hospital of Nashville, 300 miles to the rear, and forwarded by railroad to resume their places in its ranks, marched out of Atlanta, blew up that depot, destroyed all the railroads which made that city of value in the war, and bent its steps toward the ocean.
In no other country have railroads been brought to perform so important a part in the operations of war. Scare in any other country could be found the workmen to perform the feats of construction which have illustrated this campaign.
At no time during the march from Chattanooga to Atlanta were the railroad trains five days behind the general commanding.
The reconstruction of the bridges over the Etowah and the Chattahoochee are unparalleled feats of military construction.
The Etowah bridge, 625 feet long, 75 feet high, was burned by the rebels, and was rebuilt by the labor of 600 men of the Construction Corps in six days.
The Chattahoochee bridge, six miles from Atlanta, is 740 feet long and 90 feet high was built in four and a half day s by 600 men of the Construction Corps.
The army under General Sherman moved southeast from Atlanta; it plunged into the forest and sands of Georgia and was lost to out view. The rebel army moved into Tennessee and advanced upon nashville, to be dashed in pieces against the army of Major- General Thomas, and thus perished the last great army of the rebellion in the central South and West, east of the Mississippi.
The rebel press reported defeats, disasters, repulses to the army, with which we had no communication. No anxiety s to their fate oppressed the minds of those who had in the War Department directed the measures and provisions for their equipment for this bold and decisive march. A bare possibility that, by the abandonment of all eastern positions, the rebel Army of Virginia might throw itself across Sherman's path, induced the department to order supplies to Pensacola, to relieve any immediate wants should the army be obliged to move southward; but the great work of preparation to meet and refit this army upon the southeastern Atlantic Coast was at once commenced and steadily prosecuted. While a few vessels went to Pensacola to await orders, a great fleet of transports was collected at Port Royal, laden with everything that experience indicated as necessary to repair the consumption and that the losses of this adventurous march. Clothing,s hoes,shelter tents, forage, provisions, spare parts of wagons, wagons complete, harness, leather, wax, thread, needles, and tools for all the trades which were plied on the march and in the camps were collected in the harbor of Hilton Head.
All this was done the dead of winter. Light-draft, frail river steamers trusted themselves, under daring Yankee captains and crews, to the storms of the stormiest coast of the world, and all arrival safely at their destination. And her let me pay a tribute to those gallant seamen of the merchant shipping of the Nation, who in war entered its transport fleet. No service has been so difficult or so tedious-none so dangerous as to discourage or to daunt them.
No call for volunteers has ever failed to meet a ready response, whether and mysterious dangers of the dark bayous of the South, strewn with torpedoes by the devilish ingenuity of deserters from our own military and naval service, or to run in frail river steam-boats the batteries of the Potomac, the James, and the Pamlico, or the still more formidable works of Vicksburg. Urged by the spirit of adventure,