War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0783 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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OFFICE OF THE SOUTHWESTERN TELEGRAPH COMPANY,

LATE NEW ORLEANS AND OHIO TELEGRAPH, LESSEES,

Nashville, Tenn., December 11, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: The Southwestern Telegraph Company which I represent, owns telegraph lines from Louisville, Ky., through Tennessee, North Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana to New Orleans, with branch lines reaching all important points in those States. Merchants and business men of New Orleans will bear testimony to the efficiency of our lines, which for construction and reliability are not excelled by any on the continent. Apprehending interruption between New Orleans and Mobile, we promptly constructed a first-class line from Jackson, Miss., to Meridian, on the Southern Railroad, where it connects with the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, having already two first-class lines from Jackson to New Orleans, one by railroad and the other by Vicksburg, Natchez, and Baton Rouge. We also have a first-class line from Chattanooga to New Orleans, and are prepared to transmit without delay all public and private messages to any points in the States named. The acting president of our company, finding that no line had yet been constructed from Mobile to Meridian to meet our line, contracted last week with the Mobile and Ohio Railroad Company to build a line on their entire road, the section from Mobile to Meridian to be put up at once, and we are rapidly pushing it to completion. We understand that application has been or will be made by other parties for orders from your Department to construct other lines alongside our lines from Meridian by Jackson to New Orleans under pretense that they are required for public service. If such application should be made, we hope you will not so order without advising us, as such applications must be based on misrepresentation, for the purpose of building up rival lines when they are not wanted for public or private business. We are sure you will not lend the sanction of your high name and office to such purpose. We are just putting into operation in this city a factory for making wire, and will lend all our energies, as good and loyal citizens, to the prompt construction of any telegraph lines that you may require for public service. We have heretofore communicated with the Hon. J. H. Reagan, Postmaster-General, on this subject and other matters relating to telegraphing.

With great respect, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

THOS. L. CARTER,

Secretary Southwestern Telegraph Company.

P. S. -I have the pleasure of inclosing a note from Governor Harris.

[Inclosure.]

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,

Nashville, Tenn., December 11, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

SIR: I state with pleasure that an extensive business intercourse with the Southwestern Telegraph Company has fully satisfied me that the company is efficient and reliable.

Very respectfully,

ISHAM G. HARRIS.