Friday, February 15, 2013

February 16, 1863 (Monday): Lines of Retreat

North Anna Junction (

Colonel E. P. ALEXANDER,
Commanding Artillery Battalion:
    COLONEL: Will you, if your other duties allow, make a personal examination of the bridge over the North Anna on the road leading to Hanover Junction, toward providing for its being made safe, and, so soon as you determine what should be done with it, have means taken for its very prompt repair. If necessary, make all the requisite details on your battalion for cutting and hauling the timber and having the work done. Any funds required will be furnished by Major Page, quartermaster, on proper call. By details from the General Reserve, I have had a good bridge made opposite Hewlett's, Virginia Central Railroad. If your duties do not allow, please name an officer to superintend and direct the work to be done. Great energy should be exerted, as a movement may be soon expected, and a bridge then may be important. The bridge I had constructed took about ten day; yours would take longer. The nearest saw-mill should be employed. There is a man named Temple Blunt, living near the Fork Church, who understands bridge-building. He directed in the other case, and might do so in this, to facilitate the enterprise; before, he received $100.          Hoping that what is necessary may be speedily done,
      I am, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,

     Brigadier-General, &c.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 25, Part 2, Page 628.

Pendelton here writes to E. Porter Alexander, the noted artillerist and diarist regarding constructed required on the roads from North Anna to Hanover junction.  Lee at this point continues to focus on the possibility of a movement of Union troops by water to either the Peninsula or North Carolina, by which route they will ultimately threaten the critical rail lines at Petersburg.  For this reason, parts of the First Corp were on this date moving south towards Hanover Junction.


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