repaired and put in operation during this month. During October the lines in front and to right and left of Atlanta were abandoned, as well as that from Strawberry plains eastward, and no new work was ordered or undertaken. The enemy destroyed the lines between Kenesaw Mountain and Allatoona and between Tunnel Hill and Resaca in the attempt to force the abandonment of Atlanta by destroying the communications with Chattanooga, and these lines were replaced as rapidly as possible after the repulse at Allatoona and the retreat from Dalton westward. In re-enstablishing these lines at this time I was so fortunate as to receive the commendation of the major-general commanding in his report of the operations of the forces under his command. During the latter part of the month all materials and men not absolutely needed to maintain communication with Atlanta were removed to Chattanooga, and the field train and equipment brought to Nashville and refitted. Nine men (all operators) were selected to accompany General Sherman's march through Georgia, and placed at the different headquarters they were to accompany, being furnsihed with ciphers (as they were needed for the ciphers chiefly) and the proper instrument sto enable them to tap and use the enemy's lines, if any should be found working.
In November, General Sherman's column having left Atlanta, the lines of telegraph south of Dalton were entirely abandoned, the men and property being concentrated at Chattanooga. I was also compelled, by the advance of the enemy from Florence, Ala., toward Middle Tennessee, to abandon the lines between Nashville, Tenn., and Decatur, Ala., between Nashville and Johnsonville, Tenn., and between Decatur and Stevenson, Ala., while that between Nashville and Murfreesborough was in actual possession of the enemy and used by him for several days. At the close of the month there was no communication south from Nashville, but the lines under my charge from Chattanooga to Dalton, Ga., to Strawberry Plains, Tenn., and Murfreesborough, Tenn., were in operation, and communication via Louisville and Cumberland Gap with Knoxville was undisturbed. The only work done duringthe first fourteen days of December (except maintenance of working lines) was the constructioin of a field line around the defenses of Nashville, connecting department headquarters with the headquarters of the different subordinate commanders, and this line, constructed on the 4th, was used until the 16th, when, the enemy having been defeated and driven across the Harpeth, it was taken down and the reconstruction of the lines south and west commenced. Using my field equipment as auxiliary, I pressed south upon the y's retreat, and was able to keep pace with the pursuit and to open an office at General Thomas' headquarters every evening, until the pursuit ceased at the crossing of Richland Creek. All the lines abandoned in November were reoccupied and opened by the close of the month except that between Nashville and Johnsonville, Tenn.
During the January, 1865, the line on the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad was restored, and measures were taken to reopen the line between Fort Donelson and Smithland, Ky., which, though not abandoned, had been practically of no value by reason of the presence in the wild country between the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers of various smuggling and guearrilla parties, and the entire want of protection by our forces. No new work was undertaken during February, though my force was fully employed in thoroughly repairing the lines so lately in the possession of the enemy, and hastily rebuilt on his retreat, and the same is true of the month of March until near its close, when, in view of proposed operations in East Tennessee, the