War of the Rebellion: Serial 035 Page 0454 Chapter XXXV. KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.

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service. Railroad iron is very scarce. They have taken the iron off of the side tracks all along the road wherever they can do without the side track. The iron on all the roads is nearly worn out. They are making a little at Atlanta, Ga., and I learn also at Richmond, Va., but not near enough to meet the demand. They are preparing to manufacture railroad iron on an extensive scale at Chattanooga, Tenn., and expect to be ready in six weeks. The buildings erected for this purpose are wooden structures that could be easily burned. At Richmond, Va., and Rome, Ga., and also at Macon, they have manufactured about 5 engines. It is the opinion of the president and officers of the roads over which I traveled that they cannot be used more than six months longer unless great efforts are made to supply them with engines and railroad iron. All the roads have advertised for the stockholders to come forward and get their share of the fund usually reserved for buying engines and iron, because of the impossibility of buying those things now.

The fortifications at Chattanooga are progressing slowly, as a portion of the hands have lately been sent to Loudon to fortify that place. There is one pontoon bridge over the Tennessee River at Kelley's Ferry and the other at Rankin's Ferry; both above ridgeport. They could be destroyed very easily, as there are only some 15 or 20 guards at each place.

The strength of Bragg's army has remained about the same for some time; while some have been taken from him and sent to Mississippi, others have been sent to him. Four brigades from his army have been sent to Mississippi.

Breckinridge's division was ordered to Mississippi, but when it reached Mobile was sent back by Johnston has 40,000 troops in rear of Grant; they have been sent from every part of the South-Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and from every point where they could be spared.



Murfreesborough, June 24, 1863.

Respectfully referred to the General-in-Chief for his information. These facts were obtained by Dr. McGowan, a Union a man of East Tennessee, whom Major-General Thomas sent for the special purpose of reporting the condition of railroads in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. The doctor traveled over the whole route, and his report is very reliable.


Major-General, Commanding.

CINCINNATI, June 24, 1863.

General WHITE, Mouth of Beaver Creek, via Catletssburg:

Your dispatch received. You are on the spot, and must be the judge as to the advance. I am anxious to have the work done, if possible; but if not, by all means do not attempt it.





Numbers 186. Washington, D. C., June 24, 1863.

I. By direction of the President, that part of the Middle Department west of Hancock, including the adjacent counties of Ohio, will constitute the Department of West Virginia.