War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0996 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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The following officers were directly in charge of operating the military railroads in North Carolina; W. W. Wright, chief engineer and general superintendent to July 1; Colonel J. F. Boyd, general superintendent after July 1; J. B. Van Dyne, superintendent; E. C. Smeed, engineer of repairs.


The greatest necessity, next to that of rolling-stock, was a supply of rails. These were obtained by purchase, manufacture, and by taking up lines unnecessary for military purposes.

The following roads were thus taken up entire for the distances specified:

Railroad. From - To - Length. Length.

In Virginia. Miles. Feet.

Seaboard and Suffolk Blackwater 14 ...


Norfolk and ..do.. ..do.. 14 ...


Manassas Gap Manassas Piedmont 35 ...

Richmond and White House Chickahominy 13 ...

York River River

In Military

Division of



Winchester and Decherd Fayetteville 41 2,640


McMinnville Near McMinnville 26 2,760

and Manchester Manchester

Mount Pleasant Columbia Mount 12 2,165

Branch Pleasant

During the war the quantity of rails purchased and manufactured was as follows:

Quantity of rails -

Year. Purchased. Manufactured at the

Chattanooga Rolling-


Tons. Pounds. Tons. Pounds.

1862 6,086 1,723 ... ...

1863 6,030 1,790 ... ...

1864 8,165 1,446 ... ...

1865 1,500 1,352 3,818 1, 184

Total 21,783 831 3,818 1, 184

The principle paid for purchased rails varied from $40 per ton, the lowest price, paid on July, 1862, to $130 per ton, the highest price, paid in June, 1864.

Soon after taking charge of the railroads in the Military Division of the Mississippi the following communication was addressed to the commanding general:


Nashville, Tenn., February 17, 1864.

Major General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi, Nashville, Tenn.:

GENERAL: When the track of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad is relaid we will have on hand 302 miles of old rails, weighing 11,864 gross tons. At present rates, new rails delivered at Chattanooga will cost $145 per ton.

There is at Chattanooga a rolling-mill, partially built by the rebels, which if completed - say at a cost of $30,000 - these old rails can be rerolled at a cost of about $50 per ton, coal being contiguous and abundant. This would not only be