apparently some light earth-woorks on it to cover guns comes within three-quarters of a mile from the river, and would be very annoying to our right flank if we did not succeed in crossing it at once. At the place proposed for the upper bridges General Woodbury has already built one corduroy approach through the marsh. There should be one more built here and one at the lower bridges before crossing.
Franklin's Crossing.-There is here a long line of hills on our side which see well the plateau on the other side, that plateau being one or two miles wide, then rising into hills, generally wooded. Bridges would be perfectly covered from enemy's artillery. Objections are that it is central to enemy's line, and that the enemy may have formed a defensive line in the woods since Franklin's attack.
Banks' Ford.-Here both shores of the river begin rising almost at the water's edge, abruptly on our side, gradually in places on the other side, but to a grater height than on ours. Artillery on this side cannot generally see far on the other side, which in places is wooded to the water's edge, and it is believed that unless the crossing was a surprise, it would be very difficult, if not impracticable.
United States Ford.-This place is inferior to Banks' Ford so far as roads leading to it are concerned. The shore on our side rises at once into bluffs sixty feet high, while the other shore rises gradually, and has a large clearing which is well seen from this side. Its advantages are that the other side is pretty well seen from this; that it is the left of the enemy's line, and that the ford, believed to be a pretty good one, could be used for crossing troops while the bridges were being built. The main objection is difficulty of access and want of room. There was originally a narrow road leading down to the ford. Another has been built by General Woodbury for artillery, and one for infantry, thus giving approaches to three bridges.
C. B. COMSTOCK,
Lieutenant of Engineers and Chief Engineer Army of the Potomac.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY CORPS, Numbers 29.
February 5, 1863.
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3. In accordance with orders from headquarters Army of the Potomac, the Third Division of this corps (Pennsylvania Reserves) will embark at Belle Plain for Alexandria as soon as transportation is furnished, there to report to Major-General Heintzelman. The sick and all the baggage of the troops will be taken with them. The division staff, Captains Hoyt and Reid, commissaries, and Captain Patton, assistant quartermaster, will remain; also the One hundred and twenty-first and One hundred and forty-second Regiments Pennsylvania Volunteers and the three batteries of artillery (Captains Cooper's, Amsden's, and Lieutenant R. B. Ricketts'). The division quartermaster will report at once to the corps quartermaster to arrange details for embarkation. The different quartermasters will turn in all their transportation and ambulance trains to the division quartermaster. The troops will be supplied with three day's cooked rations. No public animals of any kind will accompany the division. In separating from the Pennsylvania reserve Corps, with which the commanding general has been so closely allied for the past eighteen months, he cannot but express his deep regrets. They are, however, lessend by the hope