NA, M&O 1/21/1865

Office of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad
Mobile, Ala., Jany 21st 1865
Major Willis
   Enclosed herewith please find a statement of account of expenses for repairing of a portion of the Mobile & Ohio RR destroyed by Genl Sherman's Raid, including the cost of cars destroyed unnecessarily by our own military commanders.
   The rebuilding of the destroyed portion of the road was ordered by Genl Polk who under authority conferred on him from Richmond assumed the payment of all expenses.
   The rebuilding of the destroyed portion of the road was deemed essential to the operations of the Army but was not expected to yield, and has not yielded any material benefit to the Company. Hence the agreement of the Government to pay the expenses.
   The account also includes the amount of the damage of the more recent raid of Genl Grierson. In regard to this no expenses promise has been made, as was done in the former case, but it clearly falls within the same equity. You will confer a special favor by aiding us in having these accounts settled by the Government. As I explained to you in person, we are nearly run down, and cannot run the road six months longer without relief from the Government. Please have an order made to audit and settle the accounts & we will furnish the proof of their correctness.
   We have about Two thousand bales of cotton which we desire to send through the lines & purchase materials for the repairs of our road rolling stock. We have forwarded to the War Dept a full statement of the case fully endorsed by Genl Taylor. Will you please also aid us in this. In payment of amounts due from the Government we have been constantly compelled to take bonds when we were not able to pay our expenses & keep up the repairs of the road. We are reduced by repeated raids of the enemy and the immense destruction on our road, so that we must be paid promptly in Cash for amount due us. We have run the road almost entirely for the benefit of the army & have nearly sacrificed the road. The Government is now far more interested in sustaining the road than the stockholders are.
Most Respectfully submitted
Milton Brown Prest.
Mobile & Ohio R. R. Compy
{on the back of the letter}
Recd Feby 18th/65
Claim for Damages
Q M Genl
For examination & report as to the proper action to be taken
By order
J A Campbell
8 Feby 65
Qr. Mr. Genls Office
Richmond Feb. 10/65
Res referred to Lt Col F. W. Sims
By order Qr. Mr. Genl
Ch. Harris
Capt & AQM