War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0942 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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one battery of artillery, all of which are under marching orders to Saint Louis. A second regiment of infantry will be ready to be mustered into the U. S. service by the opening of navigation, when, by direction of General Halleck, the regiment will be marched to Saint Louis, excepting three companies to be stationed at Forts Abercrombie, Ridgely, and Ripley, respectively. A detailed report will be sent you by letter.

ALEX. RAMSEY.

GENERAL ORDERS,

WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, No. 29. Washington, March 22, 1862.

In the changes recently made in the boundaries of department commands it may happen that troops belonging to one department may either be in, or may unavoidably pass into, another. In such a case the troops so situated will continue under the command of the general under whose orders they may have been operating. But it is expected that they will be withdrawn as soon as the position they may occupy comes within the control of the proper commander of the department.

By order of the Secretary of War:

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington City, D. C., March 22, 1862.

Honorable H. HAMLIN,

President of the Senate:

SIR: I have the honor to state in reply to the resolution of the Senate dated February 25, 1862:

First. That no contract has been made nor any steps taken looking to a contract for the construction of any railroad by or under the authority of the War Department.

Second. That the War Department, under the directions of its officers, has constructed and is engaged in repairing and reconstructing for military purposes portions of railroad in different military departments for military operations; as, for instance, the road from Washington to Alexandria, the road leading to Manassas Junction, and a short road at Fortress Monroe.

Third. This work has been done under the military power of the Government for military purposes only as a necessary and economical means of conducting operations, and under the sanction of the act of Congress of the present session relating to railroads and telegraphs.

Fourth. Under the same authority it has been contemplated, if military exigencies should demand and economical reasons sanction it, to extend a military railroad from Nicholasville, Ky., toward Knoxville, Tenn., the distance and route to be determined by military considerations, and the work to be done under the direction of the commanding officer. Amasa Stone, esq., of Ohio, was authorized to examine the route and conduct the work if it should be undertaken. Actual examination has, however, shown that the work could not probably be accomplished within the period required for military operations. All design of constructing any part of this work has therefore been abandoned and the authority revoked.