3 locomotives and 100 cars for service. The road was worked under orders and by officers appointed by the general commanding the department and did not come under my jurisdiction. I am therefore unable to give any account of its operation.
When it was ascertained to what point of the coast General Sherman was directing his march from Atlanta preparation was at once made to furnish him with railroad facilities. A portion of the Construction Corps from the Division of the Mississippi that had rebuilt the railroads during the Atlanta campaign were ordered in December, 1864, to proceed to Baltimore by railroad from Nashville and embark for Savannah. Upon reaching Hilton Head information was received that General Sherman would not use the railroads near Savannah, and orders were given to proceed to New Berne, N. C., and open the railroad to Goldsborough.
Eleven miles of the Savannah and Gulf Railroad were opened and operated with rolling-stock captured at Savannah for local military purposes and to supply the citizens of the town with fuel. The tracks and buildings of the Georgia Central Railroad within the city limits also were used. Five serviceable and 9 unserviceable locomotives and 213 cars, about one-half of them damaged and unfit for service, were captured at Savannah. On the 20th day of June, 1865, all the railroad property was restored to the original owners by order of the department commander.
A detachment of the Virginia Construction Corps was sent to North Carolina by order of General Grant, and landed at New Berne January 30, 1865. The railroad at that time was in charge of the depot quartermaster at New Berne, and was in operation between Morehead City and Batchelder's Creek, forty-four miles. This construction force at once commenced rebuilding the bridge over that stream. On the 6th day of February the detachment sent from the Military Division of the Mississippi landed at Morehead City and relieved the force from Virginia, which returned back to City Point.
The railroad was required as fast as the army advanced, and was opened to Golsborough, ninety-five miles, March 25, the day following the arrival of General Sherman and his army from Savannah.
To provide another line of supplies the railroad from Wilmington to Goldsborough, eighty-five miles, was repaired and opened through April 4.
On the 10th of April movements were resumed toward the interior, and the railroads was opened April 19 to Raleigh, forty-eight miles from Goldsborough. It was opened soon after to Hillsborough and used until the parole of General Johnston's army was completed, when it was given up west of Raleigh.
The total length of railroads opened and used in this department was as follows:
Name of line. From - To - Length. Transferred
Atlantic and Morehead Golds- 95 Oct. 25
North City borough
Wilmington Wilmington ..do.. 85 Aug. 27
North Golds- Hills- 88 Oct. 22
Carolina borough borough
Raleigh and Raleigh Cedar 25 May 3
Total .......... ........ 293