Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 39.djvu/74

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62 Southern Historical Society Papers.

demand, you see at once the impossibility of our meeting the heavy drafts Hkely to be made upon us.

It may be thought that the State should have replaced her rolling stock taken by the Confederate Government by having new Engines and Cars made.

You will readily see the impossibility of this when you reflect that we have been unable to import such heavy material through the blockade, and that the Confederate Gov'mt has had control of all the iron mills and almost all the furnaces in the Con- federacy. The officers of that Gov'm't have even refused to let us get a supply of iron from the Etowah works, near the road, for our ordinary repairs when we were hauling all- the coal that kept the works going, and it has been with great difficulty that we could secure the supply. Indeed we must have failed had it not been for the action of Gen'l. G. W. Smith, whose sense of justice in this as in other matters, caused him to determine to secure the Road and the stock, which property had the high- est claim upon the works of which he was president. But I will not trouble you by further remarks upon this subject. I will only add that it is a matter of imperative necessity that the rolling stock on the Road be increased before the Spring Campaign opens, and that the Tennessee rolling stock be re- turned before any advance movement is attempted.

I receive daily reports from the officers of the Road and they ship regularly all that your officers ofTer. Renewing the as- surance of my determination to do all in my power to serve you, and of my high esteem, I am,

Your ob'd't serv't,

Joseph E. Brown.