A plan for immediate results toward restoring railroad track and machinery.
First. Ascertain by rapid inspection the actual wants of each furnace, forge, and-mill - in labor, supplies, fuel, and material.
Second. By concert of action Government and railroad to arrange to work each furnace, forge, and mill to a point as near its maximum capacity as the present resources of the country will permit. Especial attention to be given to labor, detailed or conscript, upon the part of the Government, and upon the part of the railroads to promote transportation of supplies and iron made.
Third. Classify upon the basis of relative necessity the most pressing wants of the Government, army, navy, and railroad transportation, giving precedence to axles and engine tire. Adhere to this classification and apportion under it all iron received.
Fourth. Ascertain the most pressing deficiencies of track, remove iron from railroads to be designated by the Secretary of War, and arrange a prompt return of the worn-out iron to rolling-mills.
Fifth. To collect and forward scrap iron to be puddle and rolled in gun-boat plates, to an amount to be designated by ---.
Sixth. To intrust to two officers, selected for special qualifications by the railroads and Government, the execution of all details of inspection, supply work, and distribution, all cases of divided opinion to be arbitrated through the chief of Engineer Bureau.
I. M. ST. JOHN,
Niter and Mining Corps.
RICHMOND, April 22, 1863.
Hon. J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to present you herewith a report adopted by the representatives of railroads, and a copy of certain resolutions by them passed at a meeting yesterday. The report of resolutions embody the views entertained on the subjects which you presented for consideration.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
R. R. CUYLER,
[Inclosure No. 1.]
The committee whose duty it was made to consider the communication of the Secretary of War with the accompanying report and to report at 4 p. m. of this day what action shall be taken, beg leave to report that the representatives of the railroad companies now assembled at Richmond upon the invitation of the Honorable Secretary of War, are deeply impressed with the necessity of adopting such measures as will on the one hand secure for Government speedy and safe transportation of troops, munitions of war, and supplies by the railroads of the Confederacy, and on the other hand the proper maintenance of the railroad tracks, motive power, and machinery owned by the railroad companies.
For the purpose of securing and accomplishing these great interests, which are or ought to be so intimately connected, the committee respectfully recommend the adoption of the following measures:
First. That there should be established under the order of the Secretary of War, or under the authority of an act of Congress, a bureau attached to the Department of War to be called the railroad bureau,