all the roads of the country in May, 1861, by which it was agree that the transportation should be performed at prices fixed quite below ordinary rates, and which have continued to the present time, notwithstanding the great advance in the cost of labor and general management, the business has progressed with an economy and promptness emintntly satisfactory. I think it but just to say that no portion of the community have been more ready to respond to the wants of the Government, more willing to make sacrifices, or labored with a greater earnestness and efficiency in the suppression of the rebellion than have our railroad proprietors and managers. To them, I think, the acknowledgements of the Government are justly due, and that it has during the present was been repaid many times over for all expenditures ever incurred in the cnstruction of railroads. The amount of service performed has been enourmous, and only equaled by the magnitude of the war in all its aspects. The wonderful capacity of our railroads for great and speedy movement of large armies has been well tested in the movement of the Ninth Army Corps, under General Burnside, from Central Kentucky to Vicksburg; the transfer of the Twelfth and Thirteenth [Eleventh] Army Corps, under General Hooker, from Washington to Chattanooga; of the Twenty-third Army Corps form the Tennessee to Washington, and the movement of over 230,000 men from Washington on the recent disbanding of the armies in June and July last. While thus generally acknowledging the valuable services of the railroads of the country, I do not think it invidious to especially allude to those roads which, though within the immediate seat of war, surrounded by enemies and subject to constant destruction, have still continued their operations and been managed with unparalleled energy and ability by the officers and companies controlling them, thereby rendering invaluable services to the Government. I refer to the Baltimore and Ohio, the Kentucky Central, Louisville and Nashville, Iron Mountain, Pacific, North Missouri, and Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroads. Nowhere have the irrepressible energy, will, and fearlessness of dange of our people been more clearly illustrated than in the conduct of those controlling and operating these lines of railway.
I have made no allusion herein to the military railroads of the country, or rather those which have been captured from the enemy and operated directly by the Government, the management of these roads having been placed by the Secretary of War under the special control of Bvt. Brigadier General D. C. McCallum, whose eminent ability and success in the discharge of the duty are well known to the public, and who will, I suppose, make a report in reference thereto.
In this brief and unsatisfactory resume, I trust I have said enough to show to some extent the duties devolving upon this branch of the servince, and that the efforts made by its officers to discharge them have been attended with sufficient success to entitle them to a share of credit in the great results. It is at least gratifying to know that it is on record from such high authority as Lieutenant-General Grant, Major-General Sherman, and Majro-General Allen "that the admnistration of this branch of the service has been eminently successful, that no military movement in the West has failed or faltered for lack of transportation, and that the wants of armies in the field have been anticipated and met with alacrity and dispatch."
In conclusion, I take great pleasure in calling especial attention to the names of officers more particulrly engaged in the transportation service, through whom your order have been executed and these results