War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0296 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LII.

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of Bottom's Bridge, preparatory to the movement of the Second Corps. He arrived near Bottom's Bridge at 11 p.m., having put the road and bridges on the route in good order, and there awaited the arrival of the corps. Major Beers marched with Company L to join his train near Parsley's Mill, then in charge of Captain Palmer, leaving Company E (Captain Hine) in charge of the corps intrenching tools to march with the Sixth Corps. Major Beers joined me at Tunstall's Station in the afternoon with two companies and his bridge train, where I had also a part of the reserve battalion, with one-third each of canvas trains Nos.4 and 5, commenced by First Lieutenant M. B. Folwell. During the night these troops and trains marched to Emmaus Church. Major Ford, being at Fifth Corps headquarters, near Baltimore Cross-Roads, sent Captains McDonald and Van Brocklin and Lieutenant Van Rensselaer to examine the roads and approaches to the Long Bridge crossing of the Chickahominy. At 4 p.m. he started with his trains; moved about four miles, and halted within half a mile of the river, having been joined on the way by the above-named officers. Reported as to the nature of the crossing were conflicting, and the enemy's sharpshooters being in possession of the south bank, it was difficult to ascertain the facts. Members of General Warren's staff assured Major Ford that there was but one stream of about 100 feet in width, while the officers sent by Major Ford were confident that there were two streams, with an island between. The latter opinion proved to be correct. The nature of the crossing was such that Major Ford deemed it inexpedient to use the canvas bridge, and he therefore directed Captain McDonald to move his company and wooden train to the river about dark, taking also Company D (Captain Pettes) as a guard. Arriving at the river Major Ford immediately put one of his boats in the water, and crossed the river, taking over at the same time a squad of Colonel Chapman's dismounted cavalry. He found the stream proper about 100 feet wide, an island of about 250 feet, and a branch of the river on the south side of the island of about 60 feet in width. While crossing the second boat-load of cavalry the enemy's pickets opened a brisk fire upon the troops and pontoniers. Captain McDonald at once put his boats in the water and commenced his bridge. The cavalry succeeded in crossing the south branch on some fallen trees, and after a contest of about twenty minutes the enemy were driven off. One man of Captain McDonald's company (K) was wounded while at work on the bridge, and has since died. Captain Van Brocklin, having volunteered his services, crossed the river, and, assisted by Captain Pettes with a portion of his company (D), dragged three pontoons across the island and built the bridge across the south branch and the approaches. Major Ford reports that extensive swamps bordered the approaches, the river was filled with sunken piles and timber, the available passage was very narrow, the debris of the old bridge had to be cleared away, and the abutments cut down. Such was the nature of these obstacles that it required two and a-half hours' hard work to complete the bridges. The remaining cavalry of Colonel Chapman's command crossed at once, followed by the Fifth and Second Corps. On the morning of this day Captain Personius was at Tunstall's Station with his company (G) and the pontoon train of the First Battalion, and Captain Middleton at White House with his company (M) and the extra pontoon train of twenty boats. I directed Captain Personius to proceed to Saint Peter's Church, near New Kent Court-House, with his train, and Captain Middleton to report to Captain Personius at the same place with his train. From this point both these trains, under command of Captain Personius, were to accompany the supply trains of the army, and bridge the