the Potomac, for orders and assignment.
By command of Lieutenant-General Grant:
JNO. A. RAWLINS,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.