NP, GP 4/14/1864

From the Greensboro (N. C.) Patriot
April 14, 1864
Mobile & Ohio Railroad
   On the 24th instant, says the Mobile Advertiser, the upper and lower working parties met and connected the rails {of the Mobile & Ohio RR} near Meridian. Passenger trains can run to Columbus and Tibbee bridge, and these will commence running tomorrow. The regular heavy freight train cannot be run until the water fixtures and buildings are put in order. Gen. Sherman's fiends burned the bridges, water fixtures and warehouses on 47 miles of road, and tore up the track for about 21 miles, on 15 miles of which the cross-ties were entirely destroyed, and the rails badly bent. Within this distance there there was one large bridge over the Chickashay, two over the Okatibbee river, and about three-fourths of a mile of heavy trestle work besides many small trestles and wooden culverts. The destruction occupied a large portion of Sherman's troops for four or five days. They evacuated Meridian on the 20th of February, and on the 25th the work of repairing commenced, and was finished on the 24th instant, being just 29 1/2 days, of which five working days were lost by rain. The Yankees have been complimented on their skill in destroying our roads, and the energy with which the re-construct their own, when broken up by the Confederates. We think the repairing of the Mobile & Ohio road will compare well with Yankee enterprise. The work here was begun under great disadvantages, a large portion of the regular force having scattered, on the appearance of the enemy and for some time there were no facilities for transportation of material on the Southern end of the road.
   The Selma road {the Northeast & Southwest Alabama RR} had eight miles torn up, and it is expected that an engine will run over it to Meridian today or tomorrow.
   Smith's cavalry column burned all the bridges between Okalona and West Point, and tore up the track at intervals. The latter has been replaced; but nothing can be done with the former until Tibbee (burnt by the Confederates) is rebuilt, so that timber can be transported over the road -- that being impossible over the prairies, even if the timber could be had. But for a heavy freshet, which has delayed the work, Tibbee bridge would have been ready on the completion of the work below.
   So much for Sherman's irreparable damage to the great road, which the Yankees boasted would starve us out and what it was generally believed at home it would take four months to repair. A month of energetic labor has opened the road to travel, and we hope the commissaries up there will permit us to say to trade also.
   The new currency and the open road, coming in timely conjunction, will, we hope, have the effect of increasing the supplies of country produce in this city.