A Beautiful Glittering Lie
One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

What does 'pontoon bridge' mean?

Find out what pontoon bridge means. Pontoon bridge is explained by J D R Hawkins - author of A Beautiful Glittering Lie

pontoon bridge

(pronounced pawn-TOON) A floating bridge, constructed by anchoring large, flat-bottomed boats across a waterway, and then laying wooden planks across them. The planks were anchored by side rails, and covered with a layer of soil to protect them and hamper sounds.

The term "pontoon bridge" is used as follows in my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie:

(Page 260)
At dawn on December 11, the Rebels’ heavy artillery report sounded the alarm: two shots fired in quick succession signaled the Union army’s advance across the river. The 4th fell out, and took their position in line. They heard heavy firing down in the town, and learned that McLaws’ division was shooting at the Yankees to prevent them from constructing pontoon bridges.

(Pages 261-262)
At ten o’clock, the Yankees started to bombard the town, each of their three hundred and sixty-seven guns firing fifty rounds. From their position, Hiram and his comrades could see Fredericksburg set ablaze. Hysterical citizens ran out into the streets, scattering into the nearby woods. Although the weather was mild for December, Hiram knew that they would likely freeze come nightfall. The thought of those destitute women and children wrenched his heart. After some time, the Confederates’ efforts to repel the Yankees proved futile. The Federals started over the river in boats, and soon began filing across their pontoon bridges. By nightfall, they had taken the town. General Lee arranged his troops, comprised of the brigades of Jackson, Longstreet, A.P. Hill, and McLaws, as well as the divisions led by Taliaferro, D.H. Hill, and Early. Supported by J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry and John Pelham’s artillery, the men became entrenched at Marye’s Hill. Their lines stretched seven miles, with 11,000 men per mile, or six Confederate soldiers per yard. Over three hundred cannons were poised and ready to fire. The 4th was put into position behind an embankment that afforded them sufficient protection.

Search result for 'pontoon bridge' in A Beautiful Glittering Lie

Chapter 10: Chapter Ten
"...the alarm: two shots fired in quick succession signaled the Union army’s advance across the river. The 4th fell out and took their position in line. They heard heavy firing down in the town and learned that McLaws’ Division was shooting at the Yankees to prevent them from constructing pontoon bridges. ..."
"...mild for December, Hiram knew that they would likely freeze come nightfall. The thought of those destitute women and children wrenched his heart. After some time, the Confederates’ efforts to repel the Yankees proved futile. The Federals started over the river in boats and soon began filing across their pontoon bridges. By nightfall, they had taken the town. General Lee arranged his troops, comprised of the brigades of Jackson, Longstreet, A. P. Hill, and McLaws, as well as the divisions led by Taliaferro, D. H. Hill, and Early. Supported by General J. E. B. Stuart’s cavalry and John Pelham’s artillery, ..."

Search result for 'pontoon bridge' in the FAQs of A Beautiful Glittering Lie

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Search result for 'pontoon bridge' in Glossary of A Beautiful Glittering Lie

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