the railroad. Clark is on tiptoe to-day, as he has succeeded so finely in his arrangements. I learn that Bartlett and Smith, and D. W. Deshler I think, has an interest in the matter with Comstock. Clark says he wants you to go in with them so as to help here, and that you can make a good deal more than staying in the army. He said Comstock wanted to see you on this matter.
Sharp has missed it badly. If he had made the arrangement and come down here I could put him in the way to make $10,000 or $20,000 soon.
There is a million dollars' worth of cotton in this county.
I will write Nashville to you.
J. R. PAUL.
HUNTSVILLE, May 5, 1862.
T. COMSTOCK, Esq.:
DEAR SIR: Inclosed I have addressed a note to Mr. Goodhue, assistant superintendent of the Chattanooga Railroad, which you can hand to him and obtain the necessary information. He will also assist you in the best information as to which way to come here. I am in earnest about a stock of goods.
Almost anything will sell, but domestic goods and provisions much the best. Green tea, and poor at that, is held and sold here at $4 a pound. It is with difficulty I can get enough to eat. Common pants sell here at $13 per pair; boots at $25, shoes, ladies' and gentlemen's, at from $5 to $12. Butter is almost non est. I can order boots and shoes through a Cleveland house at New York prices. I want a good pair of summer shoes myself, although I can wait a while.
I suppose you have received my clothes from the express office. I need them badly, but can wait until you come. I think perhaps you had best come down and look over the field for yourself, although it is clear to my mind. I think I can by at 10 or 11 cents in Southern funds all we want. A planter has just called upon me who has 300 bales, which I can buy at 11 cents, I think. He asks 12 1/2, but I make a play on the risks, and having co competition, I can get it at my own price. I need the money.
They don't expect to get gold. I am keeping that in reserve. Some old rich fellows sell only for gold, but I have enough for the present. I can use $75,000 to $100,000 here now to good advantage and probably twice that.
General Mitchel will hold this post beyond a doubt in my own mind, and the railroad will soon be open so we ship it through to Nashville. I want money enough to buy 5,000 bales.
J. H. C.
HUNTSVILLE, ALA., May 5, 1862.
A. F. GOODHUE, Esq., Asst. Supt. Nashville and Chattanooga R. R.:
DEAR SIR: I hope to obtain a large amount of cotton at this point, and shall, until the railroads are open, send as fast as possible to Shelbyville for shipment to Nashville by your road. I propose also to bring this way from Nashville a stock of goods for exchange. Can you furnish me with necessary transportation for my goods this way? Mr. Comstock, my partner, will call upon you and ascertain what you can do in the matter.
Very respectfully, yours,
J. H. CLARK.