line of supplies for the army of General Meade at Gettysburg. Sufficient locomotives, cars, fuel, supplies, and men to operate it were brought from military railroads of Virginia, the equipment belonging to the road itself being wholly inadequate. The road was restored to the owners July 7, the army having moved to the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
July 9, 1863, full military possession was taken of the railroad from Hanover Junction to gettysburg, thirty miles, and it was operated as a military line until August 1 to remove the wounded from the field of battle to distant hospitals. During military occupation about 15,580 wounded men were transported over it. The equipment and men for this work were likewise furnished from the military railroads of Virginia.
During the rebel occupation of Central Pennsylvania in June all the bridges were destroyed by them on the Northern Central Railroad between Hanover Junction and Harrisburg, and several miles of track torn up on the Cumberland Valley and Franklin Railroads between Harrisburg and Hagerstown, Md. The Virginia military railroad construction corps rebuilt the bridges of the Northern Central Railroad. The materials for the same were furnished from the Government yard at Alexandria, Va. The railroad company afterward returned an equal quantity of material, the lumber amounting to 150,000 feet, B. M. The same construction corps also relaid a portion of the damaged track of the Cumberland Valley and Franklin Railroads.
As the was progressed the nature capacity, and value of railroads were better understood on both sides, and more systematic and determined efforts were made by the enemy against the lines used for transporting supplies to our armies. The destruction of track and bridges was greater each subsequent time the roads passed within their military lines, and it became apparent that extraordinary preparations must be made to meet it. Earlorps was formed, consisting of about 300 men, which was the beginning of an organization afterward numbering in the East and West nearly 10,000. The design of the corps was to combine a body of skilled workmen in each department of railroad construction and repairs, under competent engineers, supplied with abundant materials, tools, mechanical appliances, and transportation. They were formed into divisions, gangs, and squads, in charge, respectively, of supervisors, foremen, and sub-foremen, furnished with tents and field equipment. Store- houses were established at principal points, with an ample stock of tools and materials.
With the opening of the campaign in Virginia in May, 1864, under Lieutenant-General Grant, the Alexandria railroads ceased to bear any important part. The Orange and Alexandria line was opened to Rappahannock River, fifty miles, between September 28 and October 2, 1864, but at once abandoned back to Manassas. It was operated to that station until November 10, when it was abandoned back to Fairfax, sixteen miles from Alexandria. It was operated for that distance until the close of the war, and June 27, 1865, was surrendered to the Board of Public Works of Virginia.
The Manassas Gap Railroad was opened from Manassas to Piedmont, thirty-four miles, between October 3 and 11, and operated until
62 R R - SERIES III, VOL V