all the means within the power of my department to rebuild the bridge across Pearl River, and repair the railroad-track beyond it. I at once assigned Major George Whitfield, then on duty with me (afterward assigned to the important duty of repairs of railroads destroyed by the enemy), to this special duty. Negroes in large numbers were impressed, sufficient transportation afforded, materials furnished, and mechanics and skilled laborers employed, and placed under control of the railroad authorities. The work was vigorously prosecuted, and would have been completed in a few days but for the occupation by the forces under General Sherman.
L. Mimms, Major and Chief Quartermaster of the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana.