War of the Rebellion: Serial 058 Page 0454 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N.GA. Chapter XLIV.

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Nashville, February 23, 1864.

Major General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:

GENERAL: I take the liberty of inclosing herewith copy of communication to the Secretary of War, which will explain itself, and permit me to add that I find myself here with heavy and daily increasing responsibilities, and without the facilities, requiring time to create, which ordinary foresight and earnest effort should have secured long ago. I consider Mr. Anderson's connection with any military railroad as nothing short of disaster to the country and the cause.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel and General Manager Military Railroads, U. S.



Nashville, February 20, 1864


Secretary of War;

SIR: Learning that Mr. J. B. Anderson is about to be engaged inn some capacity connected with the War Department, I deem it a duty to state certain facts for your consideration in regard to the management of Mr. Anderson while acting as general manager of military railroads in this department; and in doing so I beg to state in the outset that I have had no personal difficulty with Mr. Anderson, and while I would regret exceedingly to make any charges that would do him a wrong, I conceive that the plain duty that I owe to my country and the cause in which I have for more than two years borne an humble part is paramount to all personal considerations whatever.

Under date of January 19, I had the honor to report to you the condition of affairs connected with military railroads in this department. Since then ample opportunity has been afforded for investigations, in every step of which facts have presented themselves, leading to the irresistible conclusion, that the heart of Mr. Anderson was not in the work. I realize fully the responsibility of this remark, and will take the liberty of stating a few of the reasons upon which this belief is based. As an instance, I find a valuable locomotive has been laid up for six weeks for the want of tire to replace a broken one. I understand one has been ordered from Philadelphia but not yet received. No provision whatever has been made for ordinary accidents of this kind; there is not a single extra tire in this department. I venture to say that such a state of things is unprecendent on a road belonging to any railroad corporation in this country; indeed it is, to say the least a kind of culpability or negligence that no railroad company could afford to tolerate. And thus it is in every branch of the operating department. There is not at this moment on hand a supply of materials more than sufficient to stock a railroad 40 miles in length, and two-thirds of the supply on hand was ordered by Mr. Anderson's predecessor, Colonel James, Mr. Frank Thomson, a young man of 22 years of age, without any previous experience was placed in charge as superintendent of the line between Nashville and Chattanooga, and who proved entirely incompetent to the duty, but was persistently retained in office to the detriment of the service. Mr. Anderson refused a large