NA, MG&T 1/21/1864

Office Mobile & Ohio R. R.
Mobile Jany 21st 1862 {Sims was not a Major until mid-63, so this had to be 1864}
Maj F. W. Sims
Chf Rail Road Bureau
   Allow me to introduce to your favorable attention my friend, Col. J. Bliss, of Gainesville Ala.
   Col. Bliss represents the Mississippi, Gainesville & Tuscaloosa Rail Road, which extends from Gainesville Junction Station on our Road to Gainesville Ala, a distance of 22 miles. The Road is entirely in the Prairie ??? formation and is very difficult and expensive to keep up, and has no Rolling Stock, except what is hired to the by our Company. Some after the assembling of an army Genl Bragg directed Maj Gord?? to impress labor and put the Road in good order, but he was soon after relieved and the same orders and authority given to me. We directed the Company to hire the labor and repair the Road for early as practicable, and as far as I know the Government has not reimbursed them for the amount expended.
   The Road is an important one for the Government in the Transportation of the Provisions from the rich country in the vicinity of ??? which, in winter, cannot be transported in any other way.
   I understand that the Department at one time regarded this Road and classed it as a Branch of our Line, and, if so, it was an error. It was constructed by a distinct company, and our association with them, or any control over it. We have furnished assistance to build it, and now hire them Machinery to operate it.
   The Road has a very small business, principally for the Government, is more expensive to keep up than any other road of the same length and I think under the circumstances is justly entitled to higher rates than are usually paid.
Very Respectfully
L. J. Fleming
Chf Eng & Genl Supt