of the Federal
Army of Virginia and the Army of the Potomac were, until September 9, 1863, largely in the hands of Herman Haupt
, who, for a time, also held general superintendence over all the military roads of the United States
In April, 1862, the great war secretary, Edwin M. Stanton
, sent an urgent telegram to Mr. Haupt
, requesting him to come to Washington
Knowing that Congress would probably exercise a certain amount of supervision over his work if he entered the Government
service, and having had a discouraging experience already with legislative bodies, he hesitated to undertake the work which Secretary Stanton
pressed upon him. However, having been assured by the joint committee of Congress having such matters in charge that his interests would not be sacrificed, he immediately began the task of rescuing the railway and transportation service of the Federal
armies from the apparently irreparable chaos into which it had fallen.
knew his ground when he confided this work to Haupt
He also knew his man, and the absolute integrity and fearless energy that he was capable of putting into any enterprise he undertook.
At first, Haupt
was employed as a civilian.
On April 27, 1862, however, he was appointed aide-de-Camp on the staff of General McDowell
, whom he had known at West Point
, and with whom he was soon on the closest terms, both personally and officially.
On May 28th, he was given the rank of colonel, which he held until the second battle of Bull Run
, when he was commissioned a brigadier-general.
The first important work under Haupt
's direction was the reconstruction of the railroad from Aquia Creek
This became, on reopening, the first strictly military road in the United States
during the war. At Aquia Creek
, the large wharf had been completely destroyed and the railroad track torn up for a distance of about three miles, the rails having been carried away and the ties burned.
All the bridges in the vicinity had been destroyed by burning and their