of ten years without interest, with a provision that the company in its transportation shall always give preference to freights belonging to the Confederate Government; shall charge for the same such rates as are customary on railroads in the Confederate States, and payment thereof shall be entered as a credit on the obligation of the company. As security for the repayment of the sum loaned the company offers its bond, secured by a mortgage on its road, including rolling-stock, fixtures, machine-shop, depots, &c. That the security offered is amply sufficient the following approximate statement of the condition of the company will show:
From Selma, on the Alabama River, to Demopolis, on the Tombigbee River, is fifty miles, of which forty-five miles are in running order, with rolling-stock now sufficient for the present and ordinary business of the road. The balance of this distance is already graded and prepared for the superstructure. At Demopolis it is contemplated to connect temporarily by a steam-boat with McDowell's Bluff, a distance of about five miles. From McDowell's Bluff to Reagan, on the Northeast and Southwest Railroad, is about twenty-four miles, of which nearly one-half is now graded, and the contractors still at work. From this it will be readily perceived that there has been already expended on the road more than $1,000,000, to which is to be added as a part of the assets of the company more than $300,000 of good stock notes, now unavailable because due by planters whose means of payment are obstructed by the blockade. Upon the first thirty miles of road there is a mortgage the payment of bonds of the company to the amount of $150,000, of which about $125,000 have now been used. Besides this, there is a mortgage upon the whole road to secure the payment to the 2 per cent. fund of probably $150,000 more. Thus it will be seen the security offered presents assets reasonably worth about $1,500,000, encumbered by liabilities amounting to about $300,000. If required, personal security will be for the application of the money and for the completion of the road as speedily as possible. As this matter detains me from other important business, I venture to hope that you will give it prompt attention, and remain,
Very respectfully, your s truly,
JAMES L. PRICE.
P. S. -It is suggested as a matter of convenience that the agent of the Government, Mr. Gaines, who has been sent out on business connected with the road, be instructed to take the bond and mortgage and have the mortgage recorded and the papers returned to you, and upon this being done that the company be authorized to receive the advance. Dispatch is highly important to the company, so as to enable it to secure the iron partially contracted for.
J. L. P.
RICHMOND, VA., April 15, 1862.
Governor H. T. CLARK,
Raleigh, N. C.:
An act has passed both House of Congress* placing in the military service of the Confederate States for three years or the war all persons between eighteen and thirty-five years of age who are not legally
* It was approved April 16, 1862, and promulgated in General Orders, No. 30, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, April 28, 1862, for which see p. 1094.