abutments blown up. The road-bed had been used by wagons and cavalry and was badly cut up.
The first bridge to be constructed on the line was at Accakeek Creek
This was built complete, with a span of about one hundred and fifty feet and an elevation of thirty feet, in a little more than fifteen hours on May 3 and 4, 1862.
The next and most serious obstruction was the deep crossing of Potomac Creek
Here was built what is known as a deck bridge, of crib and trestle-work, four hundred feet long and eighty feet high.
As before, totally inexpert labor was employed, and only a very few officers who had any knowledge of that kind of work were available.
With this incompetent assistance, with an insufficient supply of tools, with occasional scarcity of food, and several days of wet weather, the work was nevertheless advanced so rapidly that in nine days the bridge was crossed by foot passengers, and in less than two weeks an engine was passed over, to the intense delight of the soldiers, by whose labor the structure had been erected.
It was completed on May 13th.
After President Lincoln
first saw this bridge he remarked: “I have seen the most remarkable structure that human eyes ever rested upon.
That man, Haupt
, has built a bridge across Potomac Creek
, about four hundred feet long and nearly a hundred feet high, over which loaded trains are running every hour, and, upon my word, . . . there is nothing in it but bean-poles and corn-stalks.”
The railroad bridge across the Rappahannock
was constructed next in about the same time as that across Potomac Creek
, and was six hundred feet long and forty-three feet above the water, with a depth of water of ten feet. This structure was built under the immediate supervision of Daniel Stone
The excitement created by General Jackson
's invasion of the Shenandoah
, in 1862, caused orders to be issued to McDowell
to intercept him. The railroads were unserviceable, and it became Haupt
's duty to make such repairs as would