as far as represented practicable at present by the eminent engineer sent by me to carry out what I regarded as the spirit of the act, the intention of Congress, and what I knew to be required for the public defense.
At a time when the Memphis and Charleston Railroad is in possession of the enemy a rail connection of this character is present with too many advantages in military operations to be left to the mortgaged means of a small and unreliable railroad corporation. To trust the work to such feeble, inefficient hands may result in incalculable mischief. And in view of impending military conditions, I earnestly protest against the inevitable delay that must and the irreparable injury that may ensue if they are relied on.
I would appeal to the spirit of the act of Congress recognizing the military necessity for the immediate completion of this unfinished link in our interior line of railroads. Congress assuredly aimed to have that completion made as soon as possible; but, misinformed and misled, doubtless gave the work to a railroad company as the meas best calculated to the end, for certainly the legislature of the country could never be brought to such prostitution as that of intentionally giving a job to corporation.
I would therefore carry out the spirit of the act in question. I would have no more precious days, weeks, or months wasted with this incapable company-would wait not a moment longer for the execution of mortgage contracts; for meantime it may be too late for all practical purposes. Mobile may fall after the manner of water-approached places. Our lines of communication with the east would then be cut off, and the true expectations of Congress be frustrated.
I cannot present in too strong language the mischief that must result from further reliance on this company. By their past failure they ought to be judged, and the work should at once be carried on by the Government, under military control from these headquarters, by engineers knowing the resources of the country and by none other.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
TUPELO, MISS., June 26, 1862. (Received at Richmond, Va., June 28, 1862.)
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War:
The following dispatch just received from the president of Alabama and Mississippi River Railroad:
DEMOPOLIS, ALA., June 26, 1862.
General BRAXTON BRAGG:
To finish our road we must have military and pecuniary assistance. The board will render your officers all the aid in their power, and we are much pleased with the judicious arrangements of Major Fleming, whose return to the road would give great satisfaction. Major Goodwin is also favorably known in this country. Our contract with the War Department is for the faithful application of money loaned and its repayment.
G. G. GRIFFIN,
President Alabama and Mississippi River Railroad.
40 R R-VOL XVII, PT II