[SEPTEMBER 22, 1861. -For A. S. Johnston to Pettus, calling for 10,000 men from Mississippi, see Series I, VOL. IV, p. 421.]
OFFICE OF THE MISSISSIPPI AND CENTRAL R. R. CO.,
Holly Springs, September 22, 1861.
Hon. JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President Confederate States of America, Richmond:
DEAR SIR: Supposing the most speedy manufacturing of arms for the Confederate Army, and the keeping in good order the equipments of the various railroads in the Confederate States for the expeditious movement of troops and munitions of war, to be of great importance, and perhaps vital to our success, and knowing the difficulty of obtaining the requisite number of mechanics to accomplish this object, pardon me for suggesting that permission be granted to look for mechanics among the volunteers of the Army, and if any be found that leave of absence be granted them on condition that they engage their services to some one of the many who would gladly employ them during the continuance of their furlough. It is well known that many valuable mechanics felt it to be their duty to tender their services to the country, who now occupy places in the Army, and whose place could be supplied by those not mechanics. By this method, carefully pursued, it is probable many shops now almost destitute of mechanics could be supplied and the number of workmen in others increased.
With respect, I remain your obedient servant,
SECRETARY OF WAR:
The within suggestion has been complained of by others. In some instances a remedy might be found in transfer to local defense.
[SEPTEMBER 23, 1861. -For Benjamin to Clark, requesting the issue of a proclamation calling out the militia of certain counties in North Carolina, see Series I, VOL. IV, p. 655.]
CHARLESTON, September 23, 1861.
Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War, Richmond:
DEAR SIR: We have this moment received you telegram asking us to send on an agent if we are prepared to contract on the subject mentioned to Mr. Hanckel, which we understand to mean powder. We are not prepared to enter into any contracts, being ignorant what our friends in Liverpool may be able to accomplish in the way of procuring and shipping a large quantity. At the instance of General Ripley we are sending our an order for 100,000 pounds for the Government, and we are sending also for 100,000 pounds for the State of South Carolina. In addition to these quantities we shall direct our friends to send out 250,000 pounds at our own risk. We are taking every precaution to insure success, but the result is at least doubtful. Should the Government desire to send any further orders, we shall be happy to attend to them.
Yours, most respectfully,
JNO. FRASER & CO.