of the troops from the hotly contested field so long occupied by them was effected and the several columns set in motion, headquarters camp moved during the evening from the neighborhood of Leary's to Moody's house, striking York River railroad, near Dispatch Station.
On the 13th the major-general commanding moved from Moody's to Charles City Court-House, crossing the Chickahominy at Long Bridge. The Second Corps marched by the same route, taking the road to Edna Mills, Saint Mary's Church, Ladd's Store, Ware's, Walker's, and Waddill's, and striking the James River road from Charles City Court-House to Richmond at Mrs. Clark's. By direction of the commanding general I proceeded, the Sixth Pennsylvania Regiment of Cavalry acting as escort, in advance of the Army of the Potomac to the James River, to reconnoiter the ground from Swynyard's, overlooking Herring Creek and Harrison's Landing, and thence over Gunn's or Hill's Run and Queen's Creek toward the mouth of Kelliwan Creek. The examination had in view the selection of a line of battle to be taken up for the protection of the passage of the army over the James River. The line selected covered Swynyard's and Wilcox's Landings, the left resting on Herring Creek, and crossed the upper part of Wyanoke Neck, or Peninsula, at the southern point of which it had been ordered that a pontoon bridge should be thrown. The Second Corps, the advance of the army, reached the position by dark, and commenced to intrench. The work was subsequently suspended. Headquarters camp was established near the Court-House.
On the morning of the 14th steamers commenced ferrying the Second Corps across the James from Wilcox's Landing to Wind-Mill Point. At an early hour the Fifth and Sixth Corps arrived, a portion of the former taking up the positions of the Second, as they were respectively abandoned, and later in the day the Ninth came up. The engineering officers and assistants were all engaged in endeavoring to find direct roads leading from the Court-House across Queen's Creek down Wyanoke Neck, but soon discovered that it was only fordable on the main road. It was ascertained that approaches were being constructed at the landing under the direction of General Weitzel, chief engineer of the Army of the James, preparatory to building the pontoon bridge. Not sufficient material for completing the bridge had yet been received at the point, the officer in charge of the engineer depot at Washington having been directed to furnish it. Upon Major Duane's arrival the former turned over the entire charge of the matter, and the bridge was thrown under the direction of the latter.
At daybreak of the morning of the 15th I was directed to select a short line to be held by the Sixth Corps to cover the crossing of the remainder of the army and the supply train. In order to leave sufficient space to park the latter I chose a very commanding ridge running westwardly from Tyler's Mill, the right to rest on Tyler's Creek (impassable below the mill), and the left on the James below the mouth of Queen's Creek. The battalion of U. S. Engineers was ordered in the morning to Wyanoke Landing to construct the pontoon bridge. The latter was commenced at 4 p.m., and was finished at 11 p.m., consisting of 101 wooden pontoons. At 9.30 p.m. of this date orders were issued for the Ninth Corps to move down and immediately commence crossing. Headquarters camp moved from the Court-House to Douthat's, on the James River. The first attack on Petersburg was made on this day, when the outer line of the enemy's works was captured by the Eighteenth Corps. The latter had been transported by steamers from the White House to City Point.
19 R R-VOL XL, PT I