at that place for the cavalry to recross the river. Had this bridge, which was composed of twenty-three boats, making a bridge 350 feet long, laid at 12 m. of the 29th, having marched a distance of twenty miles that day. This bridge was taken up by order of Brigadier-General Benham at 10 p.m. of the 30th, and moved during the night to Roanoke Station, where it was relaid across the Staunton River near the crossing of the railroad at 8 a.m. of the following morning. This bridge was composed of seventeen boats and was 270 feet long. In consequence of the heavy rains while marching from Moseley's Ferry, I was obliged to lay a pontoon bridge fifty feet long across the Little Roanoke River at Roanoke Station for the purpose of crossing.
Remained at Roanoke Station until the morning of May 17, under orders from Major-General Wright, when the pontoon bridge was taken up and moved to Clark's Ferry, three miles above, on the same river, where a bridge was laid of eighteen boats, being 300 feet long. The supply trains and artillery of the Sixth Corps crossed in the afternoon. The bridge was taken up the following morning, May 18, and moved with the trains of the Sixth Corps to Manchester, via Burkeville and Amelia Court-House, where we arrived at 10 a.m. of the 21st, having laid a pontoon bridge of five boats at Goode's Bridge, on the Appomattox River. Remained in Manchester until the afternoon of the 23rd, when I moved my trains to the crossing of the Chickahominy River by the Mechanicsville pike, having Captain Kenyon with a portion of his company in charge of a pontoon bridge which had been laid the previous day across the canal at the foot of Eighteenth street, in Richmond, for the purpose of crossing the trains of the Sixth Corps.
During the morning of the 24th the crossing of the Chickahominy was repaired, in doing which four temporary bridges were constructed over water-courses and one trestle bridge sixty feet long put down. Lieutenant Cowan with twenty men was left in charge of this crossing, with instructions to follow the rear of the supply trains. The balance of the trains were then moved to the Pamunkey River, via Hanover Court-House, where we arrived at 4 p.m., and immediately laid down a bridge of ten boats, Captain Kenyon and Lieutenant Cowan coming up during the night. The Sixth Corps began crossing at noon. Remained at this place until the morning of the 26th, when, by order of General Wright, I left Captain Kenyon and a portion of his company in charge of this bridge, with orders to remain until the arrival of the artillery of the Sixth Corps, then at City Point, and to march with them until they should join the corps, and I started with the balance of the trains to reach the Sixth Corps, then at Chesterfield Station. In consequence of the rains during the day the trains of the Sixth Corps had a great deal of difficulty in moving. I came up to their rear at night. The following day the corps did not move in consequence of the continued rains. My trains were moved to the advance of the corps, and moved in that position until we arrived at the camp of the Engineer Brigade near Fort Berry on the 2nd day of June, marching by way of Fredericksburg, where we stopped one day, crossing the Potomac at Coakley's Store, three miles west of the crossing of the telegraph road,f thence by way of Stafford Springs, Wolf Run Shoals, and Fairfax Court-House. Owing to the heavy rains the streams were very high and the roads in a bad state, requiring a large amount of work to make them passable for the supply trains following the corps. By reason of having the advance of the corps and starting from one to two hours before them in the morning, I was enabled to prepare the roads and build the necessary bridges without delaying them.
During this march one pontoon bridge sixty-five feet long was laid across the Po River, and eight corduroy bridges were built for crossing the infantry over streams, including once across the Occoquan at Wolf Run Shoals.
I cannot, without injustice, close this report without calling your attention to the energy and efficiency displayed by the men under my command and the cheerfulness with which they uniformly discharged their duties, which were many times of a very unpleasant and fatiguing nature. I desire especially to mention Company C, which, by its long experience in handling the canvas bridges and the zeal which it uniformly manifested in the discharge of its duties, has well merited the honor [to] which I believe them entitled-that of being second to no company of pontoniers in the service. For their promptness in laying the bridge at Moseley's Ferry I received the thanks of Major-General Sheridan, and for the arduous duties of repairing roads and constructing bridges on the march from Richmond to Washington, performed by Companies C and E, I received the thanks of Major-General Wright.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. VAN BROCKLIN,
Captain, Fiftieth New York Vol. Engineers, Brevet Major, U. S. Vols.
Bvt. Colonel IRA SPAULDING,
Commanding Fiftieth New York Volunteer Engineers.