forges, foundries, and manufactures of iron. Even of rails, a very considerable quantity would have heretofore been made for railroads but for this exclusive monopoly by the Government of all the mines and manufactures of iron in the Confederacy, and they might now be made if the Government had its own rolling-mills for its boiler plate, bar iron, & c., instead of engrossing those of individuals. But the deterioration and destitution of our railroads and of their equipments have now greatly exceeded the point at which they could have been relieved by such expedients and imperatively demand much more extensive and efficient measures of relief. Two or more extensive foundries and workshops established and maintained by the Government for the manufacture and supply of these materials and equipments for railroads at cost prices are absolutely needed to keep up the machinery upon them so as to be available for the necessary transportation for our armies.
VII. But for the establishment or operations of any such manufactures of either rails or machinery mechanics are needed whom it is now impossible to procure perhaps in the Confederate States and certainly without resorting to those enrolled in its conscription and armies. To supply this, perhaps of all the most important and urgent want of our Government and people, to any extent at all commensurate with existing necessities, it will be necessary to import from Europe citizens and skillful machinists. This can readily be done by the Government through its agents in Great Britain and France, who may assure to such mechanics a free passage on ships owned or hired by Government and constant employment at lucrative wages after their arrival here; 500 to 1,000 such at the least might be most advantageously imported and employed. All the railroads and all the manufactures in the Confederate States on which they are dependent for their supplies have been very largely deprived of workmen, not only by the ruinous competition of the Government workshops, but also by the enlistment and conscription in the Army of such as were capable of military service, and it will be absolutely necessary, for the maintenance in operation and use even in its present deteriorated condition of the machinery of our railroads, that until other mechanics can be procured from abrothe conscription and from the Army of any such as may be now found there should be most liberally made. The number of men so detailed would be too small to materially or even perceptibly weaken our armies in the field, whose ranks could be very largely recruited from the vagrants, American and European, who now infest our cities devouring our subsistence, demoralizing our society, and endangering our peace and safety, while each man so detailed would perform services more valuable to the Government and armies of the Confederacy than ten men of his capacity could perform in the ranks. The neglect and violation of this obvious policy has constituted a chief - perhaps the chief est - cause of the present dilapidated condition of our railroads and their machinery.
[Inclosure No. 2.]
RESOLUTIONS proposed to railroad conventions held in Richmond December, 1861, and February, 1862, and adopted with some modifications, but never put into general execution.
Resolved, That in order to promote the manufacture of iron rails and other railroad supplies essential to the maintenance of railroads in the Confederate States, we hereby pledge the railroad companies