War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0024 Chapter XLVIII. OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C.

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no authority to touch the bridges of the Army of the Potomac, your letter was referred to Major-General Halleck, chief of staff, who returned it with the following indorsement:

MAY 20, 1864.

Brigadier-General MEIGS,

Quartermaster-General:

The pontoons at Fredericksburg belong to the Army of the Potomac; General Benham also belongs to that army. He should, therefore, report to General Meade for his instructions.

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. C. MEIGS,

Quartermaster-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

May 20, 1864-9.30 p. m. (Received 10 a. m. 12st.)

Brigadier-General BENHAM,

Commanding Engineer Brigade:

The major-general commanding directs that you replace the bridge at Fredericksburg, which will be taken up early to-morrow morning, and that you remain at Fredericksburg or Belle Plain with your bridge trains until it is ascertained where they will be required. Should they not be needed with the army you will be directed to return with them to Washington.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

WASHINGTON, D. C., May 20, 1864-9.20 a. m.

Brigadier-General BENHAM:

I do not understand how you are out of teams unless you have turned over the 8 and 6 mule teams to Captain Pitkin. To meet the case I have telegraphed to him to furnish the means necessary to haul the pontoon bridge to Fredericksburg, to leave pontoon trucks at Fredericksburg and bring back teams and retain them, and I presume you must have turned over to Captain Pitkin 256 animals furnished on the 10th instant, to transport the first bridge, which, however, did not go to Fredericksburg. If not, they should be delivered to him as soon as they return to Belle Plain. We depend upon them for the supply of Fredericksburg by the road; 57 drives are attached to the teams.

M. C. MEIGS,

Brigadier-General, Quartermaster-General.

[Indorsement.]

MAY 20, 1864.

Those 256 animals referred to in your telegram and their drives were turned over to Captain Pitkin verbally by me immediately on my arrival here, but I do not know whether used by him or not before he received the order which you wrote to him in my tent,