LOUISVILLE, KY., December 8, 1862
SIR: The delivery of freight at Nashville since the opening of the road has disappointed our expectations, but has been all that we could deliver in the condition of the road, and the want of wood and water between Bowling Green and Nashville. All our wood between Franklin and Nashville has been destroyed by the Confederates, and all our water-tanks and raising apparatus. Besides, the wells were dried up and the streams reduced in volume by the dry weather, and we were without adequate force whilst engaged on the tunnel. To apply the proper remedy, we took all the repair hands on the road from Bowling Green down, and from the Memphis branch down to the tunnel, and forty-odd of them ran away being afraid of the work, and we have never regained them,a nd the force furnished by the military did not supply their place,and left us before the work was done. Knowing we should want wood for the engines and lumber for the tunnel, we telegraphed both as to wood for the engines and lumber for the tunnel, and received for reply that you had ordered 100 or 150 to chop wood and a force to get out the lumber for the tunnel, and we set Mr. Haines, a western mechanic in our employ, to prepare the stations for a supply of water. When we could pass the cars through the tunnel, it was impossible to put the remaining repair force on the road because of the condition of the tunnel, and we found no wood had been cut and no lumber prepared to arch the tunnel, and that the water stations were not yet supplied, and the track over the new-made trestle wanted adjusting, and Mr. Anderson's force had been sent forward west of Nashville; in consequence we had to send forward a gang of bridge-men from this end of the road, who were almost as much wanted to make the lately built trestle at this end in a condition to stand the freshens. We could not obtain mechanics in Louisville, New Albany, Jeffersonville, or Cincinnati, and have brought men from Virginia to arch the tunnel, but have not been able to obtain an adequate repair force for the road, but have been, and are, putting the work forward, with all the force and energy we know how to obtain and apply, and hope in few days more that we shall be able to make quarter deliveries for the army at Nashville. We did not, however, expect to deliver 100 car-loads of freight daily; that amount is beyond the capacity of our motive power and rolling stock, but expect soon to deliver 70 to 80 cars daily, namely, when we have a supply of wood and water. There have been some conflicting orders from the military,which we hope you will provide shall not happen in future. You may rest assured that so far as the capacity of this road can give you supplies, you shall have them, and nothing shall be left undone which this company and its employes can do to give you full supplies. There are eight of the eleven trestles built by Mr. Anderson that will not stand the freshens, and we are preparing permanent bridges,and hope to commence putting up the most important of them the last of the mount, and we think we have the bridges at this end of the line in a condition to stand the freshens.
President of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
Murfreesborough, Tenn., December 8, 1862.
Major General W. S. ROSECRANS, Comdg. United States Forces, Nashville:
GENERAL: I am in receipt of you communication of the 4th instant,