made of these works. Since the war began they have been placed at the disposal of the Government, but it is presumed that it will not be considered proper that our forces should destroy them, unless they may be of considerable use to the enemy, as it would involve a loss of a large sum to the Government.
On this point our judgment is convinced. The enemy have more iron-works than are necessary to supply their munitions, of war, and they could more cheaply and expeditiously manufacture them in their own works and bring them here than transport the material and make them in these works.
In view also of danger of forced evacuation, we ask that we may be paid upon the work in progress for the Government as much as we have expended upon it. This is necessary to discharge the obligations we have contracted for the Government work, as in consequence of the rapid depreciation in the currency it has cost us much more than we have received for it in the past two years.
As our contract is jointly with the War and Navy Departments, may we ask the favor of you to confer with the honorable Secretary of the Navy and give us the result of your joint decision.
We have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,
JOSEPH R. ANDERSON & CO.
March 7, 1865.
Hand to Secretary of Navy for his perused and remarks.
JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,
Secretary of War.
MARCH -, 1865.
Respectfully returned to the honorable Secretary of War.
If we abandon Richmond at will be done, I presume without hope of recovery; and in doing so we should, in my judgment, see that these works are not left to do the enemy service. Without some preparation in advance of an abandonment they could not and would not be destroyed; and any such preparation should be made and would be best made with the aid and advice of the company owning them. My suggestion, then, is that preparations be made to destroy these works, in which preparations the aid of the company will be looked to that the Government assume to pay for them.
S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy.
March -, 1865.
Respectfully referred to Chief of Ordnance Bureau for remarks.
By command of Secretary of War:
SAML. W. MELTON,