NA, A&MR 5/20/1864

Office Ala & Miss Rivers Railroad
Demopolis Ala 20th May 1864
J W DuBois Esq
Govt Agt. for Impressing Negroes
Dear Sir,
   The requisition made for hands to complete the River connection of this Road made in March last called for 350 negroes, we have received as yet, but 89 of these 45 have runaway, most of them before commencing work. The government are now engaged in constructing a Bridge over the Tombigbee and have contracted the work to reliable parties to be completed by the 1st of October next, it is of the utmost importance that the road should be completed as soon as the Bridge. To do this work in time the full number of 350 negroes will be immediately required and measures should be taken to ensure an effective force of that number constantly on the work. I would further state that many of the negroes are old, cripples or otherwise unfit for service, also that many of them are sent here without shoes and are consequently not able to perform full work. Will you please insist upon the owners furnishing shoes with their negroes and make some arrangement by which they can be supplied by the government at the price charged to the owners.
Ys vy Respectfully
M. B. Prichard
Ch. Engr. & Gen Suprt
Ala. & Miss. Rivers R. R.
P. S. I would further state that about 4 miles of the Road runs through the Tombigbee bottoms subject to overflow and that if this portion of the work is not completed, or nearly by November it cannot be done before the spring or summer of the next year.
M. B. Prichard