purchase either rails or rolling-stock), I respectfully advise that you give me an order to impress the rails from Cahaba to the place of crossing the Alabama and Mississippi Rivers Railroad with the rolling-stock, materials on hand, &c., to be used in completing the Alabama and Mississippi road upon such terms and conditions as to compensation as you may deem best. I understand such an order from the Government would be willingly acquiesced in by many of the principal stockholders in this company, as the road is now doing nobody much good. The Alabama and Mississippi Rivers Railroad Company have taken steps to arrange a proper connection at Reagan with the Northeast and Southwest Company. If before road can be completed the Government should find occasion to send troops on this road I am assured by the company that every effort will be made to pass them speedily by way of the river route to Gainesville, provided a few day's notice be given in advance of the desire of the Government.
One other suggestion and I will close this report, already longer than I could wish. In the event the enemy should get into possession of Mobile the road from Selma to Meridian will become a necessity to the Government. Most of the planters, in this part of the country have pretty much abandoned the cultivation of cotton and put their lands in corn. This state of things will diminish the labor usually employed in the cultivation of crops, and hands can on many plantations be spared for other purposes. Negro laborers could to a considerable extent be impressed by the Government without much public injury. If therefore you deem it advisable to cause the road from Selma to Meridian to be completed at the earliest possible day, and think proper to give the necessary order for impressing laborers, your order will be promptly and carefully executed.
I am, very respectfully,
A. S. GAINES,
Engineer and Special Agent.
P. S. - I am informed that the Marion and Cahaba Railroad Company have on hand 400 tons of iron and 400 kegs of spikes not heretofore used and proposed to be used on an extension of their road now abandoned. I hope your order will be broad enough to allow me to take these. I am further informed that the Eufaula Railroad Company have a new locomotive and certain cars and spikes at Montgomery, and that the building of their road has been suspended. I suggest that your order be broad enough to allow these to be taken and used also.
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Raleigh, April 24, 1862.
Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I desire to carry out the conscription act fairly and to the fullest extent of the wants of the country; and presume, as a guide, that you will publish some regulations and instructions in detail to aid in understanding the method of carrying it out. But in the meantime I am so circumstances as to be compelled to make some immediate inquiries, which I trust you will indulge me with a consideration. The late Secretary of War made a call on the State for her quota (being one-sixth of the white population, 631,000), amounting in round