War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0955 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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their equipments to supply all demands made upon them. On the Washington and Alexandria road the Long Bridge is an expensive but unavoidable section. New draws were put in at each end of it, and the whole fabric has been put into as good order since I took charge of it as is possible. It is to be hoped, however, that the Government will soon be able to avail itself of the new structure built near the present one, as the old one can never again be called entirely safe. Much ballasting has been done upon the several roads and all ordinary repairs have been of first-class order. The Loudoun and Hampshire road has not been much taxed for service, but the Orange and Alexandria, and its continuation, the Washington and Alexandria, have been at times worked up to their fullest capacity. I can pay no higher compliment to J. J. Moore, esq., assistant engineer in charge of construction and repairs, and to M. J. McCrickett, esq., assistant superintendent than to point to the records of the extraordinary and unprecedented amount of work which these roads performed without accident or irregularity of any kind during the latter part of the year and up to the time the army moved on its present campaign. At present the roads are scarcely used at all.

Norfolk and Petersburg. - P. McCallum, assistant superintendent and assistant engineer in charge.

Since my appointment as chief engineer and general superintendent the status of this road has remained the same as when I had immediate charge of it. It is in good order, but would need considerable work upon it in the way of new ties and joint blocks before it could be put into active service. A flag of truce, or a wood and tie train occasionally, is all the use made of the road at present.

Seaboard and Roanoke. - Also in charge of P. McCallum.

This road is now worked as far as Fort Rodman, or what is called Getty's Station, with a semi-weekly train to Cornog (one mile from Suffolk), to supply a cavalry outpost stationed there. It answers all the requirements of the military department in which it is located, and is in fine order. Constant use, however, begins to tell upon the iron, which has shown excellent qualities for endurance. Mr. McCallum, although a young man, brings to the discharge of his duties a clear head and well- balanced mind, with considerable experience. His roads bear testimony to his efficiency as a superintendent.

Having thus given the operations upon and the present condition of the roads I found in active use I come now to such others as have had labor laid out on them during the time covered by this report. These are the Winchester and Potomac (Harper's Ferry to Winchester); Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac (Aquia Creek to Richmond); Richmond and York River (West Point to Richmond).

The Winchester and Potomac Line. - Having received orders almost immediately after taking charge of the department to put this road in order, I sent sufficient force and material to Harper's Ferry, under Mr. C. L. McAline, principal assistant engineer.

After two miles of old longitudinal sills and strap rail has been taken up, and T rail with cross-ties substituted, the order to open the road was countermanded and the forces returned to Alexandria. As I have mentioned Mr. McAlpine in this connection, I will take occasion here to bear testimony to his great value as a military railroad officer. Combinig great skill in his profession with remarkable energy and endurance, he is a great acquisition to any service where these admirable qualities are necessary.