NA, A&F 5/30/1863

Superintendents Office
Alabama & Florida Railroad Company of Alabama
Montgomery, Ala.
May 30th 1863
Maj A M Barbour
Chief Q Master
Western Department
   In accordance with my promise I submit a brief statement of the facts connected with the seizure by the Government and the turning over to this and the Mobile & Great Northern Rail Road Company, of a portion of the outfit of the Ala & Fla Rail Road of Fla. Their Co runing a Road 112 miles long were entirely unable with their limited outfit consisting of 7 efficient Engines and 68 Ft Cars only 24 of which were box cars to meet the pressing demands for Government Transportation and after the failure of all their efforts to increase their rolling stock either by purchase or lease on reasonable terms, Genl Forney then Commanding the Department ordered the Rolling Stock of the Ala & Fla Rl Rd of Fla (with the exception of an Engine and a few cars -- ample to do all the business on a Road then only ten miles long) to be divided between the two Rail Road, forming the line to Mobile.
   His order secured to the owners of the property, by the award of disinterested and competent parties, just compensation if they desired to sell, and ample remuneration for their use, if they preferred to rent. The Road to which the outfit belonged had been torn up, and the Rolling Stock was lying entirely idle, while the Government and the public were suffering for the want of that which was, for the time being surplus and useless property and is still so as their Road has not been rebuilt & will not be till the close of the War.
   Under Genl Forneys order this Co received an Engine and 16 cars, and the M&GN R. R. and Engine and 8 cars, all in ??? last, which they have used with the same care bestowed on their own outfit, and which they are now and have ever been, willing to restore at any moment when deemed compatible with the public interest.
   I think your own experience of the difficulty of procuring prompt Transportation from this point even with the aid of the River, will satisfy you that it would be bad policy in the Government to allow much less to demand, the withdrawal of so large a portion of the outfit of a Road which is now a very important line of communication, and may by reason of low water in the Ala River (already at a low stage) become the only available channel of communication between the Eastern & Western portions of the Confederacy. In view then of the necessity of keeping the Road in a condition to meet the requirements of Government Transportation, and in view of the fact that the Road owning the Engine & cars ordered to be returned is suspended and has no use for its Rolling Stock, and is at the same time amply secured against loss from our use of it. This Co would respectfully ask that the order (a copy of which I enclose) requiring its restoration be withdrawn.
Very Respectfully
Yr obdt Servt
Saml G Jones
Engr & Supt