.--The destruction of the pontoon-bridge and train at Falling Waters
in July, 1863, was one of the most daring exploits of the war, and the credit of it belongs mainly to Leonard Grenewald
, chief of the Gray Eagle Scouts
, and formerly of the Jessie Scouts
During previous trips he had ascertained the strength of the ground and location of the bridge, and finally obtained from General French
a detail of two hundred men from the First Virginia and Thirteenth and Fourteenth New-York cavalry, under Major Foley
and Lieutenant Dawson
, to undertake its destruction.
They arrived at the Potomac
in the morning, just at daylight, and found the character of the bridge to be part trestle-work with pontoons in the centre, which were carefully floated out every evening and taken to the Virginia
shore, rendering the bridge useless for the night.
and Grenewald then swam the river, and brought back several pontoons, with which they ferried over some forty of the detachment, being all that were willing to go. Arriving on the southern side, they surprised the rebel camp, fired a volley into the sleeping rebels, and created an utter stampede.
They captured about twenty rebels, including one officer.
Then, destroying the camp, some stores, and four wagons of ammunition, they took all the pontoons over the river, and either burned or cut them to pieces.
The balance of the bridge was destroyed, and the party came off without the loss of a man. Grenewald desired to perform the same thing at Williamsport
, but his party declined to back him up. He is one of the most daring and reliable of scouts, and does great service.