The same movement if performed by railroad, at the reduced rates at which the railroads serve the Government, would have cost $746,964.
Thus 96,000 men and 10,000 horses were, in the short space of forty days, moved from Washington, on the Potomac, across the Alleghanies and, descending the Ohio and ascending the Mississippi, were placed in the several position to which they had been ordered.
During these same forty days 233,000 men in all were moved by railroad from Washington, 96,000 of them to the posts above named; the others were distributed to every hamlet and village of the State north of the Potomac and Ohio Rivers, and restored to their homes, the labor of war over, to return to the pursuits of peaceful industry which they had left at the call of their country in her hour of need.
In all these movements there have been few accidents, and the safety and economy of the service are not less noticeable than its speed.
Had the armies marched to their several places of destination the pay of the men, the subsistence of men and animals, the maintenance of the immense trains which would have accompanied them, considering the time which the march would have consumed, would have far exceed the cost of this rapid movements by rail and river.
It is understood that since the close of the war 800,000 men have been safety brought back from the rebellions districts, transported by this department to the several camps of discharge established in every loyal State, and finally sent to thof these men came from Texas and the Gulf Coast; other from the territories of all the lately rebellious State.
Such a movement is unexampled. It illustrates the resources of the country for the operations of war, and the great advantages it possesses in its system of navigable rivers and its 40,000 miles of railroads.
In the winter of 1863, when the rebel armies were driven back from Chattanooga, the immediate repair and almost total reconstruction of the track of the railway from Nashville to Chattanooga became an imperative necessity.
The position taken up by the troops along the line of the Tennessee River, for the winter, required for their supply that the railroads from Nashville to Decatur, and from decatur to beyond Knoxville, should also be repaired and equipped. Bridges were rebuilt; new and heavier iron was laid down upon the road from Nashville to Chattanooga; locomotives and cars in great number were manufactured at the North and transported to the scene of active operations.
As the Louisville and Nashville Railroad proved insufficient for the heavy traffic thrown upon it, and was sometimes cut by guerrillas, the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad, from Nashville to Johnsonville, on the Tennessee River, was repaired, completed, and opened to trade. This afforded a new avenue by which the product of the Northwest were transported to the base of operations at nashville, the Tennessee River being naviga-draft boats from the Ohio to Johnsonville.
Seventeen hundred and sixty-nine miles of military were at one time repaired, maintained, stocked, and operated by the agents of this department, under the energetic supervision of Bvt. Brigadier General D. C. McCallum, general manger of military railways of the United States.