running a railroad inside our fortifications to save both time and mule-flesh in distributing supplies along the line.
It was soon done.
About five miles of the City Point
road were used, from which the new road extended to the southwest, perhaps ten miles, striking the Weldon Railroad, which had been wrested from the enemy.
Down this the trains ran three miles; then a new branch of about two miles more to the west took them to the left of the Union
Of course, there were stations along this road at which supplies were left for those troops near by. These stations were named after different generals of the army.
stations are two names which yet linger in my memory, near each of which my company was at some time located.
The trains on this road were visible to the enemy for a time as they crossed an open plain in their trips, and brought upon themselves quite a lively shelling, resulting in no damage, I believe, but still making railroading so uncomfortable that a high embankment of earth was thrown up, which completely covered the engine and cars as they rolled along, and which still stands as a monument to the labors of the pick-and-shovel brigade.
This railroad was what is known as a surface road, by which is meant that there were no cuts made, the track being laid on the natural surface of the ground.
When a marsh was met with, instead of filling, the engineers built a trestling.
The effect of such railroading to the eye was quite picturesque, as a train wound its serpentine course along the country, up hill and down dale, appearing much as if it had jumped the track, and was going across lots to its destination.
trains of the army were wagon-trains
, and so little has been written about them in histories of the war that a limited sketch in this volume will have interest for many readers.
The trains belong to what is known in French as the materiel
of the army, in distinction from the personnel