not only because of the ambiguity of that given, but because on the face of the paper giving it appeared the unanimous advice of the Executive Council, if not questioning the Governor's power to give it, at least earnestly advising its reference to the convention, I sought for that more definite instruction, and received for reply a sanction for my hesitation to comply with his instruction in the Governor's decision to refer the matter to the convention, which he did on the 17th instant. That body on yesterday passed an ordinance giving the requisite authority to the railroad companies to construct these works, but without any pecuniary aid from the State. This, in the present crippled condition of these companies, and especially of my own company (which has lost not only half of its annual revenue, but a large portion of its capital invested in the Potomac steam-boats), it is most impolitic and probably impracticable for them to do. Certainly they cannot afford to employ on the work such a force as would complete it at any very early day. Yet, that it should be completed at the earliest possible date I learn from General Lee and the Quartermaster-general to be of the utmost importance to the public defense, and I can readily conceive this to be so. Besides the inconvenient and perhaps hazardous delays occasioned to the Army by the want of these connections, a very heavy expense must inevitably be incurred without them by the Government for the transportation through these cities of troops and army munitions and supplies. If, on account of this expense, the Government of the Confederate States could advance the whole or perhaps even the greater portion of the cost of these connections the companies constructing them might refund of that cost to the Government annually the interest and a percentage of the principal during the existing war, and within, say, three years after its termination the balance of the principal advanced, each installment of interest and principal to be retained out of what will be due then to them from the Government for army transportation, or to the extent that such installment shall exceed what shall then be due for transportation to be paid to the Government in money or its own securities. If such an arrangement be acceptable to you, and you desire any further information from me respecting it, I shall be pleased to afford it to you either in writing or in a personal interview, which last I have refrained from proposing from an unwillingness to trespass upon your valuable time, although it would afford a much better opportunity for considering and arranging what may be done. The same consideration has prevented my testifying by a special visit the high respect with which I am,
Your obedient servant,
P. V. DANIEL, Jr.,
President Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac R. R. Co.
ORDNANCE OFFICE, June 28, 1861.
Hon. L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War:
SIR: From the inclosed letter of Military Store-keeper Humphreys it appears that the State of Georgia probably owns 29,000 pounds of cannon powder, stored in the magazine at Augusta Arsenal.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major and Chief of Ordnance.