|When the bridge was finished at Franklin's crossing April 29, 1863 Hopeful and proud these pontoniers of Hooker's engineer battalion stand upon their just-completed bridge — rushed across in one hour and ten minutes. The bridge “train,” wagons and boats, had been masked about a mile from the river in dense woods. Then the boats were carried to the river at night and were actually launched before the Confederates were aware of the enterprise. Troops were ferried across in the face of musketry fire from the opposite bank, and the Confederates were driven off. Captain A. J. Russell, who took this photograph, followed close upon this action. In photographs of Franklin's Crossing taken subsequently, the trees have been chopped down, but here the earth, freshly upturned to make an approach to the bridge, and the little pup-tents just going up across the river, both indicate that the soldiers have just arrived. They were not aware that Jackson was to circle Hooker's right in the woods, take him in reverse and cut him off from United States Ford — and that he was to be huddled into a corner in the Wilderness, hurrying messages to Sedgwick's corps to come to his relief. This bridge, three hundred and ninety feet long, was moved bodily to Fredericksburg and there placed in position on the following Sunday during the battle of Fredericksburg Heights, where Sedgwick finally stormed the position that four months before had cost Burnside nearly 13,000 men. This was one of the most successful exploits of the engineer corps during the entire war.|
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