War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0952 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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work done upon it whatever, but the men worked from daylight till dark, with one hour intermission at noon for dinner. A division of the Construction Corps was held at the Chattahoochee until Atlanta was won, and they then completed the railroad into the city on the 3rd of September, the day after General Slocum took possession of it.


By the original location the Atlanta line crossed the Knoxville line twice within a few miles of Chattanooga. Both he vicinity of that place, it was deemed unnecessary to rebuild both entire, and as the Knoxville road was the shorter and better line, it was rebuilt and the Atlanta line was connected with it near the crossing of the Chickamauga Creek, some five miles from Chattanooga, thus shortening the distance to Atlanta about two miles. Two connections were made, the first being merely for temporary use. The track between the junction and Tunnel Hill had been badly damaged and much of it required relaying; besides a number of small breaks at other points, some two miles near Mariette had been taken up and the rails removed. A similar break, but not of such extent, was found near Vining's Station. Guerrillas and raiding parties were more or less successful in destroying portions of track during the whole time we held the road; but the crowning effort of this kind was made in October, 1864, when Hood, getting to the rear of Sherman, threw his whole army on the road, first at Big Shanty and afterward north of Resaca, and destroyed in the aggregate thirty-five and a half miles of track and 455 lineal feet of bridges, killing and capturing a large number of our men. Fortunately, however, the detachments of the Construction Corps which escaped were so distributed that even before Hood had left the road two strong working parties were at work, one on each end of the break at Big Shanty, and this gap of ten miles was closed and the force ready to move to the great break of twenty -five miles in length north of Resaca as soon as the enemy had left it. The destruction by Hood's army of our depots of supplies compelled us to cut nearly all the cross-ties required to relay this track and send to a distance for rails. The cross-ties were cut near the line of the road and many of then carried by hand to the track, as the teams to by furnished for hauling them did not get to the work until it was nearly completed. The rails used on the southern end of the break had to be taken up and brought from the railroads south of Atlanta, and those for the northern end were mostly brought from Nashville, nearly 200 miles distant. Notwithstanding all these disadvantages under which we had to labor, this twenty-five miles of the track was laid and the trains were running over it in seven and a half days from the time the work was commenced. When Sherman cut loose from his railroad line of supply in November, 1864, and commenced his march to the sea, he very effectually destroyed the road between the Etowah and Atlanta, and by his order we took up the track between Resaca and Dalton, sixteen miles, and brought the iron to Chattanooga. In May, 1865, General Thomas ordered the road to be reopened through to Atlanta. It was completed on the 4th of July following.

The following is a statement of track laid:

Main track laid - Miles.

In opening the road...................................18 3/4

After numerous small raids............................10

After Hood's great raid...............................35 1/2

In 1865, by General Thomas order......................66 1/2


Total................................................130 3/4