to any efficient system of transportation. The absence of these has throughout this war not only very greatly delayed and diminished the efficient transportation on railroads whose cars are detained as temporary store-houses while they might be transporting further supplies, but has also cost the Government many times the cost of such warehouses in supplies stolen, lost, or spoiled from exposure to weather. Incidental to this is the urgent necessity for adopting and rigidly and invariably enforcing some more stringent army regulations requiring all quartermasters and commissaries at all h ours and seasons of weather promptly to load and unload railroad cars and remove supplies from railroad stations, and furnishing them with the requisite force of men, with authority to make them work, and other appliances where needed. The stations and usual force of men belonging to railroads are totally inadequate to accomplish half what is in this way needed for the Army, many times exceeding any business for which they were calculated or adapted, or which they can have on the removal from them of the Army.
III. Let it be made a military offense, and as such be rigidly and severely punished, to use or consume [as] fuel for locomotives cross-ties or other materials for railroad operations or repairs. This practice has repeatedly very nearly caused a total suspension of transportation on several railroads, besides subjecting them to very considerable losses not easily repaired.
IV. When engines or cars belonging to one railroad are unnecessarily detained on another railroad to which they have been sent to transport troops or supplies for the Government, let the Government by such fact of detention become indebted and pay to the railroad company owning such engines or cars for their line at the rate per diem of $ 25 to $ 50, according to size, for each engine, $ 25 for each passenger car, and $ 5 for each freight car so detained from the day when such unnecessary detention shall commence to that on which it shall terminate, inclusive; the amount so paid to be chargeable to and by the Government collected from the railroad company or Government officer who shall have detained the said engines or cars when they shall next settle any accounts with the Government. This arrangement will remove very much, if not all, the reasonable reluctance now felt by railroad companies to allow their machinery and cars to be carried to other roads, and secure their prompt return for further use and necessary repairs to those who are interested in keeping them in the best condition and making the greatest use of them. Any detention beyond the time required for the transit and twelve hours for loading and unloading should constitute unnecessary detention.
V. For the maintenance of the railroads the greatest and most urgent need exists for iron rails, wheels and axles, tires, springs, and locomotives, with materials for their repairs. To supply rails during the existence of the blockade will give full employment to not less than four and probably five rolling mills of the largest size, requiring not less than six months to erect them, and consuming not less than 5,000 tons of iron monthly, of which 3,000 tons may consist of old rails to be rerolletion can be had for them. To supply the residue of this iron there must be a large increase of the yield of the mines and furnaces in the Confederate States contiguous to railroads, or, much better, to water navigation. But before this could be done very large additions to the supply of iron could be obtained immediately from a source which is everywhere accessible and available. Let the Government through the public newspapers appeal to the citizens