is necessary to complete the road to Covington is the delivery of eight miles of railroad iron at this point. The work is ready for the rail, and there is about one mile of iron here. I have written to the Quartermaster-General urging him to take some steps to secure the completion of the road, and stated to him that it would be impossible to maintain an army west of Legislature if we had to transport all the supplies from this point. It will be necessary to transport not only supplies for the soldiers, but likewise forage for the horses. The quartermaster at the White Sulphur is now hauling corn from Monroe County, a distance of twenty and thirty miles. The quartermaster at the White Sulphur is now impressing corn, not being able to buy at a reasonable price. I believe that in a month or two all the surplus corn west of the Alleghany Mountains will be consumed. If the railroad was finished to Covington we would save nine miles of the worst road of wagon transportation, and could so improve the road from Covington west as to enable us to supply a large army as far as Meadow Bluff, a distance of forty-five miles from Covington. Covington would also become the point from which the army in Pocahontas would be supplied. The distance from Covington to Huntersville is five miles less than from Millborough, and in addition to saving five miles in distance we avoid crossing one or two high mountains. The Central company have now on hand the iron to lay this nine miles of road, bought for the purpose, but decline to use it for the alleged reason that during the year or at the latter end of the year they may wish to relay a portion of their track east of Covington. It is doubtful whether they will want the iron for this purpose, but would it not be better to complete the road to Covington and use it for the summer campaign, and thus save Western Virginia, if possible; and if at the end of the year the eastern part of the Central road needed repairing and the iron could not be gotten elsewhere, to take up the nine miles west of Covington? I hope you will bring this subject to the attention of the Secretary of War. If it is proposed to build the road to Covington it should be done at once. In a month or two all the rolling-stock of the Central road will be required for movement of troops and supplies, and they will not then be able to transport the iron.
JAMES G. PAXTON,
Captain and Assistant Quartermaster.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,
February 19, 1862.
This letter is earnestly commended to the attention of the Honorable Secretary of War.
By order of the Governor:
S. BASSETT FRENCH,
Colonel Myers for prompt attention.
J. P. B.
Some time since I had an interview with the president of the Virginia Central Railroad, and urged strenuously the completion of the
60 R R-SERIES IV, VOL I