NA, ENG 11/24C/1863

Engineer Bureau
November 24th 1863
Col. L. B. Northrop
Commissary General CSA
   There is a very injurious break in the railroad connection through Alabama at Demopolis -- a break of only about five miles {on the Alabama & Mississippi Rivers RR}. The importance of completing the connection at the above point is so great that urgent representations have been made on the subject by commanding generals and also engineer officers of capacity charged with special examinations. These last represent the impossibility of having this almost indispensable link completed unless you can aid whoever undertakes the construction by selling to them the requisite amount of provisions. Should you be able to thus aid, I understand there will be no special difficulty to overcome in other respected. The number of hands to be employed can scarcely exceed five hundred for three or four months.
   In view of the great importance of this connection in a national point of view, at all times, and especially of the fact that without it in case of further retreat, the greater portion if not the whole of the rolling stock beyond the Tombigbee will in all probability be lost, it is earnestly hoped that the application will meet with your favorable consideration.
I am Col Very Respectfully Your Obt Servt
A. L. Rives
Lt Col & Act Chf of Bureau