War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0660 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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October 17, 1864.

GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit herewith my reports for the weeks ending September 24, October 1, and October 8, together with tracings* of works at Harrison's Landing and photographic copy* of the canvas pontoon bridge over the Appomattox at Broadway Landing. I have been unable to complete in time the tracing of the new line of defense referred to in my report, and also the line of works now occupied by the Army of the James, owing to my not being able to obtain sufficient and competent assistance. These tracings will be sent, however, with my next weekly report. I have not sent to you company of my monthly report for September, as it is simply a consolidation of the weekly reports made to you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


First Lieutenant, U. S. Engineers,

Acting Chief Engineers, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina.

Byt. Major General J. G. BARNARD,

Chief Engineer, Armies in the Field, City Point, Va.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]



October 10, 1864.

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of engineering operations in this department for the week ending September 24, 1864, viz:

At Dutch Gap the work progressed slowly during the week owing to the continuous fire of the rebel mortar batteries on the low ground across the river. All our efforts to dislodge them have proved unavailing. Two or four men is all they require in a adeem pit to work their small 6-inch mortar, which are annoying and demoralizing to the men at labor on the canal. The difference of water level at the two ends of the proposed canal was found to be ten and one-tenth inches by means of the common Y level. A survey of the works at Harrison's Landing, now completed, was made on the 20th, which is transmitted with this report. The main work on the line is completed and the labor lately has mostly been on the infantry parapet, extending to the river. The entire length of the line is 1,412 yards. The distance in a straight line from flank to flank 892 yards. On the 19th instant a canvas pontoon bridge was laid across the Appomattox River at Broadway Landing, requiring in all twenty-three boats, including the two used in the draw. The upper bridge, heretofore used, had been so constantly employed that it needed a thorough overhauling and repair. The pontoniers who laid the canvas bridge had no experience heretofore with these boats. The average time required to build the boats was seven minutes and a half. The first required twelve minutes and the last few three minutes each. The bridge was laid by sixty pontoniers, after the boats were build, in one hour and fifteen minutes, the abutments being previously prepared. I find that the tide rises variously on this river, sometimes being as high as four feet two inches. For heavy trains or much travel


*To appear in the Atlas.