the Board seems to be that while they could not purchase iron and materials and obtain the labor necessary to finish the road at once, the Government could take such things and pay for them and push the work through without much delay. There is much public spirit among the people on the route of the road, and if it is understood to be a work of military necessity and under military control, negro labor to any reasonable extent can now be had at fair prices, and iron from the Cahaba an Marion road and the Pensacola road sufficient to complete the work could be taken. Since I have been here I have given the road attention in every way I could, but the company was the ruling power, and I could only act within the limits they might prescribe. The work has not progressed as rapidly as I wished, but some allowances are to be made for the want of better progress. In the first place, the company have been obliged to use their stock notes in place of money to obtain laborers. They have, as I now learn, in their expenditures anticipated about $50,000 of the $150,000 advance. As to this, however, they will inform you.
I have under your authority taken for the use of the road from the Cahaba, Marion and Greensborough road 55,367 pounds spikes, 3,810 pounds bolts and nuts, 17,636 pounds fish bars, 1,276 bars of railroad iron already delivered, and some 300 to 400 more yet to be obtained, the weights of all of which will be furnished so soon as the delivery is completed. These articles, I take it for granted, will have to be paid for by Alabama and Mississippi Rivers Railroad Company out of the advance of the $150,000. It is for you to decide whether this work is to go on under the control of the company or whether under absolute military control. In the event the line via Mobile should fall into possession of the enemy this route would be obliged to be used for the support of our army in Mississippi. Our rivers are now, owing to continued dry weather, almost reduced belowvigation. In my last letter I suggested that if the road was to be finished under absolute military authority the company ought not to receive the $150,000. They will, as I now learn, desire at all events to receive so much of this advance as they have already expended. The orders from General Bragg to Captain Thompson in Please favor me with your decision upon the question as to whether the road my future guidance. The company propose to send you by special messenger a certified copy of the mortgage. I am advised that according to the original, where the original has been lost, an that the loss of the note will cause no difficulty, for the reason that the mortgage itself recites and acknowledges the debt, and this acknowledgment is evidence sufficient. The grain crops in this part of the country are very extensive as to acres and were most promising until recently. The want of rain has injured them.
A. S. GAINES,
Have received the mortgage but not the bond conditioned for the faithful application of the money. It cannot be paid until this comes, and all expenses incurred heretofore must be paid out of it. There is no other appropriation out of which the expenses can be