War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0344 KY., SW.VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N.GA. Chapter XLIV.

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and herewith inclose it for information of the War Department. The day after the enemy retreated from Meridian I ordered the concentration of large working parties upon these roads for their reconstruction. You will see from the report they will all be finished in twenty days, excepting the Meridian and Jackson road. I shall increase the force upon that and shorten the time allotted for its completion. About 60 miles of telegraphic connections were destroyed. They have all been reconstructed, and all the roads and communications are re-established. They will connect with Jackson and Canton in a few days.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. POLK,

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

General COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

[First indorsement.]

MARCH 22, 1864.

Respectfully submitted to the President for information.

The injuries done by the enemy to the railroads were very serious, but General Polk is proceeding with great zeal and energy to repair them. The interruption to communication will not be longer than was anticipated.

J. A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.

[Second indorsement.]

MARCH 24, 1864.

SECRETARY OF WAR:

I have read with gratification the within statement of energetic and successful efforts to restore lines of communication in the department commanded by General Polk.

Respectfully returned.

JEFF'N DAVIS.

[Third indorsement.]

MARCH 26, 1864.

Communicate to General P. the President's indorsement, which will be gratifying to him.

J. A. [SEDDON],

Secretary.

[Inclosure.]

DEMOPOLIS, ALA., March 8, 1864.

DEAR SIR: Below please find report of damage done the railroads by the enemy in their late movement on an occupation of Meridian:

SOUTHERN RAILROAD.

Between Jackson and Meridian-4 bridges entirely destroyed, aggregate length, 950 feet; 47 bridges entirely destroyed, aggregate length 3,248 feet; 4 miles of track torn up, iron badly burned and bent, and most of the cross-ties burned. Five thousand cross-ties will be required, 300 bars of iron, and 500,000 feet of bridge timbers to complete the work. It can be done in forty days.