D, A&F 2/6/1865

Supt Office Ala & Fla Rl Rd Co {Alabama & Florida (of Alabama) RR}
Montgomery Feby 6/1865
Maj E H Harriss
   In explanation of the delay in the transportation of troops, complained of, over this Road, I would say, that in no instance have we failed to start from Pollard, the Southern terminus of our Road, with any troops which have arrived from Mobile on the first schedule after arrival. The irregularity of arrivals from Mobile has in two instances required us to detain soldiers at Pollard all night in order to avoid sending them out on irregular Trains & the hazard connected with all such trains, especially when running at night, but in both cases the troops were sent out early next morning on the first schedule. In as many as three instances, troops have been stopped over night on the Road on account of the condition of the prairie portion (upper 35 miles) of our Road, which owing to the excessive recent rains is not in my judgment such as to warrant the running of heavy trains of troops over it at night. Whenever the Road is in that condition, I have considered that the public interest was best served by taking a little more time & bringing the men through safely to hurrying them through at the risk of getting off the track & perhaps blockading the Road for several days, and thus reducing the aggregate of troops transported by an entire suspension of operations for even one single day. I am fully impressed with the importance of expediting the troops and will do any and every thing in my power to give expedition to their travel over this Road, consistent with the safety of the troops. In conclusion I will say that first day I consider it prudent to bring the troops, ornitly through, it shall be done.
Very Respectfully
Yr obdt Servt
Saml. G. Jones
{on the back of the letter}
I think the reason given by Mr. Jones, Eng. & Supt of the Road are valid, & as nearly all the Troops have come ford, I doubt the propriety of forcing them to change his schedule. My own opinion is that the section of his Road running through the Praires is dangerous to run over at night, rendered so by recent heavy rains.
E. H. Harris
Q. M.