OFFICE OF THE MISSISSIPPI CENTRAL R. R. COMPANY,
Holly Springs, July 8, 1861.
Hon. L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War, Confederate States of America, Richmond:
DEAR SIR: In further reply to your communication of the 2d instant, I have to remark that I have had an interview with Jones, McElwain & Col, manufacturers, of this place, in reference to manufacturing arms for the Confederate States. They are making machinery for the construction of the Belgian or Mississippi rifle, and in one week from this time will be prepared to make the lock. In thirty days they will have their machinery ready to roll the barrel. In sixty days they say they can commence the delivery of rifles, with bayonets and all complete, and in ninety days can turn out 100 per day. They can procure the best of Tennessee charcoal iron for the barrel and seasoned lumber for the stock. They are willing to enter into a contract for the manufacture and delivery of from 20,000 to 50,000 rifles, with sword bayonet complete, for about $20 each. If increase of force, and they would need some pecuniary aid to facilitate the delivery of the arms. They assure me they can procure seasoned material for the stocks and the best iron for the barrel. It is probable they would require an advance of about $20,000 or $25,000 to enable them to procure materials and machinery. They have sufficient motive power to drive all necessary machinery, and have now in their shops many of the tools necessary to commence and prosecute the work, and are engaged in making more. Mr. McElwain informs me he will soon have in readiness a machine of his own make for boring and rifling barrels, and can readily change old rifles to a larger caliber. Could he obtain one of the rifling machines that General Polk informed me he had procured he could greatly facilitate the general's desire to change the country rifle into one suitable for the Army. Mr. McElwain is one of the best mechanics in the South. He has few equals so far as he has had experience. He possesses indu with, I believe, sufficient ability to comply with any agreement he may make. At my solicitation he visits Richmond, that he may have a personal interview with you and thus perhaps enable you to form an opinion as to his means of complying with your wishes.
The above is a copy of a letter of same date addressed to the President of Confederate States.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. S. - Jones, McElwain & Co. are prepared to furnish any amount of shot, shell, and cannon of all description.
CIRCULAR.] QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL'S DEPT., C. S. ARMY,
Richmond, Va., July 9, 1861.
The following decisions of the Secretary of War are published for the information of all concerned:
Officers of the C. S. Army holding commissions in the volunteer service of a higher grade than those held in the Confederate Army are permitted, at their option, to receive the pay exclusively of either rank. Nine dollars per month for