War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0471 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

and certified to by Captain Hopkins; otherwise no vouchers could be issued to discharged employes unless the general manager or chief superintendent was present.

Captain John Parks, assistant quartermaster, is stationed at Memphis, Tenn., and is responsible for all property on the Memphis and Charleston and Mobile and Ohio Railroads, so far as operated in that part of the State, and for the property on the Memphis and Little Rock Railroads. The rolls for employes of these roads are made out and paid by the quartermaster, for the same reason as at Chattanooga. The consolidated rolls, Form Numbers 2, and both places are, however, sent to Nashville for audit and approval of the general manager.

Stores are purchased and supplied by the quartermaster on requisition of the general superintendent and chief engineer of the roads.

The question of property responsibility has always been the most difficult matter to arrange owing to the peculiar organization of the military railroad service. In this military division it is organized under the directed of a general superintendent, who has charge of everything relative to transportation and repairs, and a chief engineer in charge of constrthe other, and the quartermaster independent of both, except so far as filling requisitions for supplies and paying the employes.

The mingling of civil and military officials, without any precedent or regulation to govern anomalous cases that constantly arise, would naturally produce collisions of authority, unless all parties worked with the proper spirit and yielded questions of rank

and precedence to the more important one of emergencies of service. Fortunately this was the case except in one instance, when the bad temper of one official produced so much bad feeling and annoyance that his resignation was promptly accepted by the general manager. It will be seen, therefore, that the property, although on the returns of the quartermasters, is all in the responsible to him. During the period that Mr. E. L. Wentz was superintendent he completely ignored the authority of the quartermaster, and prohibited any reports being made of the loss or destruction of property. The consequence was that the officer responsible, Captain G. H. Clemens, assistant quartermaster, on being ordered to be relieved, could not find a tithe of the property his papers called, and was so involved that a board of survey is now in session, convened by order of Major-General Thomas, to investigate the cause of his large deficiency and fix the responsibility.

A system of reports is now instituted by which the quartermaster is kept advised of the condition of property, and affidavits are furnished for all lost or destroyed, which I believe will effect a more prompt rendition of returns than could be previously obtained.

Owing to the nature of the service, in an enemy's country, but few accurate statistics could be kept of the number of troops or the amount of freight transported. Whole corps and even armies have been frequently transported back and forth in the same week from one end of the military division to the other, on cars of every description, almost in presence of the enemy, so that it was impossible to keep any record of it.

I was directed by Bvt. Major General J. L. Donaldson, chief quartermaster Military Division of the Tennessee, to prepare an estimate of the expenses of the road for the month of July, compared with the receipts and the amount chargeable on account of general transportation, a copy of which is appended. I have examined this report since and believe it to be very nearly correct.