Saturday, November 24, 2012

November 25, 1862 (Tuesday):No Time Should Be Lost

Union pontoon boats ready for transport

November 25, 1862-2.20 a.m. (Received 9.30 a.m.)
Brigadier General G. W. CULLUM, Chief of Staff:
E   nough pontoons have arrived to make one bridge, and we hope to have enough for two by daylight. I have selected two places of crossing, which I will report by letter. The train that started from Washington by land had to raft the boats from Occoquan, and send the carriages on alone, but they have not yet arrived. Had they started even on the 16th, they would have had good roads, and would have been in time. I felt it my duty to arrest General Woodbury, and have accordingly done so. We are at work with preparations for throwing the first bridge over, but it cannot be done till we get more carriages, which, I hope, will be here to-day. No time should be lost. The enemy's force is constantly increasing. Will telegraph more fully soon.

     A. E. BURNSIDE,
     Major-General, Commanding.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 21, Part 1, Page 798.

Woodbury had been ordered arrested by Burnside based on the delay in moving material for pontoon bridges to Fredericksburg.  The problem appears to have been more of communication than disobedience.   On his arrest Woodbury wrote, "General Halleck had directed me at first by telegraph, afterward verbally, to take bridge material down to Aquia Creek, but no one informed me that the success of any important movement depended in the slightest degree upon a pontoon train to leave Washington by land. Without such instructions, which, I think, should have been made to me, I had no sufficient grounds to seize teams or teamsters in Washington, regardless of forms."

No comments:

Post a Comment