War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0747 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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OFFICE OF THE RICHMOND, FREDERICKSBURG AND POTOMAC RAILROAD COMPANY,

Richmond, August 1, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: During the six month's occupation by General Lee's army last winter and spring of the vicinity of Fredericksburgh it was often found that to transport to it the men, munitions, and supplies which it needed taxed to their utmost capacity the new machinery and depot accommodations in Richmond of both this railroad and the Virginia Central Railroad. The severe and constant use of that machinery, with little or no opportunity for repairs, greatly deteriotared and disabled it, and has since made some of it temporarily or permanently uselles. The brief interval since elapsed and the very great scarcity of mechanics have repairs which otherwise might have been made. And if all the machinery of both companies were in good repair and at the command of this company the want of adequate space and accommodations at the Richmond terminus of this railroad (the first constructed and by very the most contracted in the State) would render it impossible to perform the transportation exclusively on this road and from its depot in Richmond required by such an army. This is no theory, but the practical result of six months' experience. These facts need no comment to demonstrate the present importance-necessity, indeed-of protecting from interruption by the enemy the Virginia Central Railroad not only at its South Anna bridge, but between that point and Richmond, for had it been interrupted and patrially destroyed while General Lee's army was encamped near Fredericksburg, as it was after it had passed into Maryland, it would have forced on General Lee, for want of communication and subsistence, a precipitate retreat to Richmond. To afford this protection it seems absolutely necessary to have some force stationed below Hanower Court-House, where the Central road makes a great bend eastward, and probably near Old Church, Hanover, supported by the expeditionary force posted beyond the North Anna, concerning which I recently wrote to you, as well as by any force which may be posted on the New Kent road or elsewhere astward of Richmond. All these forces from Caroline to New Kent would still constitute a part of the force defending Richmond, and by the railroads, if protected from injury, easily and rapidly concentrated at any desired point, and also kept supplied from the stores sent from Richmond.

Hoping you may be able to secure to these important means of transportaion the security demanded by their importance, I am, sir, with highest respect, your obedient servant,

P. V. DANIEL, Jr.,

President Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad Company.

[First indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF RICHMOND,

August 5, 1863.

The best protection that could be afforded has always been given to the railroads and will be continued if possible.

Respectfully,

A. ELZEY,

Major-General.