War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0049 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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similar obstacle at Havre de Grace. The weather was very severe, and I do not doubt that the railroads on this occasion put forth every exertion,but the result was conclusive as to their inability to bring forward in such a season the necessary daily supply of forage alone. Had not the weather moderated and the river opened again, there would have been much suffering and injury to the animals of the army. A large stock accumulated at this depot before the interruption of navigation has been very much reduced. I inclose copies of reports* made to this office at the time by Brigadier General D. H. Rucker, chief quartermaster of the Washington depot, which show the condition of supply. Also a report* from Captain A. Boyd, assistant quartermaster, Philadelphia, on the subject,papers A, B, C, and E.*

The rates paid to the several railroads between Baltimore and New York have been the same as those allowed and paid to other railroads throughout the United States for similar services. Between Baltimore and Washington the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad has claimed and received higher rates. While other roads receive 2 cents per mile per passenger, carrying eighty pounds of freight free, this road has been paid on Washington Branch 2 1/2 cents, and on the main stem from 2.7 to 3.7 per mile for each passenger, and has charged freight on baggage. Upon freight the rates allowed to railroads generally have been according to the recommion, embodied in the circular issued from the Quartermaster-General's Office, dated May 1, 1862, herewith appended, and marked D.* Between Washington and Baltimore the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company has been allowed 12 1/2 cents per 100 pounds for first-class freight, 10 cents per 100 pounds for second-class, and for horses $15 per car, army wagons $16 per car, and cannon $18 per car. These higher rates have been claimed by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad under the provision of the following resolution of the railroad convention held in this city on the 3rd day of March, 1862:

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this convention that the Secretary of War should make such compensation as will be equitable to those roads whose expenses are enhanced by reason of being in or near the seat of war.

As a military question there can be no doubt of the great advantage to the United States of another line of railroad between this city and New York, one crossing the rivers by bridges above the head of navigation, and not liable to interruption by ice. There have been times when the Government would have gladly availed itself of the full capacity of several such independent lines. The insufficiency of the present communication has several times caused this department much anxiety, and the question of taking actual and entire military possession of these railroads has been discussed more than once. The present line is exposed at several points to be broken by naval expeditions, of the efficiency of which our experience in the present war gives abundant proof, as in a war with a nation having a powerful navy, our present sea and land communications would both be imperiled,and interior line of supply and of communication between the capital, and the north and northeast would be of great military importance, ever were the present lines fully able to meet any present demand.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,your obedient servant,

M. C. MEIGS,

Quartermaster-General U. S. Army.

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*Omitted.

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4 R R-SERIES III, VOL IV