Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, 151 miles.
This was the great military thoroughfare over which passed all supplies for the armies in the Atlanta campaign, over which re- enforcements were sent to General Sherman, and by which the largest number of sick and wounded were sent to the rear. When it first passed under control of this department it was in a very dilapidated condition, and its appointments were utterly inadequate for the business required to be done on it. For several months trains returning from the front were sent around by Stevenson and Decatur to Nashville, eighty-seven miles farther, on account of the impossibility of passing them by the Nashville and Chattanooga line.
About 115 miles of main track and sidings were relaid with new iron, cross-ties, and ballast, and forty-five new water-tanks erected. Long sidings were laid, capable of holding five to eight heavy freight trains, at intervals not more than eight miles apart, and telegraph stations established at most of them. At Nashville some ten miles of sidings were laid to facilitate handling trains and to store engines and cars when accumulated there. At Chattanooga about the same length of sidings was laid.
About September 1, 1864, the rebel General Wheeler destroyed seven miles of track between Nashville and Murfreesborough, and in December Hood destroyed 7 3/4 miles of track and 530 feet of bridges between the same stations.
Excepting in these two instances this road suffered very little from the rebels during the year.
Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad, 136 miles.
Next in importance as a military line was the railroad from Chattanooga to Atlanta. It was opened through in August, 1864, immediately after the evacuation of Atlanta by the rebel army. Extensive repairs were required to the twenty-nine miles of road from Big Shanty to Atlanta. The most important work was the Chattahoochee bridge, 780 feet long and 90 feet high, which was completed by the Construction Corps in four days and a half.
While occupied as a military road this was more infested with guerrillas than any other line during the war.
Early in October General Hood made his great raid in rear of General Sherman's army and destroyed in all 35 1/2 miles of track and 455 lineal feet of bridges. In thirteen days after he left trains were run over the entire road from Chattanooga to Atlanta. Twenty-five miles of the track and 230 feet of bridges in one stretch between Tunnel Hill and Resaca were reconstructed in eight days and a half.
When General Sherman left on his march to Savannah in November this road was abandoned between Atlanta and Dalton, 100 miles; the track between Atlanta and Etowah River, forty-six miles, was torn up and destroyed, while between Resaca and Dalton, sixteen miles, the rails were taken up and carried to Chattanooga.
By order of Major-General Thomas the road was reconstructed from Dalton to Atlanta between May 10 and July 4, 1865. Sixty-six miles of track were laid, 36 miles repaired, and 3,553 lineal feet of bridging rebuilt.
Chattanooga and Knoxville Railroad, 112 miles.
This road was operated with great regularity through the year, excepting a part of August and through September, 1864, when Gen-