War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0023

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Page 23
Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

everything required, but with an excess, which has been left for the use of hospitals. The chief quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac informed me that their supplies had at no time become so low that they could not have been enemy commenced, they had more than they wished to carry with them. After organizing the transportation on the Western Maryland Railroad, and leaving it in charge of Adna Anderson, esq., the efficient chief engineer of construction, I proceeded to Hanover with a construction train; passed over the Littlestown Branch; reconstructed a bridge that had been broken down; found General Sickles without means of transportation; arranged to have him sent immediately to Washington; returned to Hanover, and switched off on Gettysburg Branch; proceeded to Oxford, where a large bridge across the Conewago had been burned; decided on more of repair; set the gangs at work; returned to Oxford, and dispatched train Junction for more men and materials. The next morning I left instructions with foreman, after finishing the Conewago Bridge, to proceed to the next bridge, repair it, and work on to Gettysburg, unless he received word from me that the enemy, who were on the road near Gettysburg the previous afternoon, were still there. I then procured a buggy, and proceeded over the turnpike to Gettysburg, finding no enemy except wounded at the farm-houses, the last having retreated the previous evening. After about three hours with General Meade and other officers at headquarters, I returned to Oxford, and, after completing the railroad to Gettysburg, returned to Baltimore Sunday night, after a very active week, in which my corps. both in construction and transportation, performed services of very great importance. I am particularly indebted to A. Anderson, esq., chief engineer, for his sound judgment and efficiency; also to J. N. Du Barry, superintendent of Northern Central Railroad, for his active co-operation. I have presented to him, as you directed, the thanks of your Department. The construction corps is still at work on the bridges of the Northern Central Raiload, of which nineteen were destroyed, and in two days more I expect that communication with Harrisburg will be reestablished. I cannot speak in terms of too strong commendation of the corps for construction and transportation. No department of the military service is of more importance than that which is charger with constructing, re-opening, and maintaining communications and forwarding supplies. Volunteers have always been ready for any service, however dangerous. At the second battle of Manassas, General Kearny desired me to run a pilot engine over the road, in advance of his troop trains, after a train had been fired upon by a large force of the enemy, and men were found to perform the service without hesitation. Employees of the transportation department have remained at stations long after they had been evacuated by the military in retreat, and battle of Fredericksburg, a small force of carpenters, under E. C. Smeed and G. W. Nagle, superintendents of brigade construction, worked for nearly half a day under fire until their ropes were cut, the pulleys smashed, and the timbers knocked about with shells. A military force of 200 men, which had been detailed to assist, straggled off soon after the action commenced, not leaving a single man.



Page 23
Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.