OR, Series 3, Vol. 5, Page 933

{Union correspondence from May 1, 1865 to the End. Though post-war and written by Union officers, there are many facts that assist in understanding the Confederate railroads. Note that track laid, siding's length, type of bridges constructed, etc. are by the Union Army and do not necessarily represent what the Confederate railroads had at the same location.}
 
Office of Chief Engineer, U. S. Military Railroads
Washington, D. C., April 24, 1866
 
General D. C. McCallum
Director and General Manager Military Railroads U. S.
 
General,
   I have the honor to submit the following final report showing the amount and cost of work done for construction and maintenance of way on the several military railroads in what was the Military Division of the Mississippi, and also on the military railroads in the Department of North Carolina. This report only embraces the operations on these roads subsequent to the time they were placed in your charge. There are no means at my command of ascertaining the amount of work done or its cost previous to that time.
   The railroads included in this report in the Military Division of the Mississippi are the Nashville & Chattanooga, Shelbyville Branch, McMinnville & Manchester, Nashville & Decatur, Mount Pleasant Branch, Memphis & Charleston (Eastern Division), Chattanooga & Knoxville, Cleveland and Dalton Branch, Nashville & Northwestern, Chattanooga and Atlanta, Rome Branch, Atlanta and Macon, Nashville and Clarksville, Knoxville and Bristol, Rogersville Branch, Memphis & Charleston (Western Division), Mississippi Central, Mobile & Ohio, Louisville City; and in the Department of North Carolina the Atlantic & North Carolina, Wilmington & Weldon, North Carolina, Raleigh & Gaston.
   *****
   On the 19th of December, 1863, I received your order to accompany you "to Chattanooga, Tenn., with such portion of the construction force as could be spared from the front" in Virginia.
   One division of the Construction Corps, numbering about 285 men, was taken, and we arrived in the Military Division of the Mississippi on the 1st of January, 1864. At the time of our arrival the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad (151 miles long, extending from Nashville to Chattanooga) was being operated between Nashville and Bridgeport, and the Tennessee River and Running Water bridges were building. Our construction force was at once put to work between Bridgeport and Chattanooga, the bridge builders to assist in the completion of the Running Water and other bridges, and the track layers to repair the track and relay the portion that had been destroyed. This work was completed and the first train run into Chattanooga on the 14th of January, some three weeks sooner than was deemed possible previous to our taking charge of the work. ***** Although this road was now completed, it was not in condition to sustain the heavy traffic that would necessarily be thrown upon it when General Sherman's whole army would have to be supplied over it. The superstructure was old and much worn and had never been of first-class character. The rail used was light and of the U-pattern and laid on longitudinal stringers, which were so much decayed in many places that they would not hold the spikes. Accordingly orders were given to relay the track over the whole road with T-rail in the best manner. For this work, and that to be done on the other lines which were to be opened up, a large additional force was required, and arrangements were at once made for an abundant supply of men. The work of relaying the track was prosecuted steadily until completion, though necessarily at a great disadvantage in consequence of the large number of trains constantly on the road. When turned over to the company the road was in every respect in excellent condition. The following statement embraces the whole construction work done on this line, with the exception of some small pieces of track rebuilt, which had been destroyed by guerillas, and of which no account was kept.

Track

Miles

Rebuilt in first instance 115
Rebuilt after Wheeler's raid in 1864 7
Rebuilt after Hood's invasion 7 3/4
   Total main track 129 3/4

Side-tracks

Location Length

Feet

Location Length

Feet

Nashville 38,628 Tunnel 264
Barracks 1,630 Tantalon 1,500
Glen Cliff Station 2,368 Condit 2,000
Antioch 990 Anderson 354
La Vergne 895 Stevenson 1,673
Smyrna 2,260 Bolivar 1,640
Stone's River 1,660 Bridgeport 9,472
Winsted 2,408 Carpenter's 1,037
Christiana 1,500 Alley's Spur 159
Fosterville 775 Whiteside 850
Normandy 929 Hooker 350
Tullahoma 609 Chattanooga 10,072
Estill Springs 1,582    Total 100,2767
Decherd 13,732
Cowan 970
Miles
Main track 129 3/4
Side track, 100,277 feet, or 19
   Total track laid by Government 148 3/4
 

Bridges

No. Location Height Length Remarks
Feet Feet
1 Mill Creek, No. 1 16 260 Rebuilt five times
2 Mill Creek, No. 2 18 250 Rebuilt four times
3 Mill Creek, No. 3 16 256              "
4 Hurricane
5 Smyrna 20 120 Rebuilt three times
6 Stewart's Creek 29 183              "
7 Overall's Creek 20 160              "
8 Stone's River 22 420              "
9 Lytle's Creek 10 135              "
10 Murfreesborough 9 140 Not destroyed
              " 6 40
              " 6 50
Creek Branch 7 50
11 Stone's River (East Fork) 22 270 Rebuilt
12 Christiana 73      "
13 Bellbuckle 7 82      "
Bragg's Bridge 9 128 Not destroyed
14 Wartrace 14 241 Rebuilt
15 Garrison's Fork 24 178 Rebuilt twice
16 Duck River 30 350          "
17 Poorhouse Creek 13 100           "
18 Elk River 60 470 Rebuilt
19 Cowan Creek 26 160      "
20 Crow Creek (South Fork) 17 160 Rebuilt twice
21 Dry Trestle, No. 1 12 84 Rebuilt
22 Dry Trestle, No.2 10 75      "
23 Crow Creek, No. 1 15 225 Not destroyed
24 Crow Creek, No. 2 11 225          "
25 Crow Creek, No. 3 19 348 Rebuilt
26 Crow Creek, No. 4 16 254       "
27 Crow Creek, No. 5 11 160        "
28 Crow Creek, No. 6 8 100 Not destroyed
29 Crow Creek, No. 7 12 156 Rebuilt
30 Crow Creek, No. 8 18 143       "
31 Crow Creek, No. 9 11 234 Not destroyed
32 Crow Creek, No. 10 21 240 Rebuilt
33 Crow Creek, No. 11 225      "
34 Tennessee River 1,520
35 Ben's Creek 10 100
36 Widow's Creek 24 127       "
37 Dry Creek, No. 1 22 140
38 Nickajack 34 200 Rebuilt twice
39 Dry Creek, No. 2 34 203 Rebuilt
40 Dry Trestle 16 301
41 Running Water 120 789
42 Lookout Creek 36 155 Rebuilt twice
42 Chattanooga 38 263 Rebuilt
Lineal feet

   Total bridging

10,543

   Amount rebuilt

12,236

      Total length of bridging on this line

22,779

   Bridges not destroyed

  1,052

      Total built by Government

21,727

Or 4 miles 607 feet

   *****

Water stations

Where built Number of tanks Where built Number of tanks
Nashville 5 Murfreesborough 2
Florence 1 Fosterville 2
Christiana 2 Garrison's Fork 2
Bellbuckle 2 Decherd 2
Normandy 3 Tantalon 2
Cowan 2 Stevenson 2
Anderson 4 Chattanooga 2
Poison Hollow 1    Total 35
Antioch 1
   *****
 

The Nashville & Decatur Railroad

   Extends from Nashville to the Memphis & Charleston Railroad at a point near Decatur, Ala., and is 120 miles long. The repairs were completed and the road opened in March, 1864. Much of the work in opening it the first time was done by soldiers, and I have no account of the cost of what they did. General Dodge was in command of the force employed on this work. The following statements show the amount of work done and the cost of that done by the Military Railroad Department:

Track

Miles

Main track rebuilt in first instance 2
Main track rebuilt after Forrest's raid 7 1/2
Main track rebuilt after Wheeler's raids 22
   Total main track 31 1/2
 

Sidings

Location

Feet

Eaton Depot 1,000
Nashville Junction 8,025
Brentwood 300
Franklin 290
Columbia 1,150
Prospect 600
Athens 1,480
Decatur Junction 1,170
14,015
Add main track rebuilt 163,680
   Total 177,695
Or 34 miles 815 feet

Bridges

No. Location Height Length Remarks Rebuilt
Feet Feet Feet
1 Brown's Creek 12 38 Not destroyed
2 Little Harpeth 14 74
3 Spencer's Creek 17 38
4 Big Harpeth 38 187 Rebuilt twice and partly rebuilt twice 454
5 West Harpeth 13 58
6 Near Springs Hill 12 53
7 Spring Creek 15 21
8 Carter's Creek, No. 1 18 112 Rebuilt twice and partly rebuilt twice 285
9 Carter's Creek, No. 2 21 184       " 470
10 Carter's Creek, No. 3 20 94       " 235
11 Carter's Creek, No. 4 20 94 Rebuilt twice and partly rebuilt once 228
12 Carter's Creek, No. 5 30 235 Rebuilt twice and partly rebuilt twice 587
13 Rutherford's Creek, No. 1 26 130 Rebuilt three times and partly rebuilt twice 455
14 Rutherford's Creek, No. 2 27 265 Rebuilt twice and partly rebuilt three times 723
15 Rutherford's Creek, No. 3 30 295       " 811
16 Rutherford's Creek, No. 4 50 270 Rebuilt twice and partly rebuilt twice 676
17 Duck River 72 627 Rebuilt twice 1,254
18 Lytle's Creek 14 22
19 Hurricane Creek 14 23
20 Harris Trestle 29 232
21 Kalioka Trestle 37 1,130 Rebuilt 1,130
22 Grace Trestle 42 637      " 637
23 Robinson's Forks 18 126      " 126
24 Richland Creek, No. 1 32 160 Rebuilt twice 320
25 Richland Creek, No. 2 37 180      " 360
26 Richland Creek, No. 3 35 180      " 360
27 Pigeon Roost Creek 12 50 Rebuilt 50
28 Richland Creek, No. 4 41 315 Rebuilt twice 630
29 Tunnel Trestle 38 822 Rebuilt 822
30 Elk River 40 625 Rebuilt three times 1,875
31 10 48
32 Mill Creek 30 330 Rebuilt 330
33 White Sulphur 71 570      " 570
34 Mud Creek 5 62      " 62
35      " 9 102      " 102
36 Athens Creek 10 134      " 134
37      " 11 64      " 64
38 Swan Creek 11 340      " 340
39      " 11 129      " 129
40 Black Creek 6 225      " 225
41 Junction Trestle 16 275      " 275
   Total 9,555 14,120
Feet

Total bridging

9,555

Amount rebuilt

14,720

     Total built by Government

24,475

Or 4 miles 3,155 feet

 

Water stations

Where built Number of tanks Where built Number of tanks
Little Harpeth 1 Carter's Creek 2
West Harpeth 1 Lynnville 2
Lytle's Creek 2 Near Tunnel 1
Pulaski 1 McDonald's 1
Elkmont 2    Total 15
Franklin 2
   *****
 

Memphis & Charleston Railroad

   Extends from Memphis, Tenn., to Stevenson, Ala., and is 271 miles long. The eastern end of this line, from Stevenson to near Decatur, eighty miles long, was repaired and put in running order in March, 1864. The following statements show the amount of work done on it by this department and the cost of same:
 

Track

Feet

Main track 18,440
Sidings at --
   Decatur Junction 275
   Fackler's 700
   Stevenson 2,900
   Chattanooga 1,800
      Total track 24,115
Or 4 miles 2,995 feet
 

Bridges

Location Height Length Remarks Rebuilt
Feet Feet Feet
Little Piney 15 109 Rebuilt 109
Big Piney 12 153      " 153
Big Limestone 10 210      " 210
Little Limestone 13 72      " 72
Beaver Dam 22 252 Not destroyed
Bradford's Creek 26 32      "
Indian Creek 17 154 Rebuilt 154
Flint River 25 302 Rebuilt twice 604
Hurricane Creek 12 271 Rebuilt 271
Paint Rock 38 313 Rebuilt twice 626
Mud Creek 14 315 Rebuilt 315
Crow Creek 20 265      " 265
     Total 2,448 2,779
 
Feet
Total bridging 2,448
Deduct amount not destroyed 284
2,164
Add amount rebuilt 2,779
      Total built by Government 4,943
 

Water stations

Where built Number of tanks Where built Number of tanks
Little Piney 1 Brownsborough 1
Huntsville 2 Near Woodville 1
Gurley's 2 Stevenson 4
Scottsborough 1    Total 13
Indian Creek 1
   *****
 

The Chattanooga and Knoxville

   Or East Tennessee & Georgia Railroad extends from Chattanooga to Knoxville, 110 miles, with a branch from Cleveland to Dalton twenty-seven miles long. Repairs were commenced on this road in January, 1864, and it was completed to the Tennessee River, at Loudon, on the 13th of February following. The portion of the road north of the Tennessee River had not been injured and was being operated with the rolling-stock captured by the Union forces at Knoxville. A trestle bridge over the Tennessee River was immediately commenced, and the work upon it had progressed so far that it would have been completed on the 14th of March, but on the 25th of February General Schofield, commanding the Department of the Ohio, ordered the work to be stopped, and it was not resumed until March 12. The trestle bridge was completed on the 13th of April, and trains commenced running through between Chattanooga and Knoxville.

Track

   The track of this road had been broken and injured in a number of places, but none of the breaks were of great extent. The longest one was that next to Chattanooga, being about three miles long. The cross-ties, however, over the whole road were very much decayed, and much work was done in replacing them with new ones after trains commenced running. The road was occasionally broken by guerrillas, but never seriously injured until Wheeler's raid in August, 1864, when about twenty-five miles of track were torn up and destroyed.
Miles
Main track laid in first instance 5 1/2
After several small raids 1
After Wheeler's raid in 1864 25
On Dalton branch, in first instance 2
After Hood's invasion 1 1/2
   Total main track 35

Sidings

Location Length

Feet

Chattanooga 1,155
Stone Quarry 550
Tunnel 250
Tyner's 787
Ooltewah 445
McDonald's 2,455
Cleveland 310
Mouse Creek 1,470
Reagan's 740
Sweetwater 220
Philadelphia 1,450
Lenoir's 1,050
Saw Mill 420
Erin 850
Knoxville 4,760
West leg of Y 920
   Total 17,832
   Total length of track laid, 38 miles 1,992 feet.

Bridges

   The only important bridges on this line are those over the Hiwassee and Tennessee Rivers. Both of these were built of trestles in the first place, but afterward replaced with permanent structures. The following dimensions of these bridges:
Height Total Length Rebuilt
Feet Spans Feet Feet
Hiwassee 47 3 301 301
Tennessee 85 11 1,700 1,700
   Total 2,001 2,001
   Total bridge building by the Government, 4,002 feet.
   

Water Stations

Where built Number of Tanks
Chattanooga 2
Ooltewah 2
Tunnel 1
Riceville 3
Sweetwater 2
   Total 10
   *****
 

The Nashville & Northwestern Railroad

   Is seventy-eight miles long and extends from Nashville to the Tennessee River at Johnsonville. It was partly built before the war. On the 22d of October, 1863, the Secretary of War ordered this road to be constructed for "military purposes," and placed it in charge of Andrew Johnson, then Military Governor of Tennessee, who was empowered to "employ an engineer and other officers and workmen necessary to complete it without delay." Col. W. P. Innes was acting as engineer at the time the railroads in this military division were taken charge of by the U. S. Military Railroad Department, and had a considerable forces of soldiers and civilian laborers employed on the road. But as the work was not progressing to the satisfaction of the general commanding, he relieved Colonel Innes and placed the construction of the road in your charge. This order of General Grant's was given on the 17th of February, 1864, and on the 25th of the same month I received your order directing me to adopt the most energetic means at my command to complete the Nashville & Northwestern Railroad. I at once made an examination of the work to be done and found it to consist of a rather formidable amount of grading, bridging, track laying, and other work incident to the construction of a new railroad, and proceeded to take the necessary steps to complete the work as directed. I appointed Lieut. Col. John Clark engineer of construction, and by General Grant's direction sent North for 2,000 mechanics and laborers in addition to the force then on the road. Some time after we had got fairly under way Governor Johnson, claiming the right under the above-mentioned order of the Secretary of War to appoint an engineer, also selected Colonel Clark, who then filled this double position until the work of construction was so far completed that the track was connected through, an event which took place on the 10th day of May, 1864. Governor Johnson continued to exercise semi-control over the operations on this road until it was formally taken possession of by General Sherman and placed absolutely under the control of the general manager of military railroads, in accordance with the order of the President of the United States dated August 6, 1864. The Transportation Department then took charge of the movements of trains, and the maintenance of way, together with construction work, remained in my department.
   On the 20th of August I appointed W. R. Kingsley, esq. (who had been connected with the road as division engineer since April), engineer in charge of construction and maintenance of way. He continued to perform the duties of this position faithfully and satisfactorily until the 1st of April, 1865, when, all construction work being done, the maintenance of way was turned over to the transportation department. The line of this road as originally located crossed the Tennessee River nearly perpendicular to the course of that stream and at an elevation of fifty-two feet above low water and nine feet above high water. The approach to the river was an embankment seventeen feet high above the surface of the ground on the river bank. The object of making this a military railroad being the transportation of army supplies from the Tennessee River to Nashville, it became necessary to construct ample and convenient arrangements for the transfer of freight from steam-boats to cars. Accordingly two large transfer freight-houses were designed and built, one on each side of the railroad, with tracks starting from main line at the bluff and curving right and left until parallel with the buildings and river bank. The freight-house or shed on the north or lower side, 600 feet long by 30 feet wide, was hastily knocked up so as to bring it into immediate use, and the levee in front graded off to the water's edge with a slope of 9 degrees or about 16 feet rise in 100 feet horizontal. The freight-house on south side, 600 feet long and 90 feet wide, was a much more complete building. The floor was two feet and a half above high-water mark and the levee in front graded to a slope of 14 degrees, on which it was designed to lay railroad tracks from low-water mark to floor of freight-house. The plan for transferring freight from steam-boats to cars was to load from the boats onto small cars, which were hauled up the levee to the level of the freight-house floor by a wire rope passing round a pulley or spool, which was dropped into or lifted out of gear with the main shaft by a lever. This main shaft was 500 feet long and passed through the center of the building immediately below the floor or platform and was operated by an engine located in the middle of the building. The freight was then passed directly through the building and loaded into cars on the opposite side. The levee was of sufficient length to allow at least four or five boats to unload at the same time, and the side tracks were so arranged that a whole train of cars could be loaded at once, and as soon as loaded could be moved away and another train run right alongside the house. This plan would undoubtedly have enable us to handle a large amount of freight with great rapidity and ease, but we had not the opportunity of bringing it to a practical test, for just as everything was about completed Hood's invasion of Tennessee took place and Johnsonville was evacuated by our troops, and during their absence the freight-house was burned, as is supposed, by rebel sympathizers in the neighborhood. However, the engine and all the most valuable parts of the machinery were saved by being taken to Nashville.
   All could have been saved if we had had sufficient transportation for it. Although the road was opened through to Johnsonville after Hood's defeat at Nashville, but little work was done in rebuilding the houses and platforms at that point. Grading off the levee involved considerable work; about 30,000 cubic yards of earth had to be moved. It was designed to pave it, or put on a covering of broken stone, but owing to the delay in furnishing gun-boat protection to our boats, which were to bring stone down the river for this purpose, the work was but partially carried out. A row of piles were to have been driven at the edge of the water to protect the levee and prevent its washing away at time of floods, but the pile driver for this purpose never reached Johnsonville. It is but proper for me to state here that the work on the buildings and levee at Johnsonville was much delayed by the confusion and embarrassment caused by the conflict of authority incident to a divided control of the work. ***** The following is a statement of the work done on this road:
 

Graduation

   The amount of grading was very considerable, but I am unable to give the number of cubic yards moved, because when we took charge of this road I had no time to measure it, and I had no assistants to do it for me. By the time I procured the requisite assistance much of the work had been done. Thorough cuts of as much as forty and fifty feet in depth and 800 feet in length were taken out and high embankments made. Even where the grading had been done previously much labor was required to dress up the embankments and clean out the cuts.
 

Superstructure

The total length of track laid was:
Miles
Main line 46 1/2
Sidings 4 1/4 
   Total 50 3/4
   Seven different patterns of rails were used in the track; the amount of each kind is given below. With the exception of No. 1 and the U-rail, the iron was purchased by the Government. No. 1 pattern is the fish-joint bar belonging to this road, and the U-rail was taken from the Nashville & Chattanooga. Railroad.
Pattern Weight per yard Amount
Pounds Tons
No. 1 56 1/4 1,315.61
No. 2 49 3/4 149.70
No. 3 45 382.11
No. 4 45 40.04
No. 5 60 1,096.84
No. 6 56 1/4 1,469.48
U 48 23.50
   total 4,477.28
Deduct No. 1 pattern 1,315.61
      Balance furnished by Government 5,161.67
   One hundred and seven thousand cross-ties were used in laying the track. A considerable number was found on the line of this road, but we had to make the greater part.
 

Bridging

   The following table shows the location, dimensions, and amount of bridges and trestles on this road. Many of these structures had to be rebuilt several times in consequence of being carried away by high water or destroyed by the enemy.
 

Statement of bridges and trestles on the Nashville & Northwestern Railroad

Distance from Nashville Name Number of spans or bents Height Length Remarks
Miles Feet Feet
0 Nashville Trestle 170 21-28 2,151
4.57 Richland Creek, No.1 2 15 76 Rebuilt once
5.36 Richland Creek, No. 2 1 9 66 Rebuilt twice
5.75 Richland Creek, No. 3 1 9 65      "
6.53 Branch Richland Creek 2 10 35
6.72      " 1 8 17
     " 1 8 26
7.52 Over road 1 10 32
8.91 Trestle over road 6 20 75 Rebuilt five times
13.39 Harpeth River, No. 1 2 34 87      "
13.94 Harpeth River, No. 2 2 35 201.5 Rebuilt four times
15.31 Harpeth River, No. 3 1 42 180      "
17.43 Harpeth River, No. 4 2 38 201.4     "
21.21 Harpeth River, No. 5 1 32 236.9      "
23.14 Harpeth River, No. 6 12 24 180
     " 2 24 201.8 Rebuilt once
23.56 Harpeth River, No. 7 10 24-30 180
     " 2 33 203.3      "
24.66 Turnbull River 43 12 516
24.66      " 2 27 259
24.66      " 20 20-25 270
25.37 Trestle 66 20-32 792
25.66 Sullivan's Branch 3 16 39 Rebuilt twice
25.66      " 1 48 89.7
25.66      " 102 26-46 1,326
26.44 Trestle 17 36-26 306
27.18      " 21 38-24 262
40.95      " 18 17-28 238
41.71      " 17 14-25 225
47.53      " 75 20-33 1,087
49.49      " 30 19 442
52      " 58 7-13 837
52.38      " 8 10 145
53      " 37 13-12 470
53.44      " 2 18 40
54.19      " 62 30-48 910
55.79      " 70 40-72 980
56.18      " 11 30-39 180
Branch Trace Creek 1 7 24
60.05      " 2 8 47
63.56 Trace Creek 2 14 216 Slightly injured and repaired
64.01 1 10 20
64.61 Flood Creek 2 3 30
66.51      " 3 4 35
71.44 22 18 272
73.08 Trace Creek 1 25 114 Rebuilt four times
74.44 Trestle 3 15 66
78 Trestle at Johnsville 121 12-18 1,525
   Total 15,956
Or 3 miles and 114 feet.
   Add to this amount rebuilt, 5,366 feet, and we have a total of four miles and 200 feet of bridging and trestle on this road built by the Government. The lumber consumed in these structures amounted to 4,098,509 feet, B. M. *****
   The following table shows the location of and amount of lumber in the buildings on this road:
For what purpose Location Lumber Shingles Remarks
Feet, B. M.
House for trackmen Nashville 8,000 5,000
House for switchmen " 1,500
Tool-house " 3,000 5,000
House for trackmen Section 3 7,863 5,000
     " Section 6 5,000 5,000
Telegraph office Section 18 8,000 Destroyed
House for trackmen Section 20 5,728 5,000
     " Section 24 15,037      "
Telegraph office " 8,500 3,500 Destroyed and rebuilt
Blacksmith shop " 5,000
Outbuildings " 800      "
House for trackmen Section 29 10,162
Telegraphic office Section 32 5,000 3,500
     " Section 42 11,000 3,500      "
     " Section 50 11,000 3,500      "
House fro trainmen " 4,000 Destroyed
House for trackmen " 2,800      "
Telegraph office Section 57 4,800      "
     " Section 66 6,800      "
House for trackmen Section 77 6,800      "
House for yardmen Johnsonville 18,200 4,200      "
House for engineers and firemen " 25,200 22,000      "
house for station agent " 28,900 21,000      "
Outbuildings " 1,000      "
Wheelwright shop " 5,570      "
Blacksmith shop " 5,000      "
Saw-mill " 6,656 Destroyed and rebuilt
House for carpenters " 11,800 Destroyed
Depot " 175,000 90,000 Destroyed and rebuilt
House for railroad purposes " 110,400
House for track hands " 6,540
House for mill hands " 20,000
Upper freight-house " 1,097,600 566,000 Destroyed
Lower freight-house " 165,000 Destroyed and partly rebuilt
     Total 1,805,656 742,200
 

Water Stations

   Fourteen of these were built and located, as shown in the following table, containing in the aggregate 63,700 feet, B. M., of lumber:
Distance from Nashville Capacity Remarks
Miles
7 1/2 One tank
16 1/2      " Discontinued
17 1/2      " Destroyed and rebuilt
24 1/2      " Destroyed
27 1/2      "
28      "
45      "
53 1/2 Two tanks
59 1/4 One tank      "
66 1/4      "      "
71 3/4      "
75 1/4      " Destroyed and rebuilt
77 1/2      "      "
78 Two tanks      "
   *****
 

Chattanooga and Atlanta

   Or Western & Atlantic Railroad extends from Chattanooga to Atlanta, 136 miles, with a branch from Kingston to Rome seventeen miles long. The reconstruction and maintenance of this line was in many respects the most difficult and interesting of any military railroad operation during the war. By it the Confederate army under General Johnston made their retreat from Buzzard Roost to Atlanta, and upon its rapid and prompt reconstruction General Sherman's army depended for  the supplies necessary for his successful movement on Atlanta. As Johnston fell back from one strong position to another he did such damage to the to the road as it was supposed would delay or prevent Sherman's pursuit, but in no instance was he successful in this object. However great the damage done, it was so speedily repaired that General Sherman soon ceased to fear any delay from this cause and made his advance movements with perfect confidence that the railroad in his rear would be "all right." Being from the nature of the case entirely ignorant of the obstacles to be encountered at each advance, the construction force had to be prepared for any emergency, either to build a bridge of formidable dimensions or lay miles of track, or perhaps push back to some point on the line and repair damages done by guerrillas or raiding parties. These attacks on the line to the rear were of such frequent occurrence , and often of so serious a character, that to insure speedy repairs it became necessary to station detachments of the Construction Corps at various points along the road, and also collect supplies of construction materials, such as iron rails, chairs, spikes, cross-ties, and bridge timber, at points where they would be comparatively safe and easily obtained when required. These precautionary measures proved of the utmost importance in keeping the road open. The detachments stationed along the line were composed of bridge-builders and track-layers, and had an ample supply of tools for either kind of work. Each detachment was under the command of a competent engineer or supervisor, who had orders to move in either direction, within certain limits, as soon as a break occurred and make the necessary repairs without delay, working day and night when necessary. Under this arrangement small breaks were repaired at once at any point on the line, even when the telegraph wires were cut and special orders could not be communicated to the working parties. When "big breaks" occurred one or more divisions of the Construction Corps were moved as rapidly as possible thereto, either from Chattanooga or "the front." Construction trains loaded with the requisite tools and materials were kept ready at each end of the road to move at a moment's notice.
   By order of General Thomas the work of reconstruction commenced on the 1st of March, 1864, and the road to Ringgold and a short distance beyond was completed on the 20th of the same month. The advance movement of the army from Ringgold took place on the 6th of May, and the railroad was completed and trains run to Tunnel Hill early on the morning of the 9th. Fears being entertained by some that the tunnel had been mined by the enemy, a locomotive was run through it to test the matter, but it was found to be all safe. The enemy having fallen back to Resaca, the road was opened up on the 15th to Tilton while the battle was still in progress a few miles beyond that station, and next day the construction trains ran into Resaca with the advance of our army. The railroad bridge over the Oostenaula River was still burning on our arrival here, and the work of rebuilding delayed somewhat in consequence. However, we got fairly started to work next morning, and the bridge was completed and other necessary repairs made to the track, and the trains pushed forward and overtook the army on the morning of the 20th at Kingston. Beyond this point the track was immediately put in order to Cass Station, but not farther, until the army again reached the railroad south of Allatoona Pass. I received General Sherman's order to build the Etowah bridge on the 3d of June at Chattanooga, but owing to the delay in getting the construction trains over the road did not reach the Etowah River until the night of the 5th, and then with only one division of the bridge-builders. The other division ordered to this work did not arrive until twenty-four hours afterward. The bridge was commenced on the morning of the 6th and finished at noon on the 11th. There was an abundance of timber prepared on the line of the railroad for this work, but the trains sent to bring it up were detained so long for running orders that we could not wait for it, and a large amount had to be cut near the site of the bridge and dragged by hand to the work. Notwithstanding these delays this bridge, 600 feet long and 67 feet high, was built in five days and a half. As soon as it was completed trains ran to Big Shanty, which was made the depot of supplies until after the capture of Kenesaw Mountain. On the 3d of July I received General Sherman's order to open the railroad to Marietta. The construction trains were detained some time at Tunnel Hill by a small rebel raid on the road near Buzzard Roost but reached Big Shanty on the morning of the 5th and commenced work at once. The road was opened on the 6th to Vining's Station, which is only ten miles from Atlanta. We commenced work on the Chattahoochee bridge by order of General Thomas on the 23d of July, but next day received orders to stop the work, which was accordingly done at noon on the 24th. Orders were received on the 2d of August to resume work, which was done at noon on that day, and the bridge was finished and trains passed over it at noon on the 5th and ran within three miles of Atlanta. The Chattahoochee bridge is 780 feet long and 92 feet high, and was built in precisely four days and a half. No night work was done upon it whatever, but the men worked from daylight till dark, with one hour intermission at noon for dinner. A division of the Construction Corps was held at the Chattahoochee until Atlanta was won, and they then completed the railroad into the city on the 3d of September, the day after General Slocum took possession of it.
 

Track

   By the original location the Atlanta line crossed the Knoxville line twice within a few miles of Chattanooga. Both roads having been destroyed in the vicinity of that place, it was deemed unnecessary to rebuild both entire, and as the Knoxville road was the shorter and better line, it was rebuilt and the Atlanta line was connected with it near the crossing of the Chickamauga Creek, some five miles from Chattanooga, thus shortening the distance to Atlanta about two miles. Two connections were made, the first being merely for temporary use. The track between the junction and Tunnel Hill had been badly damaged and much of it required relaying; besides a number of small breaks at other points, some two miles near Marietta had been taken up and the rails removed. A similar break, but not of such extent, was found near Vining's Station. Guerrillas and raiding parties were more or less successful in destroying portions of track during the whole time we held the road; but the crowing effort of this kind was made in October, 1864, when Hood, getting to the rear of Sherman, threw his whole army on the road, first at Big Shanty and afterward north of Resaca, and destroyed in the aggregate thirty-five and a half miles of track and 455 lineal feet of bridges, killing and capturing a large number of our men. Fortunately, however, the detachments of the Construction Corps which escaped were so distributed that even before Hood had left the road two strong working parties were at work, one on each end of the break at Big Shanty, and this gap of ten miles was closed and the force ready to move to the great break of twenty-five miles in length north of Resaca as soon as the enemy had left it. The destruction by Hood's army of our depots of supplies compelled us to cut nearly all the cross-ties required to relay this track and send to a distance for rails. The cross-ties were cut near the line of the road and many of them carried by hand to the track, as the teams to be furnished for hauling them did not get to the work until it was nearly completed. The rails used on the southern end of the break had to be taken up and brought from the railroads south of Atlanta, and those for the northern end were mostly brought from Nashville, nearly 200 miles distant. Notwithstanding all these disadvantages under which we had to labor, this twenty-five miles of the track was laid and the trains were running over it in seven and a half days from the time work was commenced. When Sherman cut loose from his railroad line of supply in November, 1864, and commenced his march to the sea, he very effectively destroyed the road between the Etowah and Atlanta, and by his order we took up the track between Resaca and Dalton, sixteen miles, and brought the iron to Chattanooga. *****
   The following is a statement of track laid:
Main track laid -- Miles
   In opening the road 18 3/4
   After numerous small raids 10
   After Hood's great raid 35 1/2
   In 1865, by General Thomas' order {after the war} 66 1/2
      Total 130 1/4
 

Sidings

Location Length Location Length

Feet

Feet

Chattanooga 15,940 Acworth 1,900
Chickamauga 1,200 Big Shanty 1,305
Graysville 1,420 Marietta 3,450
Ringgold 2,000 Ruff's 1,040
Dalton 4,550 Vining's 1,540
Steedman 1,360 Chattahoochee 1,250
Tilton 700 Atlanta 15,670
Summit 1,255    Total 56,270
Etowah 360
Sherman 1,490
Or 10 3/4 miles.
Miles
Main track 130 3/4
Sidings 10 3/4
   Total track laid 141 1/2
 

Bridges

Name Height Number of spans Length Remarks Rebuilt
Feet Feet Feet
Chickamauga, No. 1 37 2 201 Rebuilt twice 402
Chickamauga, No. 2 16 1 80    " 160
Chickamauga, No. 3 28 2 221    " 442
Chickamauga, No. 4 22 2 223    " 446
Chickamauga, No. 5 16 1 42
Chickamauga, No. 6 19 1 27
Chickamauga, No. 7 18 2 256 Rebuilt twice 512
Chickamauga, No. 8 25 2 265      " 530
Chickamauga, No. 9 18 2 148      " 296
Chickamauga, No. 10 16 1 136      " 272
Chickamauga, No. 11 18 1 141
Chickamauga, No. 12 19 1 124
Chickamauga, No. 13 12 1 125
Chickamauga, No. 14 13 1 124
Buzzard Roost 15 1 87 Rebuilt 87
Old Brewery 15 1 40      " 40
Tilton 20 1 100 Rebuilt twice 200
Resaca 35 7 842      " 1,684
Etowah 67 5 598      " 1,196
Allatoona Creek 18 1 163      " 325
Near Vining's 35 1 400 Rebuilt 400
Chattahoochee 92 6 780 Rebuilt twice 1,560
   Total 5,123 8,553
Total bridging by the Government 13,676, or 2 miles 3,116 feet.
 

Water Stations

Where built Number of tanks Where built Number of tanks
Chattanooga 1 Graysville 2
Chickamauga Creek, No. 2 2 Old Brewery 2
Greenwood 2 Resaca 1
Tilton 2 Rogers' 1
Kingston 2 Moon Station 1
Allatoona 1 Atlanta 1
Kinesaw 1    Total 20
Tunnel 1
   *****
 

The Nashville and Clarkesville Railroad

   Extends from Nashville to Clarksville, and is sixty-one miles long. It is composed of three links: First, the Louisville & Nashville Railroad from Nashville to Edgefield Junction, ten miles; second, the Edgefield & Kentucky Railroad to the State line, thirty-seven miles; and third, the Memphis, Clarksville  Louisville Railroad to Paris, fourteen miles. On the 4th of August, 1864, I received General Sherman's order directing this road to be opened so as to provide another avenue of supply to the depot at Nashville. Having made the necessary arrangements for carrying on the work at the front during my absence, I took the First Division of the Construction Corps, under L. H. Eicholtz, division engineer, and proceeded to Springfield, where we arrived on the 11th of August. I found the road had been repaired and put it running order from Edgefield Junction to this station by Capt. C. H. Irvin, assistant quartermaster, who was using it to haul lumber from his numerous saw-mills to Nashville. The portion from State line to Clarksville was in running order and being operated by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company. Putting the construction force to work at once, I made an examination of the line between Springfield and State line and found the work to be done consisted principally of bridging; the track had not been much damaged. Some of the cuts were so filled up that it required the removal of a good deal of material to clear the track. The bridges destroyed were of considerable magnitude and all the timber for their reconstruction had to be cut and prepared. The work was completed and the road opened through to Clarksville on the 16th of September. The construction force remained on the road until October 16, employed in getting out bridge timber and cross-ties, and grading and laying a track with sidings 6,765 feet long from main line to the levee at Clarksville. On the 25th of October I appointed W. R. Kingsley, division engineer, engineer of construction and repairs, and he continued to occupy this position while we held and operated the road. The cross-ties were badly decayed in places and many had to be taken out and replaced with new ones. On the 4th of March a freshet carried away the Red River bridge and it was rebuilt by the 25th of same month. Another freshet on the 7th of April again carried away this bridge and it was not rebuilt. Still another freshet occurred on the 20th of May, destroyed the Sulphur Fork bridge and doing much additional damage to the road, all of which, however, was quickly repaired. The following tabular statement shows the amount of bridging and trestle-work on this road:
Name Height Length Remarks
Feet Feet
Springfield 44 410
Sulphur Fork 60 433 Partially destroyed and rebuilt, 150 feet
Spring Creek 60 560
Red River 85 680 Partially destroyed and rebuilt, 300 feet
Clarksville extension 6-20 900
   Total 2,983
   Add to this the amount rebuilt, 450 feet, and we have a total of 3,433 feet bridging and trestle on this road built by the Government. The lumber consumed in these structures amounted to 890,000 feet, B. M.
 

Track laid

Feet, linear
On Edgefield & Kentucky Railroad 2,484
On Clarksville extension 6,055
On side-tracks, Clarksville extension 700
9,249
Or 1 mile 3,969 feet.
 

Cross-ties

   About 15,000 cross-ties were cut by the Construction Corps on the line of this road.
   *****

The Knoxville and Bristol 

   Or East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad extends from Knoxville to Bristol, 130 miles, with a branch twelve miles long to Rogersville. This road was open during the greater part of 1864 between Knoxville and Strawberry Plains and at one time as far as Bull's Gap. On the 12 of March, 1865, orders were received from General Thomas to open this road to Bull's Gap "and put it in condition to sustain as heavy a business as was done on the Chattanooga and Atlanta line in the summer of 1864." The force sent to do this work reached Strawberry Plains on the 13th of March, and the road was opened to Bull's Gap on the 25th of same month. Orders were then received from General Thomas to continue the work and open the road to Carter's Station, 110 miles from Knoxville. This point was reached on the 29th of April.
 

Track

   Extensive repairs were required over the whole distance and 12 1/2 miles of main track and 5,755 feet of sidings were built.
   Total track laid, 13 miles 3,115 feet.
 

Bridges

Location Height Length Location Height Length
Feet Feet Feet Feet
Flat Creek Swan Pond 25 1,393
Strawberry Plains Chucky Creek, No. 1 25 140
10 30 Chucky Creek, No. 2 20 100
12 30 Chucky Creek, No. 3 28 180
Mossy Creek 25 151 Road Crossing 16 75
Morristown 24 Culvert 30
24 150
24 Henderson 25 245
Russellville 22 150 35 137
Three miles beyond 40 20
     " 22 Limestone Creek 25 235
Bull's Gap 28 66 Total built by Government 4,168
Lick Creek 26 875
24
 

Water stations

Where built

Number of tanks
Friend's Station 2
Bull's Gap 2
Morristown 2
Chucky Creek 2
   Total 8
   *****
 
   The western end of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad was opened for a longer or shorter distance at various times during 1864 and 1865. Pocahontas Station, seventy-five miles from Memphis, was the farthest point east that was reached at any time. Forty-eight miles of the Mississippi Central Railroad from Grand Junction to Tallahatchie River was opened and used for a short time; but it was operated in connection with the Memphis & Charleston road, and the following statements of cost furnished by the general superintendent, Mr. A. F. Goodhue, includes both roads. But a small portion of the amount is properly chargeable to the Mississippi Central road:
   *****
 
   The Mobile & Ohio Railroad was opened at the beginning of 1864 to Union City, but was abandoned about the 1st of May. It was reopened to Crockett, about thirty-five miles from Columbus, Ky., in May, 1865.
   *****
 
   The Atlanta and Macon Railroad {Macon & Western RR} from Atlanta to Rough and Ready, eleven miles, was opened for a short time while we held Atlanta. The greater part of this iron was taken up and used for relaying the track destroyed by General Good on the Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad in October, 1864.
   *****
 

North Carolina

   On the 28th of December, 1864, while engaged in repairing [the Nashville] & Decatur Railroad, after the defeat of Hood's army at Nashville, I received your order to take one division of the Construction Corps and proceed to Savannah, Ga., to join General Sherman. The division selected for this purpose, together with a force of transportation men, left Nashville for Baltimore on the 4th of January, 1865, fully equipped for any kind of railroad work. They arrived in Baltimore on the 10th, but were detained there eight days, until a vessel could be furnished to take them to their destination. On the 28th they arrived at Hilton Head, but were not disembarked there because General Sherman's plans did not require the reconstruction of any of the railroads leading out of Savannah. On the 29th General Sherman gave me orders to proceed with my men to Morehead City, N. C., and "prepare to make railroad connection to Goldsborough by the middle of March." We left Hilton Head on the 3d and arrived off Morehead City on the 5th of February. the men and supplies were landed next day.
   The Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad extends from Morehead City to Goldsborough and is ninety-five miles long. We found this road in running order to Batchelder's Creek, forty-four miles from Morehead City, and being operated by the Quartermaster's Department. As soon as the transfer could be made I took charge of it, and proceeded to put the main track in good repair, extend the sidings, build new water stations, and otherewise prepare for the heavy business which was expected to be done on the road. I appointed J. B. Van Dyne superintendent of transportation and William Cessford master mechanic; E. C. Smeed, division engineer, in charge of the Construction Corps. A small force of the Construction Corps from Virginia, under Mr. McAlpine, were at work on the road when we arrived. They had been sent there by order of General Grant, but considering himself relieved by our arrival, Mr. McAlpine at once returned with his men to Virginia. While here they repaired a few hundred yards of track and almost completed the bridge over Batchelder's Creek. With the exception of some little railroad iron and a few cross-ties, which Mr. McAlpine had brought with him, we found the road almost destitute of materials necessary for the construction and repairs and for operating it. Accordingly requisitions for the necessary amount of these supplies, together with the probable amount of rolling-stock that would be required, were at once sent to your office at Washington. Although the railroad department was ready in one week from the time we landed to extend the road from Batchelder's Creek, the advance toward Goldsborough was not commenced until the 3d of March, after General Cox arrived and took command of the column to move from New Berne. The time was profitably employed, however, in the interim by the Construction Corps in getting out cross-ties and bridge timber and cutting wood. From a short distance beyond Batchelder's Creek to Kinston the track had been taken up and most of the rails removed and all the bridges and water stations destroyed. The construction of the railroad kept pace with the advance of the troops, and the supplies were moved by rail from camp to camp each day and unloaded from the main track. This mode of advance and movement of supplies was continued until we reached a point on the railroad opposite and near the battle-field of Wise's Cross-Roads. Here we made a temporary depot which was used until we reached Neuse River on the 20th of March. The depot was then transferred to that point, from which General Schofield drew the necessary supplies for his army previous to his advance on Goldsborough. The Neuse River bridge was finished on the 23d, and pushing forward both night and day with the work beyond, we reached Goldsborough with the construction train late in the night of the 24th, but in consequence of having to repair a piece of track at the edge of town we did not reach the depot until 3 a. m. on the 25th. General Sherman's army had all reached the place of meeting on the previous day. 
   The amount of track laid on this road is as follows:
Feet Feet
Side-track on crib-work 1,000
Side-track on new wharf 700
Side-track to commissary store-house 500
   Total sidings at Morehead City 2,200
Siding at Carolina City 1,200
Siding at Wheeler's Station 500
Siding at Havelock Station 1,500
Siding at quartermaster's wood yard 5,280
Siding for crippled cars 500
Siding to carpenter shop 1,000
   Total sidings at New Berne 1,300
Siding at Batchelder's Creek 1,500
Siding at Tuscarora 1,200
Siding at Core Creek 1.200
Siding at Dover Station 1,200
Siding at Neuse River 1,100
Siding at Goldsborough 2,000
Main line between Batcheleder's Creek and Goldsborough, 17 miles and  2,300
Main line over bridges 1,288
   Total, 21 miles 2,448
   To this amount must be added one mile wide-gauge track for reception of five-feet gauge rolling-stock, which was not landed, making total 22 miles 2,448 feet, for which the Government furnished all the rails, chairs, and spikes, and also all the cross-ties, amounting to 111,100.
 

Bridges

   The following tabular statement shows the dimensions and amount of material in the bridges built on this line:
Name Number of spans Height Length Amount of timber
Feet Feet Feet, B. M.
Batchelder's Creek 1 17 70 10,500
Core Creek 1 17 100 15,000
Southwest Creek 1 18 85 12,750
Neuse River, No. 1 7 28 863 146,710
Falling Water Creek 1 20 70 10,500
Bear Creek 1 21 160 15,000
   Total 1,288 210,460
   Water stations were built at Havelock Station, Batchelder's Creek, Core Creek, Southwest Creek, Kinston Station, Moseley Hall Station, and Goldsborough.
   *****
 

Wilmington & Weldon Railroad

   Immediately upon our arrival at Goldsborough the construction force was put to work on this road so as to open communication with Wilmington, eighty-five miles distant from Goldsborough. This was accomplished on the 4th of April, and trains commenced running through on the same day. The portion of this road north of Goldsborough was not used for military purposes.
 

Track

   But a small amount of track other than that on the bridges which had been burned was destroyed.
Feet
Main track relaid 1,400
Side-track at Northeast 1,000
   Total track laid 2,400
   The following tabular statement shows the dimensions and the amount of material in the bridges built on this line:
Name Number of spans Height Length Amount of lumber
Feet Feet Feet, B. M.
Neuse River, No. 3 2 40 235 39,950
Northeast River 3 60 372 111,600
Smith's Creek 2 30 272 46,240
   Total 879 197,790
   *****
 

North Carolina Railroad

   This road extends from Goldsborough to Charlotte, but we took possession of and used it only as far as Hillsborough, eighty-eight miles from Goldsborough. On the 10th of April General Sherman commenced his march on Raleigh, and on the same day we commenced the work of reconstruction on the railroad. We found the two principal bridges east of Raleigh destroyed and about eight miles of main track torn up, and ties burned, and rails bent in the usual manner. But in addition the enemy had filled up some of the principal cuts with earth, rocks, logs, and brush, hoping thus to prevent the work of reconstruction, or at least retard it so as to interfere with Sherman's plan of pursuit. But their efforts were unsuccessful, for on the 19th the work of re3construction was completed and we ran into Raleigh on the evening of that day with the construction train, closely followed by two trains loaded with supplies for the army. During the negotiations for Johnston's surrender we ran trains to Durham's Station, and after the surrender we built Flat Creek bridge, ten miles beyond, thus opening the road to Hillsborough, to which point it was used during the time required to parole Johnston's army. The principal business done over it during this time was carrying subsistence stores to the enemy who had just surrendered.
 

Track

   The track laid is as follows:

Feet

Main track

37,960

Side-track at seventh mile post 200
Side-track at Boon Hill 1,500
Main track over bridges 564
   Total 40,224
Or 7 miles 3,264 feet.
 

Bridges

   The following tabular statement shows the dimensions and the amount of material in the bridges on this line:
Name Number of spans Height Length Amount of lumber
Feet Feet Feet, B. M.
Little River 1 31 150 25,500
Neuse River, No. 2 2 38 314 62,800
Flat Creek 1 28 100 10,000
   Total 564 98,300
 

Water stations

   Were built at Little River and at Smithfield Station.   *****
 

Raleigh & Gaston Railroad

   This road extends from Raleigh to Gaston, but only twenty-five miles of it, the portion from Raleigh to Cedar Creek, was in our possession and this but for a short time. By General Sherman's order I made an arrangement with Doctor Hawkins, the president of the road, for the use of four locomotives and forty cars for Government service as long as they might be required, and in consideration for this loan we built the Cedar Creek bridge. Johnston's surrender and the arrival of more rolling-stock from the North made it unnecessary for us to call on this company for the fulfillment of their part of the contract.
 

Track

Feet
Main track laid (on Cedar Creek bridge) 600
Side-track (at Cedar Creek bridge) 200
   Total 800
   Cedar Creek bridge was in four spans, 74 feet high. Total length 532 feet, and contained 319,200 feet, B. M., of timber. *****
 
   I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. Wright
Chief Engineer Military Railroads United States

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