Fredericksburg, May 19, 1864.
Commanding Engineer Brigade:
GENERAL: In reply to your letter of this date respecting pontoon bridge, I have to say that last evening it was reported to me that another bridge was ready for use in crossing the river. I did not inquire whence the boats for construction were obtained, and I am entirely unable to answer your question as to the disposition of the train you report as being ready to move to the front from Belle Plain. Some other person who is acquainted with the matter must decide.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS ENGINEER BRIGADE,
Belle Plain, May 19, 1864.
Captain P. P. PITKIN:
General H. W. Benham, commanding this brigade, in accordance with directions from General Meigs, directs me to call on you for the mule teams, harness, and drivers belonging to the pontoon trains which were turned over to you. These teams are required immediately to haul a bridge train to Fredericksburg, and if they cannot be furnished the bridge cannot be sent forward in compliance with General Meigs' order. The boats are now being hauled out on the road by the teams of the brigade. Will you please inform me by bearer how soon they can be furnished?
OFFICE DEPOT QUARTERMASTER,
Belle Plain, Va., May 19, 1864.
Respectfully referred to Mr. H. R. Allen, agent for Captain T. E. Strong, to whose department the mules, harness, drivers, &c., alluded to within, were turned over, and who will deliver them again to Captain A. Hull, assistant quartermaster, Engineer Brigade.
P. P. PITKIN,
Captain and Assistant Quartermaster.
I have no drivers, but the teams can be given by taking them from the corral.
H. R. ALLEN,
Belle Plain, May 19, 1864-8 a.m.
(Received 9.50 a.m.)
A construction corps of 500 men is at work at Aquia Creek on depot, road, &c. They reported squads of guerrillas hovering in their neighborhood yesterday, but they proved on inquiry to be my