Tennessee Railroad west.
Starvation had stared the Army of Northern Virginia in the face; and the commissary department organized an appeal to the people on the line of the Richmond and Danville Railroad for voluntary contributions of supplies, and a number of gentlemen of influence, character, and position, including the most eminent clergymen of the State, addressed them in several counties, urging them to furnish the supply wanted.
No one who witnessed can ever forget the results.
Contribution was universal, and supplies of food sufficient to meet the wants of the army at the time were at once sent to the depots on the road until they were packed and groaned under their weight; and I affirm that at the time of the evacuation of Richmond, the difficulty of delivering supplies sufficient for the support of the Army of Northern Virginia under General Lee was solved and surmounted, for I know that abundant supplies were in reach of transportation on the Richmond and Danville Railroad, being massed in Danville, Charlotte, and at other points; and, from the increased motive power above referred to, they could have been deliverd as fast as they were required. . . . At the time of the evacuation of the city, there were ample supplies in it, as well as on the railroad west of Amelia Court-House, to have been delivered at the latter place for the retreating army, if its numbers had been double what they were.
No orders were ever given to any officers or employee of the Richmond and Danville Railroad to transport any supplies to Amelia Court-House for General Lee's army, nor did I ever hear that any such orders were sent to the commissary department on the occasion of the evacuation of Richmond, until after the surrender of the army.
then recites his interview, held on Saturday, the day before evacuation, with the Quartermaster General
, the Secretary of War
, and myself, from whom he learned that he might go home for a fortnight, there being no expectation that Richmond
would be evacuated in the meantime.
He adds that the next day he was informed by telegraph of the proposed evacuation, and returned to Richmond
, at which place he conferred with me and the Secretary of War
about the route to be taken by the wagon supply train, and that he had a long conversation with me on the cars during our night ride to Danville
In regard to sending supplies to Amelia Court House
, he writes:
I have never believed that any orders to place supplies of food at Amelia Court-House were received by the commissary department at the time of the evacuation of the city, because from Richmond, or from the upper portions of the railroad, if required, they could at once have been transported without any delay or difficulty.
Neither the road nor the telegraph was cut or disturbed until the day after the evacuation of the city.
It may perhaps be thought that the amount of evidence adduced is greater than necessary to disprove the very improbable assertion that, instead of burden cars, a passenger train had been loaded with provisions for Lee
's army at Amelia Court House
, and that these passenger cars, without being permitted to unload the freight, had, in reckless