condition. I endeavored to procure wagon transportation, but was informed by the general commanding the Department of Georgia that a sufficient number of teams could not be had in the State to haul one-half of my stores, and as the roads were bad the distance more than 400 miles, I abandoned al idea of attempting a route through a country difficult and tedious under more propitious circumstances.
The prospect of reaching Andersonville at this time was by no means favorable, and nearly one week had elapsed since my arrival at Savannah. I had telegraphed to Augusta, Atlanta, and Macon almost daily and received replies that the railroads were not yet completed.
At length, on the morning of the 18th of July, the gratifying telegram from Augusta was received announcing the completion of the Augusta and Macon road to Atlanta, when I at once determined to procure a boat and proceed to Augusta by the Savannah River. The desired boats was secured, and in twenty-four hours after the receipt of the telegram alluded to was on my way with men and material for Augusta. On my arrival there I found the railroad completed to Macon, and that from Macon to Andersonville having never been broken, experienced little difficulty in reaching my destination, where I arrived July 25, after a tiresome trip, occupying six days and nights.
At Macon, Major-General Wilson detailed one company of the Fourth U. S. Cavalry and one from the One hundred and thirty-seventh Regiment U. S. Colored Troops to assist me. A member of the former company was killed on the 5th of August at a station named Montezuma, on the Southwestern Railroad.
The rolling-stock of all the roads over which I traveled is in a miserable condition, and very seldom a greater rate of speed was obtained than twelve miles an hour. At the different stations along the route the object of the expedition was well, known, and not unfrequently men wearing the garb of rebel soldiers would enter the cars and discuss the treatment of our prisoners at Andersonville, all of whom candidly admitted it was shameful, and a blot on the escutcheon of the South that years would not efface.
While encamped at Andersonville I was daily visited by men from the surrounding country, and had an opportunity of gleaning their feelings toward the Government, and with hardly an exception found those who had been in the rebel army penitent and more kindly disposed than those who have never taken a part, and anxious to again become citizens of the Government which they fought so hard to destroy.
On the morning of the 26th of July the work of identifying the graves, painting and lettering the headboards laying out the walks and inclosing the cemetery was commenced, and on the evening of August 16 was completed, with the exceptions hereafter mentioned.
The dead were found buried in trenches, on a site selected by the rebels, about 300 yards from the stockade. The trenches were from two to three feet below the surface, and in several instances, where the rains had washed away the earth,but a few inches. Additional earth was, however, thrown on the graves, making them of still greater depth.
So close were they buried, without coffins or the ordinary clothing to cover their nakedness, that more than twelve inches was allowed to each man; indeed, the little tablets marking their resting-place, measuring hardly ten inches in width, almost touching each other.