part of the city had been thrown across the river at a most difficult point. These duties completed, the regiment returned to City Point the next day, remaining there until I received your order to move to this place upon the 9th instant.
Upon the 3rd instant, however, being present when General Grant read the dispatch announcing the capture of Richmond, I suggested that as there was the probability that the bridges would be burnt there also, I should be authorized to send or take pontoon bridges at once up to that place from City Point, which being approved by General Grant, I sent in by courier to my staff officer at City Point to have pontoon rafts and a steamer ready, and to the officer in command of the pickets at Bailey's Creek to take off 100 of the men from the picket to man those rafts, and the bridges were started under Captain O'Keefe that evening, arriving the next afternoon as early as it was considered safe from the torpedoes to pass up the river. This bridge was laid the next day and proved, as I was informed, of great importance to the troops, as well as to the suffering inhabitants of Manchester.
Upon the 9th instant the order was received to move forward my command to join the headquarters Army of the Potomac, except a guard to be left in charge of the trains, bridges, &c., at City Point, in compliance with which order the command started the next morning, as previously reported upon the 13th instant.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. BENHAM,
Colonel G. D. RUGGLES,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac.
P. S.-The reports of Brevet Colonel Spaulding and Brevet Major Harwood were called for by me, in compliance with your order, and as I do not know of their having been called for or sent otherwise, they are herewith inclosed.
H. W. B.
No. 13. Report of Bvt. Colonel Ira Spaulding, Fiftieth New York Engineers.
HDQRS. DETACHMENT 50TH NEW YORK VOL. ENGINEERS, Fort Berry, near Washington, June 14, 1865.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of engineering operations of this command from the commencement of the campaign in March last to the arrival of the army near Washington:
On the morning of the 29th of March I left my winter camp near Petersburg with all of my command except one company, Captain Arthur M. Jackson commanding, left to guard the trains, one company, Bvt. Major M. Van. Brocklin commanding, previously sent to report to General Warren with a pontoon train of twelve boats, and one company, Lieutenant Taylor commanding, previously sent to report to General Humphreys with a pontoon train of eighteen boats. I marched my command to the W. Perkins house, repairing roads and bridges on the way. At the crossing of Hatcher's Run I found a pontoon bridge had