previous next

The moment that the Norfolk Navy-Yard was evacuated, the erection and armament of batteries along the Elizabeth River was begun to prevent its recapture; and thus Virginia came into possession of a thoroughly equipped navy-yard, at which the Merrimac, some time later, was converted into the ironclad Virginia, and the guns needed for the speedy armament of batteries for the defense not only of the Elizabeth, James, and York rivers, but also against attacks on Norfolk and Richmond by other lines of approach, were obtained.

Subsequently, the Virginia Corps of Engineers was merged into that of the Confederate States; and the cost of completing the defenses begun by the State of Virginia was borne by the Confederate Government.

Very few of the officers in the Confederate corps had any previous practice as military engineers, although some of them had been educated at military academies. In this respect the North had a decided advantage over its opponents. No engineer troops were provided for by the Confederate Congress until 1863, when two regiments were authorized and organized, in time to take part in the campaigns of 1864. Prior to that time, such duties as pertain to engineer troops were performed by details from divisions, generally known as Pioneer Corps, under the direction of officers of the Engineer Corps attached to such divisions.

Of the two regiments of engineer troops, the First Regiment and two companies of the Second Regiment were organized for service with the Army of Northern Virginia. The other eight companies of the Second served elsewhere than in Virginia, several of them in the Trans-Mississippi Department.

During the first three years of the war when pontoon bridges were needed, they were handled by the Pioneer Corps, or other details from the ranks, under the direction of officers of the Engineer Corps. The bridge on which General Lee's army recrossed the Potomac near Williamsport after the battle of

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Merrimac (1)
Stephen D. Lee (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1864 AD (1)
1863 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: