War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0989 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

The Nashville, Decatur and Stevenson road wa used for local purposes during the summer of 1864. About the 1st of September General Wheeler tore up several miles of that track between Nashville and Columbia, and late in September General Forrest destroyed several bridges and tore up a portion of the track between Athens and Pulaski. The whole length of track destroyed in the two raids was twenty-nine miles and a half. That between Nashville and Columbia was at once repaired, but between Pulaski and Athens it was not rebuilt until February, 1865. During Hood's Nashville campaign in November and December, 1864, all the bridges than standing between Nashville and Decatur were destroyed, with six miles of track. The work of reconstruction was commenced December 19, three days after the battle of Nashville, and completed to Pulaski February 10, 1865. In addition to relaying the track, 7,055 linear feet of bridges were built, consuming 1,045,675 feet timber, B. M.

Near the close of February and again in March most of these bridges were swept away by extraordinary floods, and were rebuilt, some of them twice and many of them three times, and they were finally replaced by permanent truss bridges.

The road from Stevenson to Decatur was restored to the company September 12, and between Nashville and Decatur September 15, 1865.

Nashville and Northwestern seventy-eighty miles.- At the beginning of the war this road had been completed to Kingston Springs, twenty-five miles from Nashville, and some work had been done upon it thence to Tennessee River.

It remained in this condition until after the following order was issued.*

On the 17th day of February, 1864, the supervision of the work of construction was placed in my charge by order of Major-General Grant. (Spacial Orders, Numbers 43, headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, 1864.)

The road was connected through between Nashville and Tennessee River on the 10th day of May, 1865. On the 9th of August it was turned over to this department to be operated as a military line by an order of Major-General Sherman, issued by the authority of the President of the United States. At the terminus on Tennessee River, named Johnsonville, extensive arrangements were made to receive and transfer freight from steam-boat to cars. Ample buildings and platforms were erected and powerful hoisting machinery introduced. During the months of August, September, and October, the season of low water in the Cumberland River, large quantities of supplies for the army were received and shipped over this road. It was very much exposed to attacks from guerrillas, who at times inflicted considerable damage and interfered with its operation. On the 4th of November General Forrest planted batteries on the west bank of Tennessee River and succeeded in destroying all the valuable buildings at Johnsonville, with their contents.

On the 30th of November the road was entirely abandoned and the movable property on it taken to Nashville. During General Hood's occupation of the country, from December 1 to 16, all the bridges were destroyed. Repairs were commenced January 2 and the road was completed through by February 13; 2,200 linear feet of bridges being rebuilt. In February, March, and April most of these bridges


* See Special Order, War Department, October 22, 1863, Vol. III, this series, p. 910.