War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0500 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

in this Confederacy, which are necessary to the operations of its armies, can be supplied with the rails necessary to their maintenance in use without much more extensive and efficient measures on the part of the Government than those suggested in the report. The accompanying printed copy of resolutions adopted by general convention of the railroad officers of the Confederate States in February 1862, with the fact that to this day they have never been put into execution, confirms this apprehension and gives serious reason to fear that the reliance on relief from individual or corporate enterprise now expressed will prove equally fallacious now, when the Confederacy has too much at stake-perhaps its existence-to incur any risk of such a miscalculation.

With high respect, your obedient servant,

P. V. DANIEL, Jr.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

The undersigned having been invited by the Honorable Secretary of War to consult with him as to the best means of increasing the efficiency of the railroads of the Confederate States in supplying the wants of the Army and country, and of arresting the deterioration and providing and applying materials for their repair and reconstruction, respectfully make, in response to that invitation, the following suggestions:

I. For the purpose of at once relieving the railroad of the overwhelming amount of transportation now required of them, and of very largely adding to the means of transportation available to both the Government and to citizens, the Government should at once, and as rapidly as possible, have built and placed on every canal, river, or other navigable water the greatest practicable number of boats, bateaux, lighters, or vessels of any kind which can be most speedily and cheaply built and will be suitable to the navigation of the waters on which they are to be used. These channels of navigation penetrate into and traverse section of the country most of all abounding is supplies of all kinds most needed for the Army, including forage commissary stores, coal, and iron. Among the great advantages of this means of transportation are these: On railroad only a limited number of trains can be run at a time. On the water there is no practical limit to the number of boats, which require no machinery and often no horses or mules, consuming forage. Had this policy been adopted two or even one year ago immense addition would have been made to the supplies for both the Government and the people, while railroad would have been able to transport other large quantities which could not be brought by water, which often require more rapid transportation, or which have been spoiled or lost from being delayed. Instead of thins being done boats and vessels usually employed s of navigation have been taken by the Government to be sunken in river channels of for other purposes of defense, and have never been replace by individual enterprise, which was deterred both by want of men and materials engrossed by Government and by the apprehension of repeated seizure of their boats if built. In the case of the James River and Kanawha Canal alone very large quantities of all kinds of supplied, including coal and iron, have been withheld from market and the use of the Army by the last-mentioned cause.

II. Government warehouses or shelters of some kind, however temporary, if only of canvas, guarded by soldiers, at suitable points convenient for storing and distributing army supplies are indispensable