James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
who had been wounded in defending their country. In September, 1864, Thomas Dabney wrote from Macon that in middle Georgia the railroads were in the hands of the Government and all private travel was excluded except on freight trains. As a special favor Governor Browns wife was given passage in an express car, a close box. Dabney himself, desiring to take his family, servants and furniture from Macon to Jackson, Mississippi, chartered two box cars for several thousand dollars and they travelled thither on freight trains, stopping at night and not infrequently a whole day, consuming two weeks on a journey which with close connections could now be made in less than twenty hours.
For this defective transportation, from which the Government and public suffered, all sorts of remedies were suggested by Government officials and railroad presidents and superintendents, but most of them involved a development of manufacturing industries or an extension of commerce which was impossible. Lack of iron was the serious difficulty; if an adequate supply of this metal had been available, the railroads could have been kept in repair. How scarce it was is implied in the request that the Government impress the rails of an unprofitable railroad and give them to another company for the extension of its line. Indeed, such an expedient was afterwards resorted to. Army officers likewise frequently impressed cars and locomotives and ordered the rolling stock from one road to another without providing for its return. But on the other hand the Government made appropriations of money for the completion of certain lines of railroads.