for contingent movements will be made accordingly. The roads are now essentially in very good condition between this and Fredericksburg, and I expect to withdraw the command from them to-morrow, except one large company for the care of the brigades and the repairs of the roads. The bridge received from Washington on the 19th for that place was sent over as early as it was possible to procure transportation from the quartermaster's department, the last half of the animals only being supplied at 4 a. m. to-day. I ordered the brigade to be laid (to replace the pontoons from the front) this forenoon, and I doubt not it was so laid.
In the anticipation that possibly all animals may be otherwise needed, I have also directed the officer there in case that his bridges move by water, to raft them with the trucks on the rafts ready for towing, and to comply with calls of the military governor of Fredericksburg, or other superior officer there. The large amount of bridge material here will be got ready for moving as far as circumstances will permit. Certain circumstances cause me to deem it proper to inform the commanding general that when I received the orders from the Adjutant-General of the Army to repair here with my brigade, thought I immediately applied to the Quartermaster's Department for transportation, it was not furnished for twenty-two hours after, when some four to fire hours were used by them to load the wagons and animals, yet we arrived here and had a wharf nearly built within forty-two hours after the first receipt of the order; but had that transportation been furnished within even sixteen hours, even after it was applied for, we should have been at work here in twenty-four hours after.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. BENHAM,
BELLE PLAIN, May 21, 1864-8 p. m. (Received 8.20 p. m.)
Three hundred infantry and about 200 cavalry went forward to-day, guarding trains. About 1,200 infantry (Brigadier-General Lockwood's command), just debarked, will be sent on. Four hundred and eighty-nine enlisted men and 8 officers rebel prisoners, received. Officers go to Washington, men to Point Lookout, to-morrow.
J. J. ABERCROMBIE,
MAY 21, 1864.
Brigadier General J. A. RAWLINS,
Chief of Staff:
Telegram of May 20 received about 2 a. m. this date. Troops coming to you guarding trains en route.
J. J. ABERCROMBIE,