NA, ENG 7/22/1864

Engineer Bureau
July 22d 1864
Lieut. Col. Minor Meriwether
Demopolis, Ala.
   Your various communications in regard to impressment of RR iron &c have been recd. I shall send you in a day or two authority from Hon Secy of War to impress the Gainesville Branch R. R. {Mississippi, Gainesville & Tuscaloosa RR} iron.
   Genl Gilmer has written to Genl Maury requesting him to impress the {Mobile &} Spring Hill R. R. iron & also that of the Ala. & Fla. R. R. of Fla. without further delay, as a matter of mil. necessity & has stated to the General that you would post him fully in relation to both cases.
   $200,000 of money has reached you & a requisition for $200,000 more was made out some time since. it is hoped that it will be soon placed to your credit. In regard to the authority taken by you to impress various other roads, at this time, it is not deemed advisable to act just at this time except in the case of the Gainesville Branch.
   Your views as to the difficulties almost insuperable of obtaining iron except by prompt mil. action are fully concurred in & the Bureau will endeavor to have you sustained. It is however deemed proper in each case to follow the law of impressment & if an injunction is taken out to move for a dissolution & if that is not granted take prompt military measures for securing iron imperatively needed. An appeal in such cases will be made by the Bureau to Comdg Generals to sustain you.
By direction of Maj Genl. Gilmer
Vey respy yours
A. L. Rives
Col &c