meant. They ask only that the Government will afford them such facilities as can be granted without any hazard or loss. As supplies of tools, steel, and many other articles cannot be procured without resorting to the English manufactures, it becomes necessary for the railroad companies to place money or establish credits in England. The companies being generally willing to risk the blockade in order to procure supplies cannot in the present condition of exchange so place money or establish credits without the aid of Government. The committee would therefore respectfully recommend that whenever any railroad companies or association of companies shall purchase cotton and pledge the same to the Government, that an arrangement be made for their benefit of a character similar to the late loan procured on cotton in Europe by the Government. The operations of the Government have, from the very necessity of the case, interfered with the operations of the railroad companies. Many mechanics absolutely necessary toward keeping up railroad works are now in the Army. Without these workmen the railroads, even with supplies of iron, cannot get along. The number of such men cannot exceed, if it shall reach, 1,000. The committee would therefore earnestly recommend the detail of such mechanics as may be found absolutely necessary be made to railroad companies without delay.
Resolved, That in order to increase the present efficiency and capacity of the railroads in their existing condition for the military transportation of the Confederate States, the following measures are respectfully recommended to the War Department:
First. That on all canals, rivers, and other lines of water transportation as large a number as practicable of boats and vessels of any kind be speedily constructed and used for transporting military supplies, so as to relieve the railroads of the overwhelming amount of freights now thrown upon them, and leave them available for transportation of what cannot be carried by water because of its locality or the urgency with which it is needed.
Second. That [at] all points which are suitable for the storage and distribution of supplies on the lines of railroads or water transportation adequate store-houses or shelters, if only of canvas, be erected and guarded for the storage and distribution, as they may be needed at various points, of supplies, which otherwise will inevitably detain many cars from active service.
Third. That for the increase and improvement of military transportation on railroads the Government should as early as practicable import from Europe artisans, machinists, and miners in number not less than 500 to supply the mines, rolling-mills, and machine-shops needed by the Government and railroads.
Fourth. That more stringent and efficient army regulations and orders be made and rigidly enforced preventing effectually interference by military officers with the movements of trains and operations of railroads and with the obedience of railroad officers and agents to the orders of their superiors.
Jackson, Miss., April 22, 1863.
Commanding Dept. of Mississippi and East Louisiana:
SIR: I am directed by Governor Pettus to say to you that in his opinion the distillation of grain in this department ought to be pre