at Louisville, reported that he was getting grain from every possible source, and in three days he started from the Ohio for Johnsovnille and Nashville 94,000 bushels oats and corn. On the 27th the crisis was at Nashville, and that I might feed full rations if they could be forwarded from that place. Ever since the first break in the road in June the railroad had had difficulty in transporting enough for our wants. Our necessities had increased so as to reuqire 100 cars of supplies daily, instead of sixty as at first. This was caused by the arrival of e-enforcements (including the Seventeenth Corps), and by the increased demand for clothing, equipage, and means of transportation, which the campaign had worn out. Our increased distance from Chattanooga-107 miles at Big Shanty, 130 at the Chattahoochee-of course made a greater number of cars and engines necessary in order to deliver the same amount of stores daily. My orders were peremtory and frequent to have all cars returned promptly from the front, and from Chattanooga and all stations south of it. My officers all along the road reported that all cars were unloaded as soon as they arrived, and if they were not returned immediately the fault did not lie with the quartermaster's department. It seems to have been supposed by some officers at the rear that cars could be unloaded and returned from the front in t he same time that they could at a permanent depot with every facility, and I received a letter from the Quartermaster-General urging that cars be promptly returned from the army. As the army advanced the road had to be rebuilt, water-tanks to be constructed, and wood cut. The depot had to be established nearer the army, side-tracks to be constructed, and whatever accumulation there was at the last depot had to be brought forward, and orders were frequently given to bring stores from the depot up to our very lines by rail, and to take back the sick and wounded. The commanding general would sometimes order ten days' subsistence and grain brought up immediately to fill the wagons. In such cases we would have to take some of the cars that were usually kept running between Nashville and Chattanooga. Some trains never returned to the north at all, as they were captured and burned by the enemy. They tore up the track and fired upon trains very frequently.
When the length of our line is recollected and that it ran through an intensely hostile country, it is strange that these interruptions were not still more numerous. When all these things are considered I think it will not seem singular that some delay occurred in returning cars. There is no doubt but that more cars would have been desirable, and this was a point which I had urged upon Colonels Donaldson and McCallum as far back as January and February, 1864, but I think the most was made of the cars we had. The difficulty of regulating the road under the embarrassments detailed above was great. Though forbidden by the order of the Secretary of War, dated Louisville, October 19, 1863, from interfering with the running of trains, yet their movements when near the front were so frequently dependent upon those o of the army that I found it necessary to telegraph frequently on this subject and the commanding general made me the medium of most of his instructions to the superintendents and to the construction corps. After siege operations of more than a month about Atlanta during the latter part of July and August, it became evident that our army could not capture the rebel city int hat manner. The rebel army was so large that investment was impossible, and the railroad to Macon