War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0701 Chapter LXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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animals accompanied them. They ran great risk of capture, but it was judged better to take that chance than to let them starve in Atlanta. October 18 all of them that remained were gathered up and started for Chattanooga in the same manner. None were captured by the enemy. Returning from a brief leave of absence, I reached Chattanooga October 12 on my way to Atlanta. On the 19th General Sherman telegraphed me from Summerville, Ga., to go in person to superintend the repair of the railroad, and authorizing me to give all orders in his name that would expedite its completion. I at once went down to the break and ordered the First Michigan Engineers, 1,800 strong, from Adairsville to Tilton to assist the railroad corps in getting out ties, and procured forty teams from a cavalry division at Calhoun to haul them to the road. Colonel W. W. Wright, chief of construction, was short of iron, and a partial supply was procured by taking up rails from the West point road near Atlanta and bringing them up on the cars, which remained south of the break. The gap between Allantoona and Big Shanty was repaired sooner than the other, and, as General Sherman had directed the bringing back to the rear of everything south of Chattanooga, except what we could immediately use and carry in our wagons, to lose no time many sick, wounded, negroes, &c., were carried to Resaca and brought around the break to Tunnel Hill, whence they went to Chattanooga. They were suffering so for grain at Atlanta that I determined to get some through without waiting for the completion of the road, and, collecting all the teams that could be spared at Chattanooga, I sent them to haul grain from Tunnel Hill to Tilton, where it was carried to Atlanta by cars. October 25 I went to General Sherman at Gaylesville, by way of Rome, for consultation, and was put in possession of his entire plan of the intended campaign to the sea-coast, and then immediately started for Atlanta, which I reached on the 28th. The railroad was completed the same day. The work now to be performed was to fit out the army completely for the march to the coast and to carry everything not needed for this purpose back to Chattanooga, and the orders were to accomplish this in the shortest possible time. At the same time the Twenty-third Corps were being sent back to Nashville in cars, thus occupying a large part of the transportation. The accumulation of property at Atlanta, Rome, Marietta, and other posts was surprisingly large for the time we had occupied the country, and the number of sick and wounded, citizens and negroes, to be taken to the rear was large. It is unnecessary to describe all the details gone through in accomplishing this work, but it was the most arduous and difficult duty to perform successfully that I have ever had to do in the same period of time. It was complicated by the army being distributed along the road from Rome to Atlanta, and having to be supplied where it was, while at the same time just so much had to be accumulated at Atlanta as it would require when it arrived there. There were stores to be removed to the rear at every post below Ringgold. The army could not leave the railroad from Resaca down and march to Atlanta, which would much simplify the task of supplying them, because the enemy's cavalry were ready to pounce upon and break the road as soon as it was uncovered. In addition to this, the railroad was not working well. Te superintendent at Atlanta was incapacitated by indisposition. His duties had to be performed by subordinates, and I found it necessary to give orders continually to the railroad officers myself. Many little accidents were occurring causing delays. Ever car was needed for public property, but the attempts