STATE OF INDIANA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Indianapolis, December 10, 1863
Major Gen. U. S. GRANT,
Comdg. Mil. Div. of the Mississippi, Chattanooga, Tennessee:
SIR: At the request of several prominent citizens of this State, I address you in reference to a recent order, issued in obedience to your orders by Brigadier-General Smith, commanding the District of Columbus, Ky., under which the rails and chairs of the railroad from Paducah, Ky., to Union City, Tennessee are to be taken up and sent to Nashville.
The following objections urged against the execution of said order by the parties interested are respectfully submitted for your consideration:
First. The road (59 miles in length) is immediately needed to carry to market a very large crop of tobacco just gathered along its whole line, the more necessary in the almost total absence of horses and mules.
Second. It being the Ohio branch of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, as contradistinguished from the Mississippi branch of that road terminating at Columbus, Ky., on the Mississippi, its present destruction seems an invidious discrimination against the trade of the Ohio River and its tributary railroads and in favor of the trade of the Mississippi and its railroad connections, a discrimination which the commanding general would certainly not willingly make.
Third. The direct and immediate effect of this act will be to greatly damage existing Ohio River and especially Indiana interests by cutting off much of the trade from a existing mail-boat line running between Evansville, Paducah,and Cairo, and of the Indiana railroad lines terminating on the Ohio at Evansville, to which, as a tributary, the Paducah railroad is of vital importance.
Fourth. That whilst most American railroads have been constructed
to a great extent on foreign capital, this Paducah road has been laboriously, painfully, and slowly built by local subscriptions, taxation, and credit, thereby rendering the loss of the road a serious personal grievance to every member of the communities through which it runs.
Fifth. In view of these considerations it would seem that material for repairs of military railroads might be obtained from less objectionable sources and at rates ultimately more favorable to the country. And it is suggested that should the taking up and removal of the rails be already in progress, the military necessity may possibly be satisfied for the present with a few hundred tons, which the Government can speedily replace, and in time for the removal of the tobacco crop.
With high regards, I have the honor to be, very truly, yours,
O. P. MORTON,
Governor of Indiana.
HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS.
Memphis, Tennessee, December 10, 1863.
General Orders, Numbers 157, current series, from these headquarters, and orders based upon that, do not require the performance of enforced military duty by persons who owe allegiance to foreign friendly powers.