Every one of them has broken on the journey thus far. The iron bar passing across the upper circle, and through which the kingbolt passes to attach the front and back parts, is too light and not sufficient to stand the strain occasioned by the small wheels passing over the rocks, &c., on the mountain roads. The first broke going down Wild Cat Mountain, and moving suddenly on the horses caused them to run. The hinder part upset and was smashed. The forward axle was broken. The wire and reels were transferred to an army wagon and the other abandoned. I requested a returning train to take it back to Camp Nelson to be repaired if possible. The next broke going up the next mountain. I went forward 10 miles to Camp Pitman and had another bar made; sent it back, and the wagon reached camp that night.
At 11 o'clock next morning had an extra one made, which was fortunate, as a third that day. The fourth broke near Cumberland Gap, but by chaining the circles together was enabled to get over the mountain safely. On the Tennessee side had this one repaired and all went well we attempted to descend Clinch Mountain, when, by sliding on the rocks, the disk was taken out of one of the hinder wheels of this last repaired. We patched it up as well as possible and started again to descend, but scarcely so, when the bar made at Cumberland Gap broke. I now went down the mountain and took the bar of one of those already safely down and repaired it, after which we reached the plain in safety. Being now only 14 miles from Morristown and the road good, I chained the circles together and came there that night.
At 11 o'clock next day General Burnside was passing through, and on my reporting to him, was requested to have my party ready for the field at the earliest moment, and, if possible, have part of them at Bull's Gap this evening. I accordingly, this morning, equipped six officers and arrived here ready for duty, leaving two to bring up the extra train.
In conclusion, would say that the officers and men of the command have rendered me every assistance in their power.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. G. McCREARY,
Captain, Sig. Corps, and Chief Sig. Officer, Dept. of the Ohio.
Colonel ALBERT J. MYER,
Signal Officer of the Army, 158 F St., Washington, D. C.
P. S.-I had four extra bars made this morning, but I have only one train ready for the field, and it is with me now.
Itinerary of the Ninth Army Corps, August 1-October 28, 1863.*
August 1.- The corps was encamped at Milldale, Miss.
August 3.- First Division commenced to embark on steamers at Haynes' Bluff, Miss., for Cincinnati, Ohio.
August 8.- Second Division commenced to embark.
August 12.- First Division arrived at Cincinnati, Ohio, and encamped near Covington., Ky.
*From monthly returns.