Cincinnati, and telegraphed as previously arranged for the collection at that place of the necessary cars and machinery to be ready on the following morning to receive the troops as they arrived.
The river having rapidly fallen over twenty feet rendered it impossible for our larger boats to pass above the falls, producing thereby considerable detention, as we were obliged to transfer the troops to a smaller class of boats which could pass through the canal.
Everything progressing satsifactorily I again took the cars on the evening of the 20th and reached Cincinnati the following morning, in advance of the transports, where I found all necessary preparations made to receive the troops on their arrival. During the same day (21st) about 3,000 men were disembarked, loaded on the cars of the Little Miami Railroad, and started eastward.
In the afternoon a fog arose, so dense as for more than thirty hours to entirely prevent any movement of boats, and reuslting in the deterniton of a large part of the fleet for that length of time.
On the 22nd about 4,000 more troops were transferred from the boats to the cars of the Hamilton and Dayton Railroad, and left for their destination. During the evening of this day the weather again greatly moderated, and being advised by telegraph from Wheeling and Parkersburg of the probabilities of an immediate resumptoion of navigation, I directed, on the morning of the 23rd, that boats containign from 6,000 to 8,000 troops should take on board as soon as possible an ample supply of fuel and be ready to move up the river.
This completed, it was arranged with General Couch, commanding, that the transports should start early in the evening (23rd), and one had already departed when there was again so rapid a change in the weather as to render it [an] unsafe proceeding, and a boat was simmediato bring back the transport which was on its way to Parkersburg, and all were ordered to remain until morning.
During the 23rd the movement by land was continued, and about 4,000 additional troops had been disembarked and transferred to the cars of the Little Miami Railroad. On the monring of the 24th, the weather having greatly increased in severity, and my dispatches from Parkersburg advising me that the river was so full of ice as to render navigation impracticable, I ordered the remainder of the troops to desembark and proceed via the Little Miami Railroad, which, excepting some of the artillery and animals, was effected on that and the following day.
Owing to the embarrassments and delays on the Ohio Central, resulting from broken rails and machinery, caused by the uncommon severities of the weather, and by which cars were repeatedly thrown from the track, and several narrow escapes from serious disaster encountered, as well as from the difficulties of crossing the Ohio, I remained on the line from Columbus to Bellaire until the 31st, taking personal supervision of the transfer of the troops until the last car was loaded on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and on its way over the mountains, when at 12 m. I took the train and reached this city on the night of the 1st instant, where, on the following day, I found upon the banks of the Potomac the Twnety-third Army Corps safety encamped.
The distance transported is nearly 1,400 miles, about equally divided between land and water. The average time of transportation, from the embarkation on the Tennessee to the arrival on the banks of the Potomac, was not exceeding eleven days; and what is still more important, is the fact that during the whole movement not a single accident has happened causing loss of life, limbs, or property, except