a copy of the act of appropriation* and of a letter of A. M. Gentry, esq., president of the road.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War.
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, May 1, 1862.
Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR, CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA:
SIR: The Texas and New Orleans Railroad (in Teas) extends from Houston to the Sabine River, a distance of 106 miles. The rails are laid the whole distance, but a portion were laid temporarily for military transportation and needs finishing, and the building and the completion of some bridges now under way; also, the connecting this company's track in Houston with the rails of the four other roads terminating at that point, as described by General P. O. Hebert. To accomplish this it will require, under the estimates, $250,000 in bonds. The company will secure the repayment of this sum by issuing and executing to the Confederate States Government at once its income mortgage bounds for same amount, pledging 10 per cent. of its gross earnings as a sinking fund to liquidate the whole.
The New Orleans and Texas Railroad extends from the Sabine River to New Iberia, on Bayou Teche, La., is 117 miles in length, and all in the State of Louisiana. Under the appropriation and estimates $1,250,000 in bonds will be required. To secure thus sum to the Government the company will execute a first mortgage on its road, road bed, equipment, furniture and all its property necessary for and incident to the maintenance of its road and the transaction of its business. This road is entirely free from any incumbrance, and the mortgage and security can be executed in such manner as may be required or deemed best by the Department or such agent as they may select for the purpose. I would beg leave to suggest that the Department appoint a special agent or attorney in Texas or Louisiana, or both, who may be on the spot and attend to executing and receiving the security on behalf of the Government. This could be done at once, and enable the companies to progress at once with their work. The disbursement in Louisiana could be made by a special agent and upon the estimates made by the enginnt of the company, and verified by the agent of the Government for work done or material furnished in construction. This would simplify the business and facilitate the construction of the work. As an agent to obtain the mortgage, &c., in Louisiana, I would suggest the name of Mr. L. Dupre, M. C., from the district in Louisiana where the road is located; in Texas, either Hon. Horace Cone, of Houston, or F. H. Merriman, esq., of Galveston.
With the hope that you will find it convenient to dispatch my business at once,
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. M. GENTRY,
President New Orleans and Texas and Texas and New Orleans Railroad Companies.
* See April 19, p. 1073.