and perfectly safe plan, for he can have them have in his country upon the most reasonable terms and ample security to the Government. I think he will also be able to get several hundred rifles that have been heretofore given out to companies, and which I am willing to allow him to receive in exchange for guns suited to drill but not for real service. I am thus particular because I am anxious for him to receive every encouragement possible, as I feel assured that his regiment, being the only one "for the war," will do honor to his State, as well as effective service in the Confederate Army.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully and with great esteem, your obedient servant,
F. W. PICKENS.
RICHMOND, FREDERICKSBURG AND POTOMAC R. R. CO.,
Richmond, June 27, 1861.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of the Confederate States:
SIR: I was apprised some short time since by the Secretary of this Commonwealth, who is also a director of this company, of your expression to him of your sense of the importance to the public defense of a speedy connection of the railroads between Weldon and the Potomac frontier which terminate in the cities of Richmond and Petersburg. Although during the existing war and until a resumption of intercourse with the states north of thconnections are of comparatively little value to any of the companies owning these railroads, and of none to this company, which be the seizure of its Potomac steam-boats and the blockade of that river is cut off from Washington, the other terminus of its route, yet the companies have ever in former years of peace and intercourse between the Northern and Southern States appreciated the advantages of such connections, and have only been prevented from long since constructing them by the opposition of the two cities, without whose consent these companies were never authorized by the Legislature to make them. When, therefore, some six weeks since they were applied to by the military authorities of this State to say in what mode and on what terms these connections could be made and rented or sold by the Government to these companies, they immediately had the requisite surveys and estimates made by experienced engineers, and gave the desired information to the State authorities, which, on his application, they afterward furnished to the Quartermaster-General of the Confederate States. The work was ascertained and reported to be practicable, and estimated to cost about $75,000. To its construction by the railroad companies two obstacles, insuperable to them, were presented. First, the want of power to compel the consent of the cities to its construction; and second, the want of present pecuniary means to pay for it. The first of these obstacles the Governor of this State supposed he removed by his instruction to me of the 11th instant, authorizing me in a few vague words to have only one of these connections made in accordance with one (not specifying which) of three propositions which I had submitted in behalf of the companies concerned some four weeks before, to construct both these works with money to be advanced by the State and ultimately repaid by these companies. But a more precise authority being necessary,