Numbers 14. Report of Brigadier General Henry W. Benham, U. S. Army, commanding Engineer Brigade and Defenses of City Point, of operations August 1-November 19.1
HEADQUARTERS ENGINEER BRIGADE AND DEFENSES,
Camp at City Point, Va., November 19, 1864.
In compliance with your directions of the 17th instant, I have the honor to report as the operations of this command since July 30:
August 9, the command engaged in clearing up the rubbish caused by the explosion of two ordnance barges loaded with ammunition. August 10, bridge at Broadway Landing taken up and brought to this place. August 13, a bridge of thirty-six boats sent to Deep Bottom. August 20, bridge railed at Broadway Landing. August 21, one bridge at Deep Bottom taken up and brought to this place. August 22, bridge removed from Broadway Landing and brought to this place.
September 12, the three-years’ men of the Fiftieth [New York] Engineers mustered out on expiration of term of service. September 18 , the command under arms for defense of City Point, the enemy having attacked the cattle herd in the neighborhood of Sycamore. September 19, a reconnaissance of the vicinity of City Point, made with a view to the erection of a line works. Two brigades of infantry from the Eighteenth Corps reported and were camped at Old Court-House. September 27, the infantry from the Eighteenth Corps returned to Bermuda Hundred, leaving the Two hundredth and Two hundred and fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers at Old Court-House.
October 3, the One hundred and eighty-sixth Regiment New York Volunteers reported for duty. October 4, the Eighteenth New Hampshire (one battalion) reported for duty. October 5, commenced the construction of fortifications for the defense of City Point. October 9, the Thirty-ninth New Jersey Volunteers reported for duty. October 11, Battalion Eighth Delaware Volunteers reported for duty. October 21, six companies of the One hundred and eighty-seventh New York Volunteers reported for duty. October 23, One hundred and eighty-sixth New York and Thirty-ninth New Jersey ordered to report to the Ninth Corps. October 24, the One hundred and eighty-eight New York ordered to report to the Fifth Corps. October 25, the One hundred and eighty-seventh [New York] ordered to join the Fifth Corps; three light batteries reported for duty. Sent one company of engineers to Broadway Landing to throw up a redoubt. October 26, moved the command
up to and occupied the fortifications. October 27, First Rhode Island Battery* reported for duty. One hundred and eighty-ninth New York Volunteers reported for duty.
During the whole month all the available men have been kept constantly at work on the fortifications for the defense of City Point. These fortifications, comprising about three miles and two-thirds of works, including eight redoubts, have been laid out and for the most part completed during the month of October.
This report does not include the operations of the Fiftieth [New York] Engineers, now attached to the different army corps and serving with the headquarters Army of the Potomac.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. BENHAM,
General S. WILLIAMS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac.
*Battery H. First Rhode Island Light Artillery.
- The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 1 (Serial Number 87), pages 213-214 ↩