No. 98.-report of Col. B. B. Hurt, C. S. Army, military Superintendent of Railroads, of the destruction of bridges, &c.
Major: Your dispatch of to-day, asking for a report from me about the disaster of cars on the Memphis and Charleston road, is received. I am sorry that I am not well enough to be at my office, as I have papers there referring to the evacuation of Corinth by the army.. I do not know that I have any information on the subject of your dispatch, as I had not received any intimation from any quarter that the bridges on that road were to be destroyed. Several days before the evacuation General Hardee wrote me a note (I think marked confidential) requesting me to notify the officer in charge of the guard at Tuscumbia Bridge, on the Mobile road, when the last train had passed over, as he had ordered the destruction of the bridge. I informed Captain Avery, commanding a company of the guard, that I would be on the last train, and would stop and notify them in person. I did so, and saw the torch applied as our train moved off. I cannot now remember the hours at which the trains sent west on the Charleston road left, as they were leaving at different hours through the night. The last two trains left about sunup-one of a single engine and tender and the other an engine and 6 or 7 cars, two of which had been used by the employes of the railroad company as boarding cars, and it is my impression that but little Government property was on the train. The assistant superintendent (C. S. Williams) of that road had no notice of any purpose to destroy the bridges that I know of. I think the loss of property at Corinth and at General Van Dorn's camps would have been very light but for the unexpected demand, at an hour when it was too late to replace them, for 20 cars to send Colonel Orr and 1,000 men down the Mobile road.  I cannot close this communication, major, without tendering you my thanks for the very efficient aid you rendered me during the entire night previous to leaving Corinth. I wish it was in my power to give a public acknowledgment to yourself, Colonel Smith (military governor, &c.), and Captain Lay for services rendered in saving the ammunition at Corinth. Very respectfully, &c.,