General Rousseau and see that all is done which can insure safety and full working of the road. Colonel Donaldson fully appreciates its importance.
J. D. WEBSTER,
NASHVILLE, August 7, 1864.
The Northwestern Railroad has been under the exclusive control of the military authorities so far as transportation and supplies for the Government are concerned since 9th of June, and the transfer now proposed had already taken place. Even transportation of citizens was only a military authority. It has been understood and was intended that so soon as the military authorities placed the rolling-stock on at their discretion times-tables for running continuously through to the farthest point would be established. The road is still unfinished; the work is progressing as rapidly as possible. This State is largely interested in this road, innocent persons beyond its limits holding the bonds issued for its construction. An effort was made by certain parties some time since to take charge of road before it was even in running order. It is hardly necessary for me to state that there might be parties interested in various ways in having the immediate and direct supervision of the road a little farther removed for other than military purposes. I repeat that for all military and Government purposes the road has been under military and Government purposes the road has been under military control since the cars have been running over it. It seems to me the same and stronger reasons for taking the Nashville and Louisville have existed sine the Federal troops first entered Nashville. The Government has paid hundreds of thousands for the use of that road, which found its way into the pockets of traitors,and are for the support of treason.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, near Atlanta, August 7, 1864.
Take military possession of the Northwestern Railroad, under the laws of Congress, by order of the President of the United States, a copy of which orders will reach you by mail.* Place the road and its equipments in the charge of the general superintend, with orders to use it exclusively for military uses and transportation. Make such temporary store-hours as will accommodate the business of the season of low water, and call on General Rousseau to guard it according to his judgment of the danger to its safety. As this transfer is made by virtue of an act of Congress, I think an accurate inventory of the road, its stock and material on hand, should be made,and a regular set of books opened of its business, that a future settlement may be made with the owners of the road if entitled to compensation. I do not see why the cars might not be loaded at Reynoldsburg and unloaded here in our camp.
W. T. SHERMAN,