NA, M&O 4/25/1864

Office of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad
Mobile Ala., April 25th 1864
Lt Col F W Sims
Chf of Rail Road Bureau
   Please make such endorsement on the enclosed letter as you think the case warrants & forward it to Col Preston.
   I desire some one appointed by the Bureau convenient to the city to whom I can refer without the trouble & delay of sending to Head Quarters at Montgomery, and the adoption of some form of exemption that will prevent our employees from leaving our service whenever they please. We have had a strike in our shops and were forced to pay the Mechanics $15.00 per day, and that class of men now believe they can change their places at will & force the Rail Road Companies into any measures they may adopt.
   In accordance with orders from Genl Polk I am now extending our Road to Corinth, which I hope to reach in two weeks, and may then move into Tennessee. The extension of the Road and the rebuilding of permanent structures where temporary ones were constructed in that part of the Road destroyed by the Yankee Raids, will require for some time more men than is allowed by law, & I will be obliged to you to obtain an order from the War Department to prevent interference with such men as we may require for the purposes. Genl Polk will grant details for this purposes, but the men require ??? within the Conscription Act, and are beyond his control.
   I have retained the services of the employees of this Road while it was being repaired at a cost of $500,000, above our receipts, that we might be prepared to efficiently perform the Governments transportation as early as practicable. I now find that the business of the Road at present rates is not more than half the expenses, and they must be increased or we shall be forced to stop. It is the darkest hour I have seen during the war.
Very Respectfully, Sir
L. J. Fleming
Chf Eng & Genl Supt