were hauled in wagons to Kinston, to which point General Schofield (who had arrived and taken command) pushed forward with his army immediately after the battle. From a short distance beyond Batchelder's Creek we had found the track thus far taken up and the rails carried away and all the bridges and water stations destroyed. An examination of the road beyond showed it to be in the same condition as far as Kinston.
The enemy having fallen back to or beyond Goldsborough, and General Couch's command having arrived from Wilmington, General Schofield desired to accumulate the necessary supplies as rapidly as possible so as to enable him to push forward and make the prearranged junction with General Sherman's army at Goldsborough by the "middle of March." It became, therefore, a matter of utmost importance to push forward the work on the railroad with utmost rapidity (at least as far as the Neuse River), and the Third Division of the Construction Corps having arrived, I was enabled from this time to keep the work going night and day. Most of the cross-ties used up to this time in the new track had been cut alongside the railroad and carried on to the road bed. It became necessary to cut these ties because we had not cars and engines to spare from hauling army supplies to bring up the stock previously prepared at points back on the railroad, and they had to be carried to the place where used because our ox teams could not cross the deep and wide ditch, mostly full of water, on both sides of the road bed. Not having men enough to cut and carry ties as fast as we could put down the rails, I applied to General Schofield for a detail of soldiers to assist. He ordered the detail made, and they worked two days, in that time getting out and bringing to the road 5,400 ties. We reached Neuse River with the track on the 20th of March, and the same day commenced running supplies to that point with all the cars and engines we had. The Neuse River bridge was completed on the 23rd, and the track between it and Kinston having been laid while the bridge was building, the construction force moved forward, and building two bridges and doing some other work by the way, reached Goldsborough late in the night of the 24th, but in consequence of having to repair a small piece of track at the edge of town, did not reach the depot until 3 a. m. on the 25th. General Sherman's army had all reached the place of meeting on the previous day. The construction force was now sent forward to open up the road to Wilmington, while the whole energies of the transportation department were concentrated in an effort to supply the present wants of the large army which had assembled in and around Goldsborough after its long march from Savannah, and in addition to accumulate supplies by the 10th of April for the contemplated movement on that day. Of course until the Wilmington line could be opened we had to depend upon the Morehead City line alone.
Knowing General Sherman's punctuality, I was much concerned for fear that with the small amount of rolling-stock on hand it would be impossible to accomplish the work required of us within the time named; but by good management and good luck I am happy to state that on the evening of the 9th the chief quartermaster and the chief commissary of subsistence informed me that the whole army was supplied with everything required for the movement next day. I attribute the result partly to good luck, because, although every wheel we had was kept turning night and day during this period, we were so fortunate as not to have a single accident. The disabling of a