War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0345 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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Between Demopolis and Meridian-3 brigades entirely destroyed, aggregate length 160 feet; 5 pieces of trestle-work destroyed, agreeably length 600 feet; 9 miles track torn up, iron badly burned and bent, and about one-half the cross-ties burned; 100 rails entirely rendered unfit for service.


Sixteen miles of track torn up, iron badly burned, and most of the cross-ties burned; 5 miles iron torn up, but not burned; the bridges and trestles all burned on 47 miles of road from a point 5 miles below Quitman to Lauderdale Springs and track torn up in spots. The worst destroyed track is between Enterprise and Marion Station. The bridging and trestling is of such character that it can be put up as rapidly as the iron can be straightened and the track laid. Two hundred and fifty-six negro laborers were at work on Saturday last and 250 more will be put on this week, after which the work will proceed day and night. In addition to this force a sufficient force of bridge-carpenters are at work to keep the bridges in advance of the track. I think the road can be completed by April 1. One bridge and one-fourth of a mile of trestle-work have already been completed. There is now at work on the Alabama and Mississippi Rivers Railroad 250 white laborers (soldiers), 50 negroes (laborers). One hundred and seventy-five negro laborers will be added to-day and to-morrow. One bridge 250 feet long has been completed and the timbers out for another-the most important one destroyed. One hundred hands are getting out cross-ties and the remainder straightening iron and laying track. There is a bridge force sufficient at work to keep the bridges out of the way, and the road can be finished to Meridian in two weeks. The difficulty of procuring tools and materials has hitherto retarded the work very much, but that cause has now principally been overcome.


Sixty hands go to work to-morrow, 140 more on Monday next, and as many of the forces on the Alabama and Mississippi Rivers Railroad as may be necessary to complete it as soon as that road is through.

All of which is respectfully submitted by your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-General POLK.




No. 22. Demopolis, Ala., February 26, 1864.

The lieutenant-general commanding offer his congratulations to the army on the successful termination of the campaign just closed. The cheerfulness with which the troops have borne the fatigues and inconveniences of the march and their ready acquiescence in the orders directing their movements have entitled them to the highest commendation. To the firmness and good conduct of the men and the skill and judgment of their officers in checking the enemy's march, the commanding general is indebted for securing the public stores and depriving the enemy of the railroads and other facilities