War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0270 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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POST-OFFICE DEPARTMENT,

Montgomery, April 30, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor of calling your attention to the inclosed copy of a communication addressed to this Department by A. M. Gentry, esq., president of the Texas and New Orleans Railroad Company.

Respectfully,

H. ST. GEO. OFFUTT,

Chief of Contract Bureau.

[Inclosure.]

GALVESTON, April 24, 1861.

Hon. JOHN H. REAGAN,

Postmaster-General, &c., Montgomery:

SIR: Your letter of the 16th instant was duly received by me at this point this a. m., it having been detained by going up to Houston and being returned again. I find it to be impossible for me now to reach Montgomery in time for the interview at noon on the 26th. Yet we may have an agent or representative there in a few days after. I feel that my presence here and in Louisiana will keep me in position to be of more service to our country then it I were to leave at this juncture. I am now making all my arrangements to put on between Texas and New Orleans, as soon as our outside communication is stopped, which we may expect hourly, a line of pony express between the railroads, so as to get the Government dispatches and important letters through regularly in from forty-eight to sixty hours. I will not wait for orders from your Department to do this, but will act on the necessity and leave it to you and the War Department to arrange about hereafter. All pubic dispatches for the Confederate States Government forwarded to me at Houston from all parts of Texas will be pushed through by private bearers if necessary. In the meantime remember we will be prepared to convey the mails all inland at a reasonable compensation, and open a line for transport of munitions of war and men in case of blockade. Please keep me advised.

Yours, respectfully,

A. M. GENTRY,

Provost. of Texas and New Orleans Railroad Co., Houston, Tex.

MONTGOMERY, April 30, 1861.

Hon. C. M. CONRAD:

DEAR SIR: Understanding that there is a great scarcity of small fire-arms and ammunition in the Confederate States, it has occurred to me that some might be obtained in the British Provinces, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York. Being a British subject, and from that part of new Brunswick adjoining the most eastern extremity of Maine, and having relatives who would co-operate with me, I propose (if the arms and ammunition are to be had) to load one or more small vessels in New Brunswick neat the lines and run them into some port or inlet of the Confederate States. Having a British clearance and register, they could be loaded so as to avoid all suspicion, even if examined by the enemy. Will you be kind enough to submit the above proposition to the President; and should it meet with his approval, and a special agent, clothed with necessary powers, be