Adjutant Generals Department
|Rail Road Bureau C. S. A.
|HdQuarters Augusta Geo Apl 6th 1863
|Genl. S. Cooper
|A & I Genl. Richmond
| I have the honor to enclose you herewith
sundry papers & declarations to the claim of O. M. Avery,
President of Ala. & Fla. RRd. Co. of Florida against the
Government for the seizure of certain iron rails, spikes, chairs, etc
and for damage done to said road in consequence of its destruction at
the time Pensacola was evacuated.
| The iron rails, chairs, spikes, etc were
taken up by order of Genl. J. M. Jones, acting under orders from Genl
Braxton Bragg and appropriated by the latter to the construction of
the Alabama & Mississippi Rivers, and the North East & South
West of Alabama Rail Roads west of Demopolis and for a siding on the Mobile &
Great Northern Rail Road, and subsequently about three hundred tons of
the rails were devoted to the defense of Mobile.
| Mr. Avery looks to the Government to
settle with him and presents a statement which is enclosed (marked A)
for $432,326.34, embracing an account of all the material seized.
| The Secretary of War, as you will see by
the enclosed papers, (marked B) has already had his attention directed
to the matter and referred to me with instruction to "ascertain
the best terms on which the whole matter can be settled." At my
interview with Mr. Avery, I could not get him to make any proposition
looking to a settlement upon terms that, in my judgment, would be
acceptable to the Government and during our conversation I learned
that he was aware of a contract made by the Government with Wm. B.
Gilmer, Treasurer of the Alabama Arms Co, to furnish rails at $150 per
ton. Fortified as he was with such information I could get no concessions
and can only pass his bill for your consideration.
| Finding Mr. Avery is settled in his
determination I turned to the parties who are using the seized iron
rail in hope that they would undertake a settlement, but was
completely stopped by G. G. Griffin Esq. President of the Ala. &
Miss. Rivers RRoad who has already settled with Col. A. C. Myers
Quarter Master General as you will see by the enclosure (marked C).
The matter now rests entirely between the Government and Mr Avery and
is resolved simply into a question of the price he shall receive as
the other discrepancies of which he complained have been arranged.
With these facts you can understand upon what basis negotiations can
be initiated preparatory to a final settlement.
| It is estimated by O. M. Avery Prest. and
Supt. of this road that it was damaged by the removal of the iron and
the destruction of the bridges say $94,671.00 and on the 21st Feby he
addressed a note to Maj. Gen. Buckner enclosing this estimate of
damage and asking the appointment of some suitable person to
"examine the road with the amount of damage and certify as to its
| Under date of Feby 24th, Genl Leadbetter,
Engineer &c, directs J. T. Wilson Chf. Eng. of the Ala. Central
Road at Montgomery, as follows: "Please examine the Ala & Fla
RRd as within indicated, and report to this office the damage
sustained by the Company in the removal of the track, over and above
the cost of the rails." This examination had not been
made up to the 12th March. The course taken by our Generals in
directing the examination made would seem to implicate the Government
to the extent of damages Mr Wilson may report and establish a
president that other roads in the hands of the enemy, as destroyed by
our forces would not be slow to follow.
|I remain General
|Your obat Servant
|Wm. M. Wadley
|A. A. Gen.