War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0175 Chapter LIV. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

McGilvery and the one inclosing Battery Numbers 5. Fort Conahey was not completed prior to the movement, but Lieutenant Howell has since resumed work upon it. Lieutenant Phillips continued to assist General Benham in the construction of the line of works in front of City Point until the evening of the 26th, when he rejoined the Battalion of U. S. Engineers. On that day, by order of the major-general commanding all the engineer troops, the whole under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Spaulding, were ordered to be held in reserve near Poplar Grove Church for such service as might be required of them. Subsequently they occupied, from the 26th to the 29th, that part of the line near Fort Welch. The officers of the battalion, with the exception of one in temporary charge of it, accompanied me on the staff of Major-General Meade for the purpose of attending to any duties they might be called upon to perform. The following extracts from Lieutenant-Colonel Spaulding's report will show the operations of the detachment of Fiftieth New York Volunteer Engineers under his command:

During the week Lieutenant Taylor, with two companies of this command for two days and one company for the remainder of the week, assisted by small details of infantry from the Second Corps, has built 2,550 feet of fraise on the line and around the forts between the Appomattox and Battery 13. On the morning of the 26th instant all the troops in this command were concentrated at my camp to assist in the contemplated movement on the left, but by your order Lieutenant Taylor was sent back the same day to report with his company to General Miles. All the work in building this fraise has necessarily been done at night. On Monday Captain McGrath was sent to the Avery house with two companies of this command to throw up a field-work near that point and also one near the Jordan house. These men were withdrawn on the morning of the 26th instant. Captain McGrath reports the earth-work at the Jordan house partially thrown up and three faces rivetted; the earth-work at the Avery house partially done, the revetment of one face completed and two other faces partially done. He estimates that it will require at each of these works one company of engineer troops and 350 infantry for four days to complete the works. Captain Van Brocklin reports Fort Stevenson ready for five barbette and five embrasure guns, and also ready for fourteen additional embrasure guns, except the platforms. The left flank requires about 200 days' work to complete it, and about the same amount of work is required on the rear parapet. The earth-work and platforms are also still to be built for barbette guns in each of the rear salients and two at intermediate points. On Tuesday evening Captain Dexter reported Fort Patrick Kelly completed, except the abatis and some additional slashing in front and on the flanks of the fort. About two days more will be required with one company of engineer troops to complete the abatis and slashing. Since Wednesday morning all the troops of this command, except one company, Lieutenant Taylor commanding, have been engaged in the movement on the left until late night, when they were returned to their old camp near Poplar Spring Church.

In the topographical department, the assistants have been engaged in extending the surveys beyond the Weldon railroad, and a map of the new line is in course of compilation. The Richmond campaign sheet is completed, with the exception of the lettering, and copies of the additional sections of the map captured from the enemy are being made. During the move to the Boydton road the several roads followed by the moving columns of troops have been surveyed, and the topographical features of the country were sketched. A map is being prepared of the country passed over. Captain Paine, aide-de-camp was directed to guide the Second Corps during the movement, remaining until it was withdrawn from the position occupied by it on the plank road.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major Engineers, Acting Chief Engineer.

Lieutenant Colonel T. S. BOWERS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Headquarters Armies of the United States.