War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0538 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

been worked to its full capacity. Mr. T. W. Yardley, the efficient superintendent, estimates that it is capable of turning out fifty tons per day. As it is, the mill has more than paid for itself; but had the Southwest been carried on the same extensive scale that they had been for the last year, it would have been invaluable.

The large amount of damaged rails on the lines centering at Chattanooga would have furnished on abundance of material for the mill, which could have supplied all the rails required, thus saving the first cost and transportation of new iron, with the additional advantage of having it on the spot where it was wanted. On the 6th of May orders were received from your office to reduce the Construction Corps "to the lowest possible limit." It was at once reduced to 1,200 men, but a further reduction was arrested by General Thomas" order to rebuild the Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad. This work was commenced on the 10th of May and completed through to Atlanta on the 4th of July. The road had been badly damaged by General Sherman's army before they started for Savannah. The three important bridges over the Oostenaula, the Etowah, and the Chattahoochee Rivers, besides many others of less importance, were all burned; many miles of track were torn up and the rails and ties burned and rendered unfit for relaying; culverts under high embankments were blown up; buildings and water-tanks burned, and, in fact, it was a complete destruction of the railroad from the Etowah to Atlanta. But between the Etowah and Resaca the damage done was not so great, being confined to the destruction of all the bridges and water stations and about one or two miles of track. Between Resaca and Dalton the track had been taken up by the Construction Corps, as stated in my report of May 20. At Marietta our force was met by a force working under the orders of General Winslow, who, by order of Major-General Wilson, had patched up the track from Atlanta to that place and built the bridges over the Chattanooga River and at the big embankment near Vining's. As much of this work had been done by unskilled laborers who had no chairs and an insufficient of spikes, it became necessary for our force to relay a good deal of the track. Below is a tabular statement of the work done on this line:

By whom Track Track Bridgin Cross- Timber. Water-

constru surface laid. g. ties. tanks

cted. d and built.

repaire

d.

Miles. Miles. Linear Linear

ft. ft.

Constru 36 49 1/2 2.428 42.500 13.200 6

ction

Corps.

General ... 17 1.125 37.500 1.800 2

Wilson"

s men.

Total. 36 66 1/2 3.553 80.000 15.000 8

The cost of General Wilson's work, in addition to the labor of troops, as per settlement of General Winslow with Grant & Co., and approved by General Wilson, is as follows: Seven hundred and twenty-five feet bridging over Chattahoochee River, at $11 per foot, $7,965; amount due for track laying as per check-roll, $7,167; amount for work done at culvert near Vining's, $528; total, $15,670.

For the amount of work done this bill is quite reasonable and should be paid. At Atlanta the Construction Corps laid about three miles of sidings, and built a large freight platform 400 by 30 feet, with a roof over part of it. Upon the completion of the road to