The Federal army, under Pope, in its advance against Lee needed much more than well drilled regiments of soldiers. Indeed, during the forward march the engineer corps was the busiest division of the army. Artillery battalions and provision trains had to have bridges to cross the numerous streams flowing into the Potomac and the Chesapeake. Three pictures on this page and the preceding show us the men at their work in that summer of long ago. The polka-dot shirt of the foreman (page 14), the roughly hewn timbers cut from the banks, the improvised derrick, the piers built in the middle of the stream around which the water is now rippling, the quiet trees on the banks — all these features stand out as clearly as they did in August of 1862, as the engineer corps was working on the north fork of the Rappahannock, near Sulphur Springs. The pictures are of the same bridge from different points of view.
|Crossing the Rappahannock|