War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 1048 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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Montgomery, Ala., April 4, 1862.

His Excellency President DAVIS,

Richmond, Va.:

SIR: Under date of the 19th of March the Quartermaster-General requested me to suggest what should be done to perfect, with as little delay as possible, the line of communication between Selma and Meridian, now demanded as a military necessity, and whether the connection could not be made by plank road. I felt satisfied the railroad connection now in progress could be completed in less time than a plank road could be built, and, understanding that you desire its very speedy completion, I beg leave to present to you Mr. William M. Wadley, president of the Vicksburg and Shreveport Railroad, as one of the most energetic and reliable men connected with railroad service in the Confederate States. I have known him for many years, connected first with the best-managed railroads of Georgia and lately with roads in Mississippi, and I feel assured, if you deem it necessary to take possession of the line to be built for Government purposes, he will accomplish it in less time than any other person I know connected with railroad service in the South. He has mislaid letters from Mr. W. C. Smedes, of Vicksburg, to you upon this subject, and it may not be amiss to inform you that I have placed the whole line of road between this place and Selma under contract, and if I can procure the iron I can complete it within this year; and if the line west of Selma can be opened, the connection between Vicksburg and Montgomery can be made within eighteen hours.

I am very respectfully, your obedient servant,



Secretary of War for special notice.

J. D.


Richmond, Va., April 4, 1862.

A. S. GAINES, Esq.,

Demopolis, Ala., Present:

SIR: Congress regarding an early railroad connection between Selma, in Alabama, and Meridian, in Mississippi, as important to the Government in a military point of view, lately passed an act authorizing the President to advance to the Alabama and Mississippi Rivers Railroad Company the sum of $150,000 for the purpose of completing this connection. The completion of this road, connecting, as it does, with the Alabama River at Selma, and with the Southern Railroad from Meridian to Vicksburg, at the earliest day practicable, is a matter of importance. The road from Selma to Demopolis is understood to be already completed, or nearly so. From Demopolis to Reagan, a distance of some twenty-four miles, is understood to have been in part graded, and from Reagan to Meridian, a distance of twenty-seven miles, the grading and bridging is completed and the iron in part laid down. The road Selma to Reagan is understood to belong to the Alabama and Mississippi Rivers Railroad Company, and from Reagan to Meridian to the Northeast and Southwest Railroad Company.