War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0077 Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

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road; consequently the time required to reconstruct the road was less than one month, instead of requiring ten days, as has been stated. The difficulties at that time in performing the work were much greater than at present. The weather was rainy, the roads excessively muddy, the nights very dark, and rails were laid at night by the use of lanterns; whereas in the recent reconstruction the night work was done by the light of the moon; the amount to be reconstructed was not so large as at first, and the destruction of the wharf was not as in the first place, and no portion of the track had been torn up. This would be sufficient to account for the difference in time, the exertions in both cases being equal. When first reconstructed General McDowell was daily upon the work, giving it his personal attention and urging it forward with all possible celerity. There was less bridge work during the last reconstruction than on the former occasion, part of the bridges being found standing.

Question by General McDOWELL. Were colored fugitives employed by General McDowell's orders in the construction and management of the railroads in the departments under his command? If so, to what extent?

Answer. They were employed, and to the extent of all that could possibly be procured. I will remark, informally, that at that time it was very difficult to keep men on the road. They were all bound for Washington, as they said, to see "Massa Lincoln."

Question by General McDOWELL. Under what regulations as to food pay, &c., were they so employed?

Answer. The amount of pay was prescribed in a printed order, I believe, issued by General McDowell, giving them, I believe, one ration and a certain price per day. The amount now I do not recollect. I think it was 40 cents, but I am not positively certain.

Question by General McDOWELL. Was the amount of pay graduated according to industry or capacity?

Answer. I don't remember any special orders on that subject; but those who would not work were promptly discharged.

Question by General McDOWELL. What rule did General McDowell establish as to the property of the inhabitants of the country required for the use of the troops under his command?

Answer. That it should be taken whenever necessary for the use of the use army, but always, by proper requisition. General McDowell claimed the privilege, as he frequently said, of being the only plundered in the Army of the Rappahannock. He would take what the needed for the use of the army, but would not permit his men to plunder on private account. When property was taken, receipts were given as evidence of the fact. Orders were given to leave subsistence sufficient to keep families from starvation.

Question by General McDOWELL. To what extent was the property of the inhabitants taken for the reconstruction of the railroad and the brigades over the Rappahannock, Potomac Creek, &c., and for the management of the in Fredericksburg?

Answer. Lumber was taken wherever it could be found. Nearly all the timber suitable for bridging was exhausted in the vicinity of Potomac Creek, and all of the timber of suitable dimensions that could be found in Fredericksburg was used in reconstructing the bridge the bridge across the Rappahannock. A large machine shop and founder, with all the machinery and tools pertaining thereto and the materials on hand, were appropriated for the use of the road in Fredericksburg.

Question by General McDOWELL. What attention did General McDowell give to the preparation of his command and the improvement of the means of communication with his horses and preparations for their advance beyond Fredericksburg?

Answer. The attention given by General McDowell to the details of the work frequently excited my surprise. He was almost constantly upon the road, and sometimes anticipated wants before I had thought of them myself. This was particularly illustrated in ordering a large number of oxen to haul timber at Potomac Creek before any workmen were upon the ground. He was daily engaged in discussing with me plain to secure the earlier completion of the communications, and was very impatient to