while there was only eight and a half feet at high water at the old one. This improvement proved to be a valuable acquisition to the means of supplying the army. The road continued to be used without interruption until June, 1863, when it was abandoned with small loss of material but the bridges, buildings, and wharves were soon afterward burned by the enemy.
The eastern portion of the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad was taken in charge July 22, 1862, and the gauge at once changed from five feet to four feet eight and one-half inches for forty-four miles. At Suffolk, twenty-three miles from Norfolk, this line crosses the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad running from Portsmouth, opposite Norfolk. A connecting track was laid between the two roads in August, 1862, and these lines were afterward operated together.
In may, 1863, about fifteen miles of track was taken up on the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad west of Suffolk by order of Major-General Dix, and about the same length on the Seaboard and Roanoke. The two roads were afterward operated to Suffolk until the close of the war, for local military purposes, and were not identified with any of the great military operations or campaigns. From July 22, 1862, to June 30, 1863, the transportation over them was as follows: Troops, 107,359 men; quartermaster's stores, 23,757 tons; subsistence stores, 9,043 tons; ordnance stores, 2,353 tons; total stores, 35,153 tons.
In April, 1863, the Orange and Alexandria Railroad was opened to Bealeton and used a few days to supply a force on the Rappahannock. The portion south of Bull Run was then abandoned, and about the 15th of June the whole road outside the defenses of Washington was evacuated.
July 18 repairs were recommended and continued till the road was opened to Culpeper. Not having been much damaged by the enemy, the amount of work necessary to put it in running order was small. It was used until the 1st of October to supply the army of General Meade after its return to Virginia from the Gettysburg campaign.
Early in October it was again abandoned south of Bull Run, and was thoroughly destroyed by the enemy from Manassas Junction nearly to Brandy Station, about twenty-two miles. Repairs were commenced October 23, and the damaged road opened October 30 to Warrenton Junction, eleven miles, and to Culpeper November 16, to which point it was operated during the winter and until the final advance under Lieutenant-General Grant of the Army of the Potomac May 4, 1864, when ot was abandoned beyond Burke's Station, fourteen miles from Alexandria.
Rappahannock River bridge, 625 feet long and 35 feet high, was rebuilt in nineteen working hours. The Army of the Potomac remained in winter quarters on the south side of the Rappahannock and received all its supplies for men and animals during the winter and spring over this single-track road.
The Manassas Gap Railroads was reopened to White Plains, twenty- three miles from Manassas, in August, 1863, and used for a few days to deliver supplies for General Meade's army on the march from Gettysburg to Culpeper.
On the 2nd of July, 1863, military possession was taken of the Western Maryland Railroad from Baltimore to Westminster, in Maryland, thirty-six miles, which from its position, had become the