War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0108 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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certain line of railroad in the States of Louisiana and Texas," approved 19th April, 1862, has been in whole or in part used for the purpose contemplated by the act, or if any contract or engagement has been made by him in relation to the said appropriation or any part of it.

An agent was appointed under the act to ascertain and report upon the best mode of carrying it into effect. He reported that in consequence of the fall of New Orleans he thought it impracticable to construct the road, and nothing further was done.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.


Richmond, October 3, 1862.


Chairman, &c.:

SIR: I have the honor to submit to you and to the committee of which you are chairman my views in regard to the transportation of troops, military stores, &c., over the various railroads in the Confederacy. I am opposed to taking military possession of the roads and submit the following reasons therefor: Should the Government do this I feel assured that the officers and employees of said roads would promptly resign rather than be subject to the orders of officers of the Army of every grade, wholly ignorant of railroads and their management. This would throw into confusion our means of communication through out the Confederacy. Greater expense would be incurred in operating the roads, the new officers being ignorant of the most economical and available sources of labor and supplies of material. The work done would also be done in a manner less secure and durable than when under the supervision of those permanently connected with the road. There would be great difficulty in keeping the accounts for private freight and passengers distinct from that of the Government, for citizens as well as troops must be transported and supplied, the Government meanwhile coming under heavy pecuniary responsibilities to the stockholders, whose trustee it has assumed, delay, and irreparable disaster might be produced by the change from experienced to new operators on the many roads.

As to the best mode of securing the rapid and safe transportation of troops and military supplies of all kinds, the following suggestions are made: The appointment of an able, methodical, and energetic person as chief of transportation, to have entire control over and power to regulate all matters pertaining to transportation, to make all necessary rules and regulations, and after conference or correspondence with the several railroad presidents and superintendents, to bring into harmonious action the different roads in the Confederacy; ale Army, of whatever grade, to be ordered not to interfere with the management of roads or running of trains, and to be governed by the rules and regulations of the chief f transportation as agreed upon with the railroads companies; all complaints against railroads to be made to and settled by him under the direction of the Quartermaster-General; when cars are taken beyond the roads to which they belong the Government officers should see that they are