War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0068 CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.

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to terms and commenced work, and our whole party returned to this place July 21. Orders were received from you September 28 to repair and put in running order the road from Alexandria to Rappahannock River, a distance of fifty miles. A construction force was immediately dispatched supplied with all necessary material. All the bridges on the road were destroyed, with the exception of those across Cedar and Kettle Runs, which were badly damaged. By the evening of October 2 the track was repaired; bridges, water stations, &c., rebuilt, and the road in complete running order to Rappahannock River. At 8 p.m. October 2 a telegram was received from Major-General Halleck ordering us to cease work on Orange and Alexandria Railroad south of Manassas and repair railroad to Piedmont and Front Royal, on the Manassas Gap Railroad. In obedience, all men and material at Rappahannock were loaded and sent to Manassas Junction. The repairs were commenced from that point October 3. The bridges were all destroyed; the track as far as Piedmont had not been disturbed to any great extent, but the cross-ties were badly decayed and all needed replacing. Beyond Piedmont the bridges were all destroyed, track torn up, and iron removed. Working parties and troops guarding them were very much annoyed by the operations of guerrillas; trains were fired into, and, in several instances, thrown from the track. On the 10th of October a train drawn by two engines was thrown from the track near White Plains by guerrillas. They removed a rail, thereby precipitating the train down a steep embankment, and causing the death of Mr. M. J. McCrickett, superintendent; E. J. Bolt and G. W. Fuller, conductors; Charles Brooks and Richard Cowhig firemen. This sad accident created a deep gloom in the department. Mr. McCrickett was a young man of fine promise; his untiring energy and the skillful and urgane manner in which he discharged his duties had won for him the esteem, and love of all who knew him. Messrs. Bolt, Fuller, Brooks, and Cowhig were valuable and trustworthy men. The record left by them shows a long and frightful service. Mr. P. McCallum, formerly in charge of military railroads at Norfolk, was appointed October 12 superintendent of military railroads diverging from Alexandria, the position made vacant by the death of Mr. McCrickett. The road was repaired October 11 to Piedmont, distant thirty-four miles from Manassas Junction, and sixty-one from Alexandria. The first regular train ran through October 12. From that date the construction force was kept busily engaged putting in sidings, turn-tables, erecting water stations, &c., and rebuilding road beyond Piedmont,with the intention of opening it to Front Royal, seventeen miles farther. An order was received October 26 to abandon the road and take up the iron from Piedmont to Manassas Junction. This was completed November 10. Most of this iron was sent direct to Winchester and Potomac Railroad, via Alexandria, and Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, without change of cars, and was used by a large construction force then at work on that line relaying it.

From November 10 until June 27 the Orange and Alexandria Railroad was operated only to Fairfax Station, sixteen and a half miles from Alexandria. A turn-table was put in at that station and platforms built to facilitate the proper working of the road. One regular train was run each way per day, and an average of two wood trains daily for use of Quartermaster's Department. May 20, built large platform at Edsall Station and commenced running supplies to that point for use of General Sherman's army. From this date considerable