Colonel (now Bvt. Brigadier General) D. C. McClallum has been placed as military director in charge of this work. He has organized an efficient construction corps, provided rolling- stock, for which it was necessary to make onerous demands upon the manufactures of the loyal States. The report of Colonel McCallum is a record of the expenditure of over eleven millions of the appropriations of the Quartermaster's Department.* It gives information upon the means and the cost of supplying an army by railroad, and the manner of repairing and reconstructing railroads in a hostile county, which is of great interest to soldiers and engineers. The results are remarkable triumphs of military and engineering skill, creditable to the system under which they have been accomplished, to the officers and men engaged in the work, and to the county which has displayed such energy and such resources in defending and asserting its integrity. Already 1,000 miles of railroad have been operated by this department, in connection with the movements of the armies.
The mobility of the armies has increased. The opinion held by some officers of rank in the earlier history of the rebellion, that an army could not be maintained except within reach of a navigable river or railroad, has been dispersed by such marches as those of General Sherman from Vicksburg, east of Meridian, and back to Vicksburg, from Memphis to Knoxville and back to Decatur, at a time when railroads were not in operations; that of General Burnside from Cincinnati and Louisville, through Southeast Kentucky, to Knoxville; and that of Lieutenant-General Grant from Washington to Petersburg, and the march of General Sherman from Atlanta toward the coast.
The organization of this Bureau has been much improved by the law of the 4th of July last. The grades of rank and authority being now in proportion to the duties and responsibilities, the officers work with greater success. The present organization is fully detailed in the report of the Quartermaster-General, and no further changes are thought necessary.
The agreement made by the War Department with a convention of railroad companies, held in this city early in the war, has remained in force. The railroads have continued to do the work of the Government at the prices then established, except as modified by the internal revenue laws, through below those the charge to private citizens, which have since been considerably increased.
To a few railroads, subject to depredations by the enemy, from their being in districts where the Department has not been able to give them entire protection and safety, some advance in rates has been granted.
The telegraph has continued to be a most efficient and valuable aid to military operations. Six thousand five hundred miles of military telegraph has been in operation, of which 3,000 miles have been constructed during the year. About 1,000 persons have been employed in this work. The efficiency and fidelity of the officers and operations of the military telegraph deserve special recognition.
Full reports are given of the quantities of clothing, camp and garrison equipage furnished to the armies during the year. NO difficulty has been found in procuring ample supplies of good quality from domestic manufacturers, with the exception of tents and blankest. In a portion of these imported materials have been used, as the
*For McCallum's report see p.945.