NA, M&O 11/4/1861

Jackson Tennessee
Novr 4th 1861
To Milton Brown Prest.
Mobile & Ohio R. R. Co.
Dear Sir,
   You asked me why Government freights for the Army from Nashville to this place have been shipped round by Stevenson instead of direct to Decatur; and why it has been sent on to the Grand Junction instead of being turned onto the Mobile & Ohio R. R. at Corinth:
   In reply I give you the following facts. A very large amt. of freight for the army shipped from Nashville to this place has been sent from Nashville to Stevenson & from there to Grand Junction & from there to this place, of the reasons for sending it round by Stevenson instead of the near route through by Decatur I have no means of forming an opinion, but the motives that influenced its being sent on to the Grand Junction instead of being turned on to the Mobile & Ohio Road at Corinth may be inferred from the following telegraphic correspondence:
   As soon as I found that the freight in question was being sent by the way of the Grand Junction, I sent the following dispatch to Capt Bransford Ast Quarter Master at Nashville:
"Capt Bransford
   "Freights coming by Mississippi Central is $32 a car more than by M&O R. R. why was the change made?
W. DeHeart Agt A. C. S."
   To which I received the following reply:
   "Because Capt Ross supt of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad telegraphed me that the freight could not be got through on the Mobile & Ohio Rail Road. You can order the freight by any route which may be the best all things considered."
   Immediately I telegraphed to Mr Mosby Agent of the Memphis & Charleston R. R. at Corinth as follows, "I have orders from Maj Bransford Q Master at Nashville to stop the shipment of all goods marked A. C. S. from going further west than Corinth & notified your Superintendent accordingly. I will not receive any after tonight shipped by way of Grand Junction. Ship by Mobile & Ohio R. R."
   I at the same time sent the following to Capt Ross the General Superintendent of the Memphis & Charleston Road at Memphis, "I have orders from Maj Bransford Qr M at Nashville to stop the shipment of all goods marked A. C. S. from going west of Corinth. You will therefore please instruct your agent at Corinth to that effect as they must be shipped direct to Jackson."
   To which Capt Ross returned the following reply,
   "I presume Quarter Master Bransford knows his business. I shall decline to instruct agents as you request. Freights for Jackson, Trenton & Humboldt were ordered via Junction to prevent delay of freight & our cars at Corinth & for no other purpose we have more than we can carry without it.
W. J. Ross Supt"
   To this I replied
   "My orders are not to receipt for goods over Mississippi Central & shall obey orders."
   To this Capt Ross Supt. replied, "I dont care whether you receipt or not, we are obeying orders also from Quarter Master Bransford the shipper and dont recognize your right as receiver to instruct shipments & think we know our own business. Hope other will come to the same conclusion."  W. S. Ross Supt
   In this way shipments continued to come by way of Grand Junction & I was driven to the alternative of receiving it this way or abandoning it. On reflection I deemed it best to receive it which I have done accordingly. I also deem it my duty to add that the officers of the Mobile & Ohio RR informed me at the time of the shipments that they were not only ready & willing to receive the freight but that cars were actually sent to Corinth for that purpose.
Yours most respectfully
Wm De Hart
Agent C. S. A.