War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0970 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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was ready to move at a moment's notice to any point and do any kind of railroad work. In the early part of 1864 much difficulty was experienced in getting the requisite transportation for construction operations. The number of cars and locomotives was so limited that they were nearly all employed in carrying necessary supplies for the troops, and teams and wagons could not be furnished by the Quartermaster's Department. We were therefore compelled in many cases to carry or draw for long distances by hand bridge timber, cross-ties, and other heavy materials. In this dilemma Colonel Beckwith, chief commissary of subsistence Military Division of the Mississippi, came to our rescue and offered us the use of such cattle out of his droves of beef- cattle as we could train to work. We immediately made a lot of yokes and other necessary fixtures and rigged up several ox teams. The result was so satisfactory that we afterward drew a large number of cattle, and each division of the corps was furnished with about fifty yoke of work oxen. These were of great service in our future operations. And soon after the Atlanta campaign commenced our supply of rolling-stock had increased so much that we were able to get cars and locomotives enough for several construction trains, which were retained as long as wanted. As an instance of the facility with which the Construction Corps moved and its preparation for an emergency, I will mention the movement of the Second Division from Chattanooga to North Carolina via Baltimore, Md., and Savannah, Ga., in January, 1865. This division was at work on the nashville and Chattanooga Railroad at the time the order was received, but within twenty-four hours it was ready to move, and after the long journey by land and sea in the dead of winter they commenced work on the Morehead City and Goldsborough Railroad within six hours after landing in North Carolina. In no railroad operations during the war was the efficiency of the military railroad organization more fully demonstrated than in North Carolina. We had but five weeks from the time of our arrival in this department in which to accomplish the work necessary to enable us to supply General Sherman's army at Goldsborough "by the middle of March." The various branches of the railroad service had to be thoroughly organized, the requisite men and materials procured from the North, the rolling-stock on hand repaired and put in serviceable condition, 22 1/2 miles of track and 1,288 feet lineal of bridged built, a large wharf on piles built at Morehead City, and a vast amount of other work to be done. All was accomplished by the time appointed, and General Sherman's army more than fully supplied on the 9th of April, one day before the time he had fixed for moving from Goldsborough. The non-arrival of rolling-stock expected from the North left us with but a very limited supply for the large amount of transportation to be done, but by keeping every wheel we had moving night and day, and being so fortunate as not to have a single serious accident to our trains, we were enabled to get through. From the 25th of April to the 9th of May nearly 3,000 cars loaded with supplies of various kinds forwarded from the coast to the army lying around Goldsborough. For this service we had up to April 1 five locomotives and eighty-seven cars, and after that date one more locomotive, but the same number of cars.

In conclusion, I again wish to bear full testimony to the valuable services rendered by my assistants, both in the Military Division of the Mississippi and in North Carolina. The following is a list of the principal officers: Military Division of the Mississippi - L. H. Eicholtz, division engineer, First Division, and acting chief engineer during