Category Archives: Pontoon Bridging

Engineers on the Rappahannock (Part 6) – Army of the Potomac Withdraws from Fredericksburg

“The PRESIDENT. [Copy to General Halleck.] HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 16, 1862-4 a.m. [Received 4.15 a.m.] “I have thought it necessary to withdraw the army to this side of the river, and the movement has progressed satisfactorily thus … Continue reading

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Engineers on the Rappahannock (Part 5) – Burnside’s River Crossing Concept and 50th NY Engineer Casualties

BRIDGING PLAN: We don’t know when General Ambrose E Burnside finally selected his plan of action for confronting General Robert E. Lee at Fredericksburg. We do know that by December 8, his Army of the Potomac Chief Engineer, Lieutenant Cyrus. … Continue reading

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Engineers on the Rappahannock (Part 4) – Mapping Engineer Movement

Movement of the engineers prior to the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862 has been mired in a cloud of confusion and controversy. The question of which route(s) they took to get to the Rappahannock River on the morning of 11 … Continue reading

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Engineers on the Rappahannock (Part 3) – How to Build a Pontoon Bridge

Building a ponton bridge is not a simple exercise. Rather it is a highly choreographed undertaking by men trained for specific tasks. The 50th NY Engineer Regiment did so under fire on December 11th, 1862. Continue reading

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Engineers on the Rappahannock (Part 2)

Civil War armies had to cross rivers. This was accomplished using pontoon bridges. The Army of the Potomac had its engineers which included the 15th and 50th New York Voluntary Engineer Regiments. These volunteers mastered the complex bridging operatons. Continue reading

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