War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0485 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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inclose to you. * For the estimate of time given by him some days less than a week must be added for preparations and gathering the requisite materials and force of men. The connections so constructed would not be adapted to the transportation over them of loaded trains, or even of unloaded ones, consisting of more than one or two cars (at least in Richmond, where in frosty weather it might be at times wholly impracticable), and for this reason, as well as because of the haste and want of permanence in their construction, and because they would not relieve the companies of the expense of omnibus and wagon transportation through the cities, these connections would be of no value to the roads connected, and would have to be constructed at the expense of the Confederate Government - an expense which, however, might be lessened, when these connections shall cease to be needed by the Government, by the value of the materials used, which the companies connected would doubtless buy at an assessed value. These connections, however, even constructed in the way proposed in the accompanying estimates, will suffice for the transfer of the cars and machinery by horse power from any of the Southern railroads from which they can be spared to the railroads north of Richmond leading to Strasburg, Manassas Junction, or Aquia Creek. Even engines may, perhaps, at times be carried over them either alone or with one car, and loaded cars may be brought over them by horses. Should you deem this work of sufficient importance to justify the comparatively moderate expense (which would probably little exceed the expense of wagon transportation through these two cities, otherwise to be incurred), I know of no one who, from his character, energy, skill, and experience, would more promptly and satisfactorily have the work done than Mr. Washington Gill, the engineer of this city, by whom the surveys and estimates have been made. His position gives him special facilities for engaging men and materials, although a de tail of men from the Army might much expedite the work. Any further information you may desire touching this matter (in which I have no interest except as a citizen) it will give me pleasure to give you.

With high respect and regard, your friend and obedient servant,


P. S. - I omitted to say that the ordinance of the State convention gives full power to construct this work to the Confederate States, irrespective of the consent of the cities.

RICHMOND, July 17, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I am here as one of a committee appointed by the Board of Directors of the Petersburg Railroad Company to confer with the Government in relation to the construction of a railroad connecting the Petersburg Railroad and the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad for military purposes. You are doubtless aware that the convention of Virginia at its last session adopted an ordinance giving authority to those companies to connect their roads through the city of Petersburg, and providing that if they wished to take immediate steps for doing so the Government of the Confederate States should have


* Not found.