George L. Andrews, U. S. Volunteers, and Brigadier General W. R. Boggs, C. S. Army, have been placed in charge of this duty, and will furnish all needful information on the subject.
By command of Major-General Herron:
WM. H. CLAPP,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
VICKSBURG, June 6, 1865.
(Received 9. 30 p. m.)
Lieutenant Colonel C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
After the transfer of the military railroad between Vicksburg and Big Black and all property belonging to the Southern Railroad was almost complete, it appears that the president was utterly unable to put the road in order between Big Black and Jackson. No money, no credit, no energy is at the company's disposal, and if they had the force of laborers to do the work the company would look exclusively to the Government to furnish them with rations and the necessary materials, [and it] would not be completed in less than four or five months. Lieutenant Holgate, of the U. S. Engineers, made the closest investigation of the present condition of the road, and report fully on it. It is his positive opinion that the thirty miles between Big Black and Jackson could be put in sufficient repair for operating them in one month. The road is of undoubted utility to the Government, and almost a necessity to the people in Central Mississippi and Alabama, offering them a means of bringing their produce to market, and thus furnish a circulating medium in communities which now are entirely destitute and dependent on United States generosity. For these reasons I beg to suggest that the order to transfer the Jackson road to the company be rescinded for the present, and that it be repaired and put in running order by the military authorities. Doctor Emanuel, the president, will accept this change, and is anxious to have it made. There is iron enough to relay the whole length of the road, and this company has rolling-stock sufficient to operate it when completed. If I could receive the general's answer before Thursday morning it would be very desirable.
I am, very respectfully,
P. J. OSTERHAUS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, New Orleans, La., June 6, 1865.
Bvt. Major General J. W. DAVIDSON,
Commanding District of Natchez, Miss.:
GENERAL: I am instructed by the major-general commanding to request that you will please send an officer as commissioners to Waterloo for the purpose of paroling the officers and men of Ratliff's command (about 600 strong.) The provost-marshal-general will send you the necessary blanks.
C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.