NA, CSN 12/5/1864

Naval Gun Foundry and Ordnance Works
Selma, December 5, 1864
Lieutenant-Colonel William Richardson Hunt, C. S. Army
Nitre and Mining Bureau
Selma, Ala.
   You are aware that for two months we could not cast guns for want of iron. The difficulty appeared to be the want of transportation. We have lately received some iron, but not as rapidly as we could cast it into guns.
   At my instance General Taylor issued orders to transport iron for guns and a special train was sent up for it last week {on the Alabama & Tennessee River RR}, which train I am informed, brought down iron on Friday or earlier.
   On Saturday Mr. Boyle informed Mr. Wurback that we would not have enough iron to cast again today, and urged him to let us have it as soon as possible, but he has not yet delivered the iron. In consequence, we cannot cast a gun today. Mr. Boyle has also seen him twice today, and has again requested him to let us have the iron. But now, at 3 p. m., Mr. Wurbach informs him that the iron has not been weighed or inspected, and that we can not have it today, thus causing us to lose another day in casting.
   Please give such instructions as will prevent unnecessary delay in the future, and I would also ask that whenever we want gun iron that unusual exertions be made to supply us.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Catesby ap R. Jones