War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0070 CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.

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expedition was delayed nearly four days on account of a pontoon bridge stretched across the James River,about twenty-five miles below City Point, upon which the Army of the Potomac was crossing to the south bank of the river. Immediately on the arrival of the construction force at City Point (June 18, 1864) orders were received to rebuild the City Point and Petersburg Railroad; also to construct wharves and buildings for the use of the army in unloading and receiving supplies. An examination was made of the road, and it was ascertained that the bridges were gone, track take up, and the iron removed for a distance of four mils. From there on to within two miles and a half from Petersburg the track had not been disturbed, but the ties were very much decayed and the gauge, needed changing from five feet to four feet eight and one-half inches. By the 5th of July the bridges were all rebuilt repaired, and the road was in complete running order for a distance of seven miles from City Point. By the time the repairs were completed a full equipment of engines and rolling-stock had been received,and regular trains commenced running July 7, 1864. A large force was kept constantly employed in building wharves, warehouses, and all other improvements asked for by Quartermaster's Department.

Orders were received July 22 to make a preliminary survey of a branch line of railroad from a point near Pitkin Station (distant five miles and a half from City Point) to the headquarters of the Fifth Army Corps, on the Weldon railroad at Yellow House. The survey was made (without instruments) and everything got in readiness for the proposed extension. An explosion occurred on the 9th of August, caused by the accidental ignition of ammunition stored in an ordnance boat lying at the wharf at City Point. The force of the explosion completely demolished some 400 feet of warehouse just completed and a large portion of the wharves in the vicinity; also a large quantity of supplies accumulated for shipment to the front. The damage to railroad property was very slight, and only a few of our men were injured. July 26 a force of trackmen equipped with tools were sent to Deep Bottom to report to General Sheridan, for the supposed purpose of destroying the track of the railroad connecting Petersburg with Richmond. They returned July 30 without effecting anything of importance. Again, August 13 another party in charge of John Morgan, assistant engineer, was ordered to report to General Hancock for the purpose of destroying the track on the Weldon railroad. Nine miles a quarter of track were destroyed,and the iron made useless by heating and then bending the rails.

Orders were received August 30 to commence building Army Line from Pitkin Station to Yellow Tavern, on the Weldon railroad. Work was commenced September 1,and by the 10th of September the new line was completed a distance of nine miles from Pitkin Station and fourteen miles and a half from City Point. The grading on the new line was comparatively light, but some very extensive trestle works were constructed. For quite a distance th of the track, and trains passing and our Constructions Corps were much annoyed by the constant fire kept up on them. This difficulty,however, was obviated by the construction of a line of earthworks about half a mile in length, completely protecting the road.

Extensive tracks for the accommodation of the hospitals and bakeries were built; also very large warehouses for the storage of quartermaster, commissary, and ordnance stores. Substantial and roomy wharves were built for a distance of nearly one mile at City Point;