I think the engineers lost more men here-I mean now in actual combat — than in all their previous and subsequent service combined.
Ponton bridges were a source of great satisfaction to the soldiers.
They were perfect marvels of stability and steadiness.
No swaying motion was visible.
To one passing across with a column of troops or wagons no
motion was discernible.
It seemed as safe and secure as mother earth, and the army walked them with the same serene confidence as if they were.
I remember one night while my company was crossing the Appomattox
on the bridge laid at Point of Rocks
that D. Webster Atkinson
, a cannoneer, who stood about six feet and a quarter in boots-dear fellow, he was afterwards mortally wounded at Hatcher's Run
,--being well-nigh asleep from the fatigue of the all-night march we were undergoing, walked off the bridge.
Fortunately for him, he
Poplar Grove Church.|
stepped — not into four or five fathoms of water, buta ponton.
As can readily be imagined, an unexpected step down of two feet and a half was quite an “eyeopener”