War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0220 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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frequently at the mercy of the latter. The great difficulty in properly guarding a long line increases the hazard; and although the movement may be comparatively light, the difficulties attending the same are much greater that any railroad manager, no matter how competent as such, but without experience and a proper understanding of the military service, can possibly estimate.

In addition to the facts stated, we are called upon suddenly to reconstructed lines, on which a large portion of rolling-stock is required. This is an important item, and one which would not ordinarily be taken into account. As an illustration, we have at this moment in use in repairs and constructions of railroads in the Military Division of the Mississippi 18 locomotives and 180 cars. After an experience of many years as a railroad manager, and having been for more than two years engaged in operating military railroads, I feel that I hazard nothing in the assertion that the most competent railroad manager in this country, if without military railroad experience, would find in attempting the work that the requirements of the service would set at naught all his former opinions and experience.

Your recent order directing the purchase of locomotive engines has been executed to the best of my ability. The duty was a delicate one, interfering, as it unavoidably does, with almost every railroad company in the country; add to which a strong disposition on the part of manufacturers to combine, and thus make a large advance on market prices. Had their clamor been yielded to i would have been subjected not only to the censure of yourself, but would have drawn down upon my acts the united condemnation of the whole railroad interests. The manufacturers were distinctly informed that the Government would not pay $1 above the market price, and in case of a refusal to comply I should ask for authority to manufacture the machinery on Government account. I have thus succeeded fully in performing the responsible duty imposed without incurring the displeasure of any.

Hoping that my actions will meet your approval, I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Director and General Manager Military Railroads United States.


April 8, 1864.

Colonel TOWNSEND and Colonel FRY:

Lieutenant-General Grant wishes that active measures be taken to get into the field all recruits, new organizations, and all old troops that can be spared. Those in Ohio and east of that State to rendezvous at Washington, and those west of that State at Louisville. This does not apply to veterans who should return to their commands, nor to recruits raised for particular corps, unless otherwise especially ordered. The above instructions should be given to all who can assist in their execution as soon as possible. I have directed General Heintzelman to inspect and report to you in regard to his department.


Major-General and Chief of Staff.