War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 1003 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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line; but the crowing effort was made by the enemy in October, 1864, when Hood, getting to Sherman's rear, threw his whole army on the road, first at Big Shanty and afterward north of Resaca, and destroyed in the aggregate 35 1\2 miles of track and 455 feet of bridges, killing and capturing a large number of our men. Fortunately, however, the detachments of the Construction Corps which escaped were so distributed that even before Hood left the road two strong working parties were at work, one on each end of the break at Big Shanty, and this gap of ten miles was closed and the force ready to move to the great break of twenty-five miles in length north of Resaca as soon as the enemy had left it. The destruction by Hood's army of our depots of supplies compelled us to cut nearly all the cross-ties required to relay this track and to send a distance for rails.

The cross-ties were cut near the line of the road and many of them carried by hand to the track, as the teams to be furnished for hauling them did not get to work until it was nearly completed. The rails used on the southern end of the break had to be taken up and brought from the railroads south of Atlanta, and those for the northern end were mostly brought from Nashville, nearly 200 miles distant.

Notwithstanding all the disadvantages under which the labor was performed, this twenty-five miles of track was laid and the trains were running over it in seven days and a half from the time the work was commenced.

The economy so commendable and essential upon civil railroads was compelled to give way to the lavish expenditure of war; and the question to be answered was not "How much will it cost?" but rather, "Can it be done at all at any cost?"

During February, 1862, I received the following important verbal order from the Secretary of War:

I shall expect you to have on hand at all times the necessary men and materials to enable you to comply promptly with any order given, nor must there be any failure.

The greatest number of men employed at the same date during the war was:

In Virginia..................................... 4,542

In North Carolina............................... 3,387

In Military Division of the Mississippi.........17,035

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Total...........................................24,964

Total number of miles operated.

In Virginia.................................... 611

In North Carolina.............................. 293

In Military Division of the Mississippi........ 1,201

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Total.......................................... 2,015

Number of engines.

In Virginia................................... 72

In North Carolina............................. 38

In Military Division of the Mississippi....... 260

In Georgia.................................... 14

Provided but not used......................... 35

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Total......................................... 419