War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0230 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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details. When he tool charge of this service the Mississippi had been opened and the merchants of the West were in condition to established lines of steamers to all parts of its navigable waters. The system of time-charter of steamers was as fast as possible abandoned, and contracts were made on public advertisement with the lowest responsible bidders to move the stores of the department at fixed rates per pound. The rapid accumulation at Nashville and at other points of supplies, which enabled General Sherman to move successfully into Georgia, have been detailed in the last annual report of this office.

WESTERN RIVER TRANSPORTATION.

In the course of the war a considerable fleet of river steamers and other vessels had become the property of the department upon the Mississippi and its tributaries, by purchase, by construction, or by capture. A list of the steamers accompanies the report. It contains the name of-

Side-wheel steamers...................................34

Stern-wheel steamers..................................37

Center-wheel steamers..................................3

Ferry-boats............................................1

Screw-tugs............................................16

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Total steam-boats.....................................91

Of others vessels the department owned upon those rivers-

Steam-boat hulls.......................................2

Model barges..........................................74

Gunwale barges.......................................226

Small wood barges.....................................26

Box barges.............................................3

Barges not classified.................................23

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Total barges.........................................352

Wharf-boats...........................................18

Canal-boats............................................3

Coal-boats............................................60

Yawl-boats............................................56

Sail-boats.............................................1

Metallic boats.........................................1

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Total boats..........................................139

Skiffs.................................................9

Sectional docks........................................3

Small flats............................................2

Floating docks.........................................1

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Total boats and barges of all kinds...................599

Nearly all of these have been advertised for sale. Those which have been constructed or purchased by the department have been or will be sold. Those which been captured or seized will be turned over to the Treasury Department, to be disposed of under the law, or will be returned to their original owners, if pardoned, and, if so ordered, upon full consideration of their claims.