War of the Rebellion: Serial 081 Page 0121 Chapter LII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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eral cattle herd to this side of the river. The bridge will be kept down, until the cattle are all brought over, for the return of the cavalry. The cattle are to be brought across the river in steam and ferry boats.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

June 17, 1864-8.30 p.m.

Captain WOODWARD,

Commissary of Subsistence, in Charge of General Cattle Herd:

I am instructed by the commanding general to say that the pontoon bridge is under no circumstances to be used for the crossing of the cattle. They must be swum over or brought over in steam and ferry boats, and you will make requisitions upon the quartermaster's department for such transportation as he can provide for this purpose, and such as cannot be brought over in boats you will attempt to swim over. None of the cattle must be abandoned. A force of cavalry has been directed to recross the river to cover the crossing of the cattle, and the bridge will be laid for the cavalry.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ENGINEER BRIGADE,

June 17, 1864.

Captain WOODWARD, Commissary of Subsistence:

DEAR SIR: I understand that you have some 1,000 of beef-cattle to cross this river. I am satisfied that they can be safely crossed by swimming them, as was done at Edwards' Ferry last June, a boat leading the front animals, with perhaps a boat on each side, as the crossing of them by squads of four or five, with intervals and men between, would take many hours of time, or otherwise they would be sure to ruin the bridge by their grouping. Under these circumstances, with the danger of loss of the bridge by capture from the delay or the great injury by the cattle if we attempt to cross them rapidly or in a body, I shall fear, without General Meade's direct order, to allow them to cross the bridge, and deem it my duty to take it up at once as soon as General Ferrero advises me that he can dispense with it. Trusting that you will be able to make the arrangements to swim these cattle over,

Very respectfully,

H. W. BENHAM.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

June 17, 1864-4.45 a.m.

General WILLIAMS:

General Potter's command, of General Burnside's corps, have taken some cannon, colors, and several hundred prisoners. Part of General Barlow's troops that were working in conjunction with General Potter have also entered the enemy's second line of breast-works. I have received no direct accounts. This is brought me by an aide. The enemy appeared to have been surprised from the little firing.

WINF'D S. HANCOCK,

Major-General.