previous next
[378] men was enlisted for the exclusive purpose of doing this kind of work. Such a body was the Engineer Corps, often called the Sappers and Miners of the army; but so little sapping and mining was done, and that little mainly by the fighting forces, I shall speak of this body of men as Engineers-the name which, I believe, they prefer.

In the Army of the Potomac this corps was composed of the Fifteenth and Fiftieth New York regiments of volunteers and a battalion of regulars comprising three companies. They started out with McClellan in the Peninsular Campaign, and from that time till the close of the war were identified with the movements of this army. These engineers went armed as infantry for purposes of self-defence only, for fighting was not their legitimate business, nor was it expected of them. There were emergencies in the history of the army when they were drawn up in line of battle. Such was the case with a part of them at least at Antietam, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness, but, so far as I can learn, they were never actively engaged.

The engineers' special duties were to make roads passable for the army by corduroying sloughs, building trestle bridges across small streams, laying pontoon bridges over rivers, and taking up the same, laying out and building fortifica-


tions, and slashing. Corduroying called at times for a large amount of labor, for Virginia mud was such a foe to rapid transit that miles upon miles of this sort of road had

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 Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Virginia (Virginia, United States) (1)
Gettysburg (Pennsylvania, United States) (1)
Antietam (Maryland, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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.
George B. McClellan (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: