Another short branch of about five miles" length to the Etowah Iron Works, on the Etowah River, was taken up after we had brought away from the ruins of the works all the iron that we could get cars to move. A great deal of bridging was required on this line, all the important bridges having been destroyed. Eight bridges were built over the Chickamauga, one each over the Oostenaula, the Etowah, and the Chattahoochee Rivers, besides several smaller ones over other streams. The Chattahoochee bridge is the largest and most important on the line, being 780 feet long and 90 feet high. It was built by the First and Third Divisions of bridge-builders in four days and a half. By your order of February 25 I took charge of the construction of the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad and placed Lieutenant Colonel John Clark in immediate charge of the work. Governor Johnson also, some time after, designated him as his engineer. Colonel Clakr held this double appointment until the completion of the road. There was a large amount of grading to be done and about forty-five miles of track to lay, exclusive of sidings. A thorough reorganization of the force at work and a large increase of men were obviously necessary to complete the road by the time it was ordered to be done. By command of General Grant I sent North for 2,000 laborers and mechanics, which force, together with the First Missouri Engineers (Colonel Flad) and the Twelfth and Thirteenth Regiments U. S. Colored Infantry, was deemed sufficient for the work. The road was completed (with the exception of some construction work required exclusively for Government purposes) on the 10th of May and the running of the trains turned over to the transportation department on the 21st of June. The Fifth Division of the Construction Corps remains on the road under W. R. Kingsley, division engineer, who is in charge of construction and repairs. On the 4th of August I received General Sherman's order directing the Nashville and Clarksville Railroad to be opened. I could spare but one division at that time for the purpose, and accordingly sent the First Division, under L. H. Eicholtz, division engineer, who completed the road September 16. The principal work to be done was bridging, the track not having been much injured, and building a branch about two miles long from a suitable point for leaving the main line to the levee at Clarksville.
Valuable assistance was rendered by Captain C. H. Irvin, assistant quartermaster, who promptly placed men and teams and lumber from his saw-mills at our disposal whenever required. Captain Irvin also very generously furnished me with a force of laborers to assist in grading the levee at Johnsonville, the terminus of the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad, at a time when the work had to be done and I could not spare enough for the purpose. Much work has been done by the Construction Corps in and around Chattanooga. A great many tracks and switches were required for the immense business done at this place. In all, some ten miles of sidings have been laid, including a branch track to the rolling-mill, which will ultimately be continued around Cameron Hill and connected with the street tracks below the bridge. The yard has been graded up, and a properly arranged system of drainage nearly completed. Over forty buildings have been erected consuming in the aggregate, 1,500,000 feet, B. M., of lumber. Included in this number of buildings is a machine-shop, 300 feet long and 70 feet wide, with blacksmith shop attached, 150 feet long and 50 feet wide; a car shop, 180 feet long and 50 feet wide, with a blacksmith shop attached; a rolling-mill, for making railroad iron, 280 feet