AR, A&F(AL) 10/1/1865 CE&S

Annual Report of the Alabama & Florida (of Alabama) RR
as of October 1, 1865
Chief Engineer and Superintendent's Report
 
Office Engineer and Sup't Ala. & Fla. R. R. Co.
Montgomery, Alabama, January 24, 1866
 
Sir,
 
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   The removal of our property to Georgia, where the five foot gauge (corresponding with our own) was universal, it was hoped would enable us to save at least the larger portion of it, by transferring it, with our own rolling stock, from threatened localities to more secure positions.
   The sequel will show how sadly we were disappointed in this calculation.
   The forces under General Wilson, pausing in Montgomery only long enough to destroy the machine shop, car factory, cars, and machinery which, owing to the pressure on the Montgomery & West Point railroad consequent on the evacuation of the city, we were obliged to leave behind, proceeded in two divisions, one to Columbus and the other to West Point.
   At Columbus everything of a destructible nature belonging to us was completely demolished.
   At West Point our cars, engines in running order, and one, A. E. Maxwell, (which had been caught near Evergreen by a raiding party of federals from Pensacola and but slightly damaged,) had all been safely transferred beyond the Chattahoochee river, and were ready to move with the machinery and supplies we had succeeded in bringing off from Montgomery, when the commander of our forces at West Point placed a guard on the train with strict orders not to allow them to move without permission from the military.
   The forces under Colonel La Grange very soon attacked the town, and capturing Fort Tyler, the sole dependence for successful resistance, immediately crossed the river, captured and destroyed three engines and seven cars, with their contents, among them our entire stock of patterns. This loss left us with only four effective engines and about forty cars of every description, all more than one hundred miles from home, and all communication with Montgomery completely destroyed.
   The armistice between Generals Johnston and Sherman alone prevented the total destruction of all the property we took to Georgia.
   As no move towards the return of our stock and machinery to Montgomery could be made prior to rebuilding of the M. & W. P. R. R., (which was more effectually destroyed than any road in the south, with the exception perhaps of the Central Georgia and South Carolina railroad,) I left by your direction all of our property in Georgia in the care of trusted agents, and repaired to Montgomery to look after the interests of the company here.
   On reaching Montgomery I found that the machine shop and car factory, together with the cars and machinery left behind in the evacuation of the city, had been completely destroyed, as also the Howe trestle bridge over the Pintlala. The warehouse at Sparta, the passenger and freight depot at Pollard, had met a similar fate at the hands of Colonel Spurling a few weeks before.
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   The only engines at Montgomery not destroyed were two old ones belonging to the Memphis & Charleston railroad, (the Luxahoma and Jas. F. Cooper.)
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   The Cooper had been standing out in the weather for four years past, and was an engine only in name.
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   A great deal of trestling required removal, and a heavy bridge force had to be employed, not only to overhaul trestles, but to repair the damages of the unprecedented freshet of November 8, 1864, and fortifying the road against similar disasters. 
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Respectfully submitted:
Samuel G. Jones
Engineer and Superintendent

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