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[68] Railroad, the reserve pontoon train, which was being held in Richmond, and Engineer Troops were sent with orders to take it up to Genito and throw a bridge over the river to enable wagon trains from Richmond to cross at that point.

The water in the Appomattox river was so high on April 3 and 4 as to cover the approaches to Bevill's Bridge, rendering that crossing useless during the retreat, and contrary to expectations, the Engineer Bureau did not ship the pontoon train intended for Genito, and used the boats for another purpose, so that the pontoon bridge at Goode's was the only available crossing for wagons on April 3rd, when it was availed of by wagon trains which came east of the river for safety after the Five Forks engagement, thus adding to the number of wagons to be passed over the pontoons at Goode's Bridge during the retreat, and there being no pontoons for Genito, the Engineer Troops at Mattoax made huried preparation of the railroad bridge at that point for the passage of wagon trains which had been ordered to cross at Genito, and move by roads north of Amelia Courthouse.

Thus it happened that although General Lee's plans contemplated three available crossings of the Appomattox river for troops, artillery and wagon trains, and a fourth that could be used for troops if necessary, only two bridges were available, and one of them the railroad bridge, of difficult approach for artillery and wagons.

Amelia Courthouse was the rendezvous for the army after crossing the Appomattox, to which commissary supplies had been ordered, and the route via Bevill's bridge was the shortest from Petersburg to that point, but this crossing of the Appomattox river being unavailable on the 3rd and 4th, the troops ordered that way were forced to cross the river at Goode's bridge, which required more time and delayed concentration at Amelia Courthouse; for additional time was required for the march by a longer route, the time of crossing the river was prolonged by the larger force to be passed over the pontoon bridge at Goode's, and the railroad bridge at Matoax. Besides this, the water was falling during the time of crossing at Goode's, and the approaches to the pontoon bridge had to be readjusted from time to time, causing occasional interruptions to the use of that bridge.

The delay of at least one day disconcerted General Lee's plans, and gave Grant time to occupy the commanding ridge on which the

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