LVA, RRB 8/1/1864

J. M. Hottle
Montgomery Aug 1st 1864
M&W RR August 1st   {Montgomery & West Point RR}
Col. F. W. Sims
   I am here by request of Genl Hood in charge of the repairs of this Road. I arrived here on friday have been over the whole line three times in a few days more & will have the work systematized We will then be able to push QM stores rapidly. tomorrow will have the road ready to the end of T Rail This will make five miles only that has been repaired on the Montgomery end which was only partially damaged. I now have parties along the whole line of the brak cutting ties building & bedding. We will get about seven miles T iron from Averys Road {Alabama & Florida (of Florida) RR} This will leave gap of 11 miles enough of the old iron could be used to repair this but will take a guaranteed longer time to lay it down. I hope we will be able to get 6 more miles of heavy iron This would been 5 miles of old iron that could be built about the same time that it will take to lay down the 13 miles of T iron. Seven days from to day can have the Road completed to Loachapoka with what can be layed from southern end in that time will shorten the gap to ten miles. If we succeed in getting more T Rail I think the Road can be finished in twenty days from this time.
   I shall do my very best to complete the work as early as it possibly can be done.
   I succeeded getting all government ft machinery &c out of Atlanta before I left I was in Atlanta four days under heavy shelling wich was mostly in and around the Macon depot {Macon & Western RR}. Government officers as usual who you no ??? t?? before this all left which gave me a clear field to operate Rail Road officers also became timid & left the management of the Roads entirely in my hands. I suppose you are aware of the Raid through Ga. I have been too ??? to go back there but think this work is the most important. Five thousand Bus corn is now going forward to the army via West Point which is hauled by wagons over the break. There is no cause for alarm about feeding Genl Hoods army. The amt of supplies on hand & the amt that can be sent will be ample If this army does not succeed it will not be for the want of supplies. The Montgomery & West Point RR lost one engine partially down up by having the cat burt off & seven cars. This last was entirely the result of bad management at Opelika all the government stores at that place was loaded and ready to move The engineer had his engine ready to Auburn while the Yankees ??? & as he ??? ran the engine off the track which caused the engine & five cars loaded with supplies & valuable stores to fall into the enemy's hands The engineer says the commander of the post ordered him to do it. The ??? ??? denies it