also wharves at Bermuda Hundred and Light-House Point. An extension wharf was built on the Appomattox River for the accommodation of the hospitals. Water tanks and steam pumping engines were also furnished to keep up an adequate supply of water. The construction of hospital buildings on a very large scale for the several army corps was ordered October 8. After most of the lumber and other material had arrived at City Point the plans were changed. They concluded to build them more temporary than was at first proposed. One hundred and ten of these buildings were constructed the fall and winter. While this work for the accommodation of the army was being done the various improvements to facilitate the operations of the road were not neglected. The road bed was put in first-rate order, and the track would compare favorably with any first-class road. During the month of October the yard at City Point was enlarged, switches and sidings were put in, turn-tables were constructed at all necessary points, a sustained and convenient engine-house was built capable of accommodating nine locomotive engines; also shoops with all the requisite machinery for the repairs of engines and cars. At all the stations on the line sidings were laid and station-houses built. An average of nine trains, exclusive of specials, were run each way daily,amply supplying the wants of the army. The amount of rolling-stock for the working of the road was increased from time to time, as the demands for transportation became more heavy. Orders were received October 22 to proceed with the extension of the City Point and Army Line from General Warren's headquarters at the Yellow House to the Peebles house, a distance of two miles and a quarter.
The work on this extension (now called the Patrick Branch) did not commence will November 2 on account of an engagement that took place near where the proposed line was to run. It was completed with all the necessary sidings November 9. The grading was not very heavy on account of our conforming to the surface of the ground. The grades are heavy (a maximum of 228 feet). Eight hundred and fifty feet of trestle-work, averaging twenty feet in height, was built. During its construction the weather was very unfavorable,it raining nearly all the time, making it almost impossible to do any work on track.
From November 10 to December 19 the construction force were busily engaged in constructing hospital buildings, repairing wharves, laying additional side tracks, and building quarters for the Quartermaster's Department and railroad employes. A large clothing warehouse and extensive commissary buildings were then built; also distribution barracks for the accommodation of the troops passing through City Point. The coal wharf at City Point and a large wharf at Bermuda Hundred were also completed. Trains continued to run on good time without accidents, business constantly increasing. Some days fifteen trains were run over the road each way. Work was commenced December 21 on a branch line of road running from Hancock Station, on the main Army Line, to Fort Blaisdell, on the Jerusalem plank road. It was completed December 29, but trains did not run over it for some days on account of the very wet weather, which made it impossible to get the track in good order. January 2 orders were received to extend this branch line still farther, to the headquarters of General Crawford,who commanded one division of the Fifth Army Corps, a distance of two miles and a quarter from Hancock Station. Work was immediately commenced, but owing to the inclement weather progress was not very rapid.