No swaying motion was visible.
To one passing across with a column of troops or wagons no motion was discernible.
It seemed as safe and secure as mother earth, and the army walked them with the same serene confidence as if they were.
I remember one night while my company was crossing the Appomattox on the bridge laid at Point of Rocks that D. Webster Atkinson, a cannoneer, who stood about six feet and a quarter in boots-dear fellow, he was afterwards mortally wounded at Hatcher's Run,--being well-nigh asleep from the fatigue of the all-night march we were undergoing, walked off the bridge.
Fortunately for him, he
Poplar Grove Church. stepped — not into four or five fathoms of water, buta ponton.
As can readily be imagined, an unexpected step down of two feet and a half was quite an eyeopener to him, but, barring a little lameness, he suffered no harm.
The engineers, as a whole, led an enjoyable life of it in the service.
Their labors were quite fatiguing wh
e pontons were suitably hinged to form a wagon
A canvas pontoon boat.
From a Photograph. body, in which was carried the canvas cover, anchor, chains, and a due proportion of other bridge materials.
This kind of bridge was used by the volunteer engineers of the Army of the Potomac.
I recall two such bridges.
One spanned the Rapidan at Ely's Ford, and was crossed by the Second Corps the night of May 3, 1864, when it entered upon the Wilderness campaign.
The other was laid across the Po River, by the Fiftieth New York Engineers, seven days afterwards, and over this Hancock's Veterans crossed — those, at least, who survived the battle of that eventful Tuesday-before nightfall.
But all of the long bridges, notably those crossing the Chickahominy, the James, the Appomattox, which now come to my mind, were supported by wooden boats of the French pattern.
These were thirty-one feet long, two feet six inches deep, five feet four inches wide at the top, and four feet at the bottom