War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0272 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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furnish if my views are carried out. As of still greater importance than the foregoing difficulties I would ask attention to the actual condition of the rolling-stock and machinery now in use, and the scarcity of men to operate the roads and repair the machinery. Many of the roads had scarcely enough of anything at the beginning of our troubles for more than ordinary repairs, and the wealthiest and most provident companies are beginning to feel severely the want of all kinds of supplies. To some extent the Government can give them relief by permitting the iron foundries as rolling-mills now engaged wholly on Government works to furnish them with the necessary materials, and by permitting the detail of men already enlisted or exempting from conscription of such men as are necessary for the safe conduct of the railroads of the country. There is not a railroad in the country which has an efficient force to-day, and the power vested in the enrolling officer is seriously diminishing even the small number of men left to perform duties upon roads, the success of which is of the first importance to the Confederacy. These difficulties must be remedied or the roads will very soon be quite unable to meet the requirements of Government, and the election must now be made between, letting them go down or rendering them the necessary assistance for successful operation.

Trusting that these hasty observations and suggestions will meet with approbation.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. M. WADLEY,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[First indorsement.]

JANUARY 1, 1863.

Respectfully submitted to Secretary of War.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

[Second indorsement.]

Examined. Colonel Wadley's view on the proposed tariff of prices approved. Oral instructions given as to further negotiations and arrangements with the roads.

J. A. S.

Secretary.

A.

AUGUSTA, December 15, 1862.

PRESIDENTS AND SUPERINTENDENTS OF RAILROADS IN THE CONFEDERATE STATES:

GENTLEMEN: I have asked a conference with you for the purpose of taking into consideration the difficulties that now exist in Government transportation, and as far as practicable to remedy any defect that may be found in the present plan upon which it transacted. Safety and dispatch are the ends desired. To accomplish these ends it is necessary to arrange schedules so as to enable your trains to connect with as little delay as possible, and to have a mutual understanding and agreement for the delivery and receipt of freight between connecting roads. In this connection I desire to avoid sending messengers with freight. I do not know the nature of extent of the difficulties that have been experienced, and therefore I cannot suggest a remedy, but I presume the want of rolling-stock by some