War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0815 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

and stores from Fredericksburg and Falmouth Depot. We commenced this work at once, and by Saturday night, August 30, by working night and day, succeeded in removing to Aquia Creek all troops, baggage, and stores that the military authorities desired move, together with all railroad property except some coal and about 50 tons of pig iron at the founder, which we had not time to load, and the old locomotive Washington, which was in such a crippled condition that she could not be moved.

From this time until Thursday, September 4, the railroad force was employed in moving troops and stores on the railroad within our lines and in rendering such service as was required of them in aiding the embarkation of troops and baggage.

On the afternoon of this day I applied to general Burnside to know if it had been determined to abandon Aquia Creek and if so what arrangements had been made for the removal of the locomotives and other Government property. He informed me that the troops could not be spared at this time hold Aquia, and showed me a telegram from General Halleck, directing the immediate embarkation of the troops and necessary baggage and the destruction of such property as could not be saved, and he gave me to understand that he feared it would be impossible to procure transportation for the railroad property. Fearing that its value might be underestimated, I then made out a statement of the kind and value of the railroad property and handed it to him, a copy of which is inclosed.* About midnight he succeeded making arrangements for shipping the locomotives, and at once placed the steamers Star, Eagle, and Chancellor Livingston at my disposal for this purpose. I immediately ordered out the railroad force but could not commence loading before morning as the wharf was occupied with artillery and horses, which had to be loaded first.

On Friday morning we got to work and attempted to load 3 locomotives on the Chancellor Livingston, but the load was too much for her, and she sank. However we got the locomotives off and pumped her our, and afterward put two on her, which she carried safely to Alexandria. The Winnissimet coming in about this time, I took possession of thee, and by 3 o'clock Saturday morning succeeded in loading all the locomotives, 3 cars, and all the movable railroad property at Aquia, except 57 cars. We left there Saturday afternoon, and the steamer arrived safely at Alexandria, where they have since been unloaded. I inclose an inventory of the property landed at Alexandria.+

The 57 cars were all run onto the pier, and they, together with the piers and all buildings at Aquia, were burned by order of the military authorities. About 30 of the cars were either new or at least good, and worth saving; the others were old and worn-out, and not safe to run. By constant tinkering and very careful handling we managed to do the at times heavy business thrown on the road without an accident, but i was in continual fear of these cars breaking down, and had so informed Colonel McCallum some time ago. Thier loss is a matter of no consequence.

I regretted much that the pier had to be burned, as it was a very fine one, extending into the river 870 feet and covering an area of about 1 1/2 acres.

The railroad bridges over the Rappahannock River, Potomac Run, and Accokeek Creek were all destroyed. I took the precaution to get the dimensions of each, thinking it might be useful at some future time to have them.

The track was not disturbed at any place (except on the bridges and

---------------

*See Inclosure Numbers 1, p. 813.

+Not found 1.

---------------