NA, M&O 7/25A/1861

July 25th 2 1/2 PM  {1861}
J P Wood Esqr
President {Memphis & Ohio RR}
Dear Sir,
   Your favor of this date in relation to reducing our regular Business & instructions appertaining thereto; is this moment received. I must confess that I am somewhat puzzled by its contents. In the first place you order the Telegraph office in this Depot closed immediately & then afterwards order an irregular train to start, when all means of giving that order (except by letter) has been cut off the train from Humbolt. You wish to proceed at once to Memphis & yet I have no means left (if I discontinue the Telegraph office here) to issue that order in time. Again, we now have three irregular trains on the Road whose movements must, or should be directed by telegraph and for whose safety, as well as that of all irregular trains, I will not be held accountable unless I have speedy means of controlling, their movements. I cannot possibly think that Genl Polk has given this his consideration & that the importance of the Telegraph for the safety of irregular trains has been fully brought before him. If necessary to control the Telegraph in my office I will issue orders that no message goes over the wires except written & sent by me, and I believe that this would be perfectly satisfactory to Genl Polk. Genl Polks orders are that persons leaving the City by Railroad must obtain a Passport from Head Quarters. Does this include Employees or not? Will it be the Conductor's business or that of an appointed officer by Genl Polk to see that all have passports? You mention that "no Passengers passes over your train except those who may have passports" &c. Does this include all points on line of Road as well as starting from Memphis?
   There are now three irregular trains with which I wish to communicate in order to govern their movements. 1st train at Humbolt to come South this afternoon, to be kept out of way of regular trains. 2nd Wood train now acting as freight, between Humbolt & Paris. 3rd Freight train which left Humbolt last night as a passenger train for the River. If you will tell Genl Polk that it {is} important that I have the use of wire & Particularly in these irregular trains I will issue, & see kept strict orders that no message is sent or received here except through or by me.
Respectfully Yours
Bentley D. Hasell
Genl Supt