NA, M&O 11/4A/1861

Jackson Tennessee
Nov. 4, 1861
Maj. Genl. Polk
Dear Sir,
   Enclosed you will find the copy of a letter from Capt. Wm. D Hart the agent of the Govt. at this place giving the facts in regard to the late shipments from Nashville to this place. It will be seen that this freight has been sent from Nashville to Stevenson over the Chattanooga road & from there to Grand Junction over the Memphis & Charleston road & from there here over the Mississippi Central road. Where its proper route was from Nashville to Decatur & from there to Corinth & from Corinth here. Capt Hart in one of his dispatches states the loss to the Government at $32 a car load. But when he sent this dispatch he only referred to the sending the freight on to Grand Junction, not then knowing that it made the circuit round by Stevenson. The sacrifice to the Government must be largely over that amount. The Memphis & Charleston Road instead of transporting it from Decatur to Corinth a distance of 93 miles has transported it from Stevenson to Grand Junction a distance of 219 miles. I state these distances from memory but I think I am correct.
   It seems that Capt. Ross Superintendent of the Memphis & Charleston Road obtained an order to ship to Grand Junction by telegraphing that "the freight could not be got through on the Mobile & Ohio Road." Now it can be proved positively that Capt Hart had notified the officers of the Mobile Road that this freight was coming and a large number of cars had been sent in advance for it, & that there was as good if not better prospect to get it off from Corinth than it was from Grand Junction. In a subsequent dispatch from Capt Ross he says that "Freights for Jackson, Trenton & Humboldt were ordered via Junction to prevent delay of freight &c. Now freight could not get from the Memphis & Charleston road to either Trenton or Humboldt without going on the Mobile Road according to his statement, therefore, to prevent delay on the Mobile & Ohio Road, freight must be sent across the Mobile & Ohio Road at Corinth & then sent back to it again at Jackson & then shipped on it from Jackson to Trenton & Humboldt!! If we could take freight at Jackson why could we not take it at Corinth? The truth is it is mostly an attempt to cover up a fraud on the Mobile road & a still greater one on the Government.
Most respectfully yours
Milton Brown Prest
Mobile & Ohio R. R. Co.