D, A&MR 12/20/1864

Demopolis 20 Dec 1864
General G. T. Bureau regard
Commanding Military Division of the West
Tupelo, Miss
   Mr. Maxwell contractor for Tombigbee bridge {on the Alabama & Mississippi Rivers RR} showed me today a telegram from Major Bryan of your staff authorizing him upon his (Maxwell's) representation that but little could be done this winter at Tombigbee bridge, to remove his men and tools to the West Point Road {Montgomery & West Point RR}, I presume for rebuilding bridges on that Road. The bridges are done, and the trains are running from Montgomery to West Point, consequently his men are not required there. Further, it is not true that but little can be done at Tombigbee. A portion of the piers, and the entire superstructure have yet to be framed, and the patterns for all the castings of the draw have yet to be made, and should now be in the hands of the foundryman. The whole of this can go on now, and ought to be pushed vigorously in order to take advantage of the first low water to raise the bridge. The truth is that Mr. Maxwell in a freak of ill humor wrote Col. Brent that he would not prosecute the work under my management, and under pretext of doing work in Georgia and elsewhere is seeking to withdraw his force entirely, and abandon the work, well knowing the embarrassment & delay it will cause for a new set of men to come in and complete work partially framed by others. These men were detailed by the Secretary of War for this work, and I protest against his being permitted to remove them. If done, the work will be retarded for months. And in any event I think the I should have been notified of the order to remove them.
   For further information, I respectfully refer you to certain papers at the Head Quarters of Lt. Genl Taylor in relation to this subject, and ask that some competent officer be sent to enquire fully into the conduct of the work.
Very respectfully
Minor Meriwether
Lt. Col. Engineers