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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 3, vol 4, Part 1 (Union Letters, Orders, Reports)
Page 963 UNION AUTHORITIES.

In addition to the above the railroads at Columbus, Ky., Memphis, Tenn., and Vicksburg, Miss., were embraced in this division, but their operation being merely local and of comparatively slight importance they have not required so much attention except to furnish the materials and supplies necessary for their use.

To June 30 the roads put in operation were as follows:

Miles.

Nashville and Chattanooga................................. 151

Nashville, Decatur and Stevenson.......................... 200

Nashville and Northwestern................................ 78

Chattanooga and Knoxville................................. 112

Knoxville and Bull's Gap.................................. 56

Chattanooga and Atlanta (to Big Shanty)................... 107

Cleveland and Dalton...................................... 27

Kingston and Rome......................................... 20

----

Total..................................................... 751

Of these roads the Nashville and Chattanooga was the main line, over which supplies for the army in the field were transported. Its condition for heavy work was very bad. The iron was a light U rail in many places, nearly worn out, and laid on a superstructure of stringers so rotten and defective that accidents occurred almost daily form the spreading of the track, thus letting engines and cars drop betweens the rails. The sidings were so short that on many of them not more than the train hauled by a single engine could stand at one time. The water stations were of very limited capacity, and only wood enough on hand to supply the consumption as it was cut and prepared day by day.

The first effort at improvement was directed toward increasing the capacity of the road. Sidings were lengthened to hold a convoy of four to six trains, water stations enlarged to many times their former capacity, and a large quantity of wood was cut and piled along the road ready for use. The old stringers were taken out, T rails substituted for the old U rail in the worst places, and the general capacity of the line more than doubled.

It is demonstrated, however, that the original U rail, with a sufficient number of cross-ties properly laid, on account of its superior hardness, will outlast the new light T iron recently laid. To supply the demand for iron the railroad from McMinnville to Manchester, twenty-six miles long, was taken up, and the branch railroad from Columbia to Mount Pleasant, twelve miles long. The road from Hickman, Ky.,on the Mississippi River, to Union City, Tenn., fifteen miles long, was also taken up and the rails brought to Nashville.

The deficient supply of rolling-stock rendered it necessary to use extraordinary means to obtain enough to work the roads as they were rapidly lengthened by the advance of the army. The transfer of active operations in this military division to Northwestern Georgia rendered the railroads radiating from Memphis of little service to military operations, and 7 engines and 46 cars were transferred thence to Nashville.

In April 15 engines and 120 cars were taken from the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. In May 2 engines and 60 cars were impressed from the Kentucky Central Railroad, and two engines and 15 cars from the Louisville and Lexington Railroad, in addition to the new U. S. Military Railroad engines and cars constantly arriving from the manufacturers.

The demand for transportation continued to increase, and with all the enlarged facilities it was not fully met until August.


Page 963 UNION AUTHORITIES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 3, vol 4, Part 1 (Union Letters, Orders, Reports)
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