War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0236 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

superintendent, on duty at the War Department, and in charge of all telegraph lines in the Department of the Potomac, Virginia, North Carolina, and the South.

The funds for the support of the Military Telegraph are furnished from the appropriations of the Quartermaster's Department, and are disbursed under the direction of the chief of Military Telegraphs, whose reports, with those of his assistant, are submitted herewith.

The duties of these officers have brought them more directly under the notice of the Secretary of War than of the Quartermaster-General, and their merits are well known to the War Department.

Expenditures during the year were $300,000 for material and supplies, of which about $130,000 was expended for purchase of 285 miles of submarine telegraph cable for use in case of necessity upon the coast and bays. The great part of this is still on hand.

Referring to Colonel Stager's report, herewith, it appears that the estimated coast of supplying and maintaining and operating military lines now in use is $75,000 per month:

Land. Sub- Aggre-

marine. gate.

Military telegraph in Miles. Miles. Miles.

operation July 1, 1864.....

4,955 1/4 52 3/4

Constructed during the year. 3,246 1/2 68 3/4

Total in operation during 8,201 3/4 121 1/2 8,323 1/4

the fiscal year ending June

30, 1865..................

Taken down or abandoned 2,049 46 1/4

during the year...........

Total operation June 30, 6,152 2/4 75 1/4 6,228


During the rebellion there have been constructed and operated about 15,000 miles of military telegraph.

The cost of the Military Telegraph from May 1, 1861, to December 1, 1862, was about $22,000 per month.

During the year 1863 it averaged $38,500 per month.

In 1864 the telegraph was greatly extended, and the cost reached $93,500 per month.

The total expenditure during the year ending June 30, 1865, has been $1,360,000.

The total expenditure from May 1, 1861, to June 30, 1865 $2,655,500.

Upon the fall of the rebellion the telegraph lines throughout the South were taken possession of by the Government. The telegraph companies were called upon to repair their lines and put them in good working order, furnishing all labor and material thereof, the United States to be at no outlay beyond the expense of maintaining purely military lines and military stations. An account of Government business is kept, subject to future consideration or settlement.


From the records in this office it appears that the armies in the field required, under the organization prevailing during the third year of the war, for the use of cavalry, artillery, and for the trains, one-half as many horses and mules as they contained soldiers.

The full rations of forage for a horse is fourteen pounds of hay and twelve pounds of grain daily, twenty-six pounds in all. The gross weight of a man's ration of subsistence is three pounds; the forage for an army therefore weighs, when full rations are supplied, about