rial was ever lost, destroyed, or abandoned to the enemy; nor, so far as I am aware, were any troops ever kept waiting for the construction of these bridges. The actual construction of the bridges is but a small portion of the labor required for the proper care and efficiency of pontoon trains. The truth is, the necessity for labor upon them never ceases, from the time they are first put in the field until the final close of operations requiring their use. Many and very great improvements have been made on pontoon bridge trains during the progress of the war; not only in the character of the boats and arrangement and construction of the bridges, but also in the character of the wagons, the arrangement of the loads, manner of loading and unloading, &c. It would seem to be very desirable that all these improvements should be collated and a record made of them for future reference. The organization and outfit of engineer troops, as sent into the field at the commencement of the war [the volunteers, at least], were very defective, and I was led to devote some thought and study to the proper manner of remedying these defects in my own department. As the result of these investigations and of experience my troops during the last year of the war were furnished with such an outfit as to render each company a unit. Each company was furnished with a company wagon, a commissary wagon, a forage wagon, a tool wagon, and a carpenters' tool-chest. By this means the whole or any portion of the regiment was prepared to move at any time of the day or night, with fifteen days' supplies and a complete outfit for the performance of all kind of engineer duty. That the troops thus organized were at all times admirably prepared for prompt and efficient service, my daily and weekly reports of engineering operations and your own knowledge of their labors furnish abundant evidence, and the works in front of Petersburg are monuments of the skill and industry of the officers and men engaged in their construction.
For your uniform kindness and courtesy, both to myself and the officers and men under my command while serving under your orders, I beg to tender you my most sincere thanks.
Brevet Colonel, Commanding.
Bvt. Brigadier General J. C. DUANE,
Chief Engineer, Army of the Potomac.
No. 14. Reports of Bvt. Major Franklin Harwood, U. S. Army, commanding Battalion U. S. Engineers.
HEADQUARTERS U. S. ENGINEER TROOPS, Near Burkeville, Va., April 19, 1865.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with paragraph 9, Special Orders, No. 94, Army of the Potomac, I have the honor to report that from the 29th of March to the 9th of April the Battalion of U. S. Engineer Troops have been employed as follows:
On the 29th of March broke camp near Petersburg and marched to Gravelly Run.
On the 30th, 31st, and 1st of April was employed corduroying roads between the Vaughan and Quaker roads. From the 2nd to the 9th of April marched with and repaired the roads for headquarters Army of the Potomac train.