lows: The former along the railroads forming our lines of supply, engaged in building block-houses to defend them against raiding parties of the enemy's cavalry; and the latter along the important line of railroad from Nashville to Johnsonville on the Tennessee River, engaged in completing that work. The Department of the Ohio wa provided with an engineer battalion, organized under my direction in 1863, when the movement upon East Tennessee commenced. Its organization was explained in my report upon that campaign.* It now accompanied the Army of the Ohio. The Department of the Tennessee was not provided with any regular engineer organization, but was fortunate in having an excellent pioneer organization. In order to equalize the engineer forces in the military division the major-general commanding, at my suggestion, transferred the First Missouri Engineers from the Department of the Cumberland to the Department of the Tennessee, and it was ordered to join the army in the field. Two pontoon bridges, having an aggregate length of 1,400 feet, were with the forces in the field and distributed as follows: 800 feet, in charge of the Fifty-eighth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Colonel George P. Buell, were attached to the Army of the Cumberland; 600 feet, in charge of Captain Kossak, aide-de-camp, and a body of pioneers, were attached to the Army of the Tennessee. Both of these bridges were of the kind known as the "canvas bateau bridge." Two more bridges of the same kind, each 600 feet in length, were held in reserve at Nashville.
The staff organization of the engineer department with that army was as follows: Captain O. M. Poe, U. S. Engineers, chief engineer Military Division of the Mississippi: Captain C. B. Reese, Corps of Engineers, chief engineer Department and Army of the Tennessee; Captain W. J. Twining, lieutenant of engineers, chief engineer Department and Army of the Ohio; Lieutenant H. C. Wharton, Corps of Engineers, chief engineer Army of the Cumberland. Until the early part of May the duties of chief engineer Army of the Cumberland had been performed by Captain W. E. Merrill, Corps of Engineers, but he having received authority to organize the regiment of Veteran Volunteer Engineers provided for by act of Congress, had gone to Chattanooga for that purpose. Early in July the following officers of the Corps of Engineers, who had just graduate at West Point, reported to me, and were assigned to duty as follows: Captain J. w. Barlow, to Army of the Tennessee; First Lieutenant O. H. Ernst, to Army of the Tennessee; First Lieutenant William Ludlow, to Army of the Cumberland; First Lieutenant A. N. Damrell, to Army of the Ohio.
In the Army of the Cumberland each corps, division, and nearly every brigade was provided with an officer detailed from among the commissioned officers of the infantry regiments, whose duty it was to make such surveys and reconnaissance as might be wanted. The other two armies were not so well provided, but had sufficient organization to do all that was requisite.
The military operations of the previous two months had gradually forced the enemy from his position in Buzzard Roost Gap back to the ground he now held at Kenesaw Mountain. During this time the labors of the engineers were confined to reconnoitering, road making, and bridge building. Pontoon bridges had been built
* See Vol. XXX, Part II, p. 568.