I am to consider them as certain to be annexed to the Confederate States or not, or whether they expect to act permanently with the other Border States. I regret to trouble you at such length, but find it necessary, as I desire to act understandingly in matters of the utmost importance to our common country.
Very respectfully, yours,
F. W. PICKENS.
RICHMOND, FREDERICKSBURG AND POTOMAC R. R. CO.,
Richmond, Va., April 25, 1861.
SIR: Having had some eight years' experience in the management of railroads, and having recently some acquaintance with their use for State defense, and reflected upon it, I beg leave respectfully to submit to you the inclosed suggestions, which may have, to some degree, been overlooked by others less familiar with the subject or more preoccupied with other public duties. I would further suggest that a printed circular letter embodying these suggestions, emanating from your or the Governor, and addressed privately to the presidents and superintendents of our railroads, might be the most useful mode of giving them effect. Should they contribute in any degree to the safety and honor of the Commonwealth I shall be much gratified. To the seventh and last paragraph permit me to ask your special attention. At this time there are engines and trains run on this road by the military authorities between Fredericksburg and the Potomac River with very unnecessary frequency, wearing out our engines (which should, especially now, when others cannot be procured, be carefully husbanded), and preventing the carriage by the usual trains of the wood which is necessary for the engines, and which is rapidly being consumed, where it is most necessary to keep a supply. But far more than all these considerations, the hourly danger of collisions and a consequent disabling of the engines and road requires the cessation of this practice, which no doubt is continued from the want of appreciation of its evil consequences only.
I remain, with great respect, your obedient servant,
P. V. DANIEL, Jr.,
President Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac R. R. Co.
To make the railroads of this State most effective aids in the public defense, and to prevent their being equally effective means of invasion and attack to its enemies, the following precautions are necessary:
First. Every engine and car, whether for freight or passengers, not absolutely needed for immediate use, should be at once removinus or other point on each railroad which by any possibility may be suddenly invaded by the enemy to some other point or points on the road where they will be secure from capture and most available to the State.
Second. At every such point there should be kept a locomotive engine always, night and day, fired up, and with a full supply of wood and water, and an engineer and fireman ready at a minute's warning to run over the road and give warning of the enemy's approach. Should this engine be compelled to leave its station at any time, for however short an interval of time, another should be ready