of new for old railroad iron does not surprise me, as the rumors in regard to the agent connected with those exchanges had fully prepared me for some such result. The proper rates of exchange, I would suggest, should be determined in consultation with the Niter and Mining Bureau, which is charged with the great iron interests of the country. This might be done by telegram to prevent delay, should there be need for prompt action.
I am pleased to hear of your high estimate of Mr. Tate, and trust that the connection at Demopolis, under his auspices, may be rapidly pushed to completion. Cannot the bridge across the Tombigbee be more rapidly constructed than your letter would seem to indicate? As the bottom is or rock [so represented, at least] could not rough but strong cribs be placed and filled with stone, and on them a lighter superstructure, which would answer a temporary purpose, and be susceptible of prompt construction? Not being at all familiar with the streams in your section of country, nor of the character of the freshest on the Tombigbee, I make these suggestions in all modesty. In regard to the construction of the Pearl River bridge and the railroad connection at Jackson, I am anxious that you should turn your personal attention to them as far as the other duties of your position will admit. I have written to Lieutenant-Colonel Lockett, informing him that the bureau fully approved of his suggestion to place those latter matters under your control.
In the present situation of affairs in the vicinity of Chattanooga, I do not think it is prudent to press the completion of the construction between Jacksonville, Ala., and Rome, Ga.
Your employment of a clerk is authorized.
Your commission, as well as a pass from the Secretary of War, as also authority to call on quartermasters for transportation, was forwarded sometime since by Colonel Garnett, and has, I presume, been received by this time.
I have made a requisition in your favor for $10,000, which will be placed to your credit in Montgomery, Ala., to meet current expenses.
When traveling on duty and away from your station, your expenses are followed. Inclosed I send the order of the Adjutant and Inspector General relating to the subject, which will be your guide [General Orders, No. 49, Paragraph II].
Trusting that the foregoing answer to your questions will prove satisfactory, I am, very respectfully, yours,
A. L. RIVES,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Acting Chief of Bureau.
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF TENNESSEE,
No. 63. Dalton, Ga., December 5, 1863.
I. The battery of light artillery, commanded by Captain William E. Dawson, which accompanied Moore's brigade to this army from Mississippi, is relieved from duty in this department, and will report to General J. E. Johnston, Meridian, Miss.
* * * * *
By command of Lieutenant-General Hardee: