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Examples of Pontoon
An effort was made, therefore, to obtain the use of a lighter which was not at that time in use, but the Commissary Department refused to yield the boat, and it remained until 11 o'clock the next morning tied up to the wharf with half a load of commissaries on board before it became available, and then was seized by the Quartermaster's Department.
The young engineer officer in charge of these boats, a premature graduate of the class of '98, was "afraid the boats might get smashed in the surf," and could not consent without seeing Col. Derby.
Protesting against this action, and informing Gen. Sumner of the urgent orders for the Gatling guns to disembark at once, that officer inquired the opinion of the prematurely graduated engineer as to the practicability of using the pontoons, and this experienced young man again expressed the fear that the boats might be injured in the surf.
A wigwag came from Gen. Shafter, asking whether the Gatling guns had been landed.
On returning to shore with a party to work the pontoons, the party was stopped in the act of launching the first boat by Gen. Sumner, and ordered to proceed to the Cherokee, take her out into the offing, and order another to take her place to unload.
Gen. Sumner responded by a peremptory order to warp the Cherokee out from the pier and send the other vessels in.