The ordinary supply of rolling-stock in use upon the various railroads in this country will average one locomotive and twelve freight cars to every 2 miles length of road in use, and on may line the supply is even greater. Thus, according to the above statement, the seventy locomotives will be barely sufficient to stock 140 miles, and six hundred cars sufficient only to stock 100 miles of railroad; add to this the liability to demonstration but raids, and the necessity of being prepared, if possible, for sudden and rapid movements. It is apparent that with the present equipment no advance of the army can be made, if I am correct in assuming that it must depend upon railroads for supplies. There should be on hand in this department not less than two hundred locomotives and there thousand cars, which should be added to as the army advances southward Chattanooga.
I regret to be compelled to report the railroad organization of this department as decidedly defective, and, as far as I have been able to discover, there is a lack of well-directed energy and seeming want of ability to comprehend the magnitude of the undertaking. The experiment of supplying an army over a long of railroad, through an enemy's country, is yet to be tested. The most perfect organization and the best practical talent in the country will be indispensable to success.
A construction corps of at least 1,000, under a competent head, with a full supply of tools and materials, will be as essential as the permanency of the roadway. The line should be worked in division of proper length; each division put in charge of an experienced officer, directly responsible to the head of the operating department, with such a system of reports by telegraph and otherwise as will at once detect delinquencies and as will insure perfect discipline and full co-operation throughout. In conclusion, permit me to say that I have thus briefly given my views in the case, which nothing but a plain sense of duty to the War Department and the service could have induced me to do.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. C. McCALLUM,
Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.
HDQRS. LEFT WING, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Pulaski, Tenn., January 19, 1864.
Major General JOHN A. LOGAN,
Commanding Fifteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: I have with me the One hundred and eleventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers, belonging to your corps. It was my intention to have ordered it to Huntsville on the arrival of the corps at that point, as that would have been the first opportunity for in to join its command; but the necessities of the service, arising from the fact that the langer part of my force has re-enlisted and gone home, has forced me to retain it. The length of road I have to guard and the amount of work to do are more than my present force can do.
The moment my troops being to return I shall order the regiment to join you, which no doubt will be before you will need it.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. M. DODGE,
10 R R-VOL XXXII, PT II