NA, M&O 9/7/1864

Office Mobile & Ohio RR
Sept 7th 1864
His Excellency
Jefferson Davis
President Confederate States
   I promised the lamented Lieut. Genl. Polk to address him a communication in relation to the services of Major Geo. Whitfield, of the Quarter Masters department, in the evacuation of Meridian, and Repairs of the damage done to this Road by the Sherman and Smith Raids, but a painful and serious accident prevented the fulfillment of this promise.
   Major Whitfield entered the army as a private in one of the first companies, which went from Mississippi to Pensacola, and was detailed by Genl Bragg and placed in the Quarter Masters Department. He was attached to the Quarter Masters department of Genl Bragg's staff during the evacuation of Corinth, and was subsequently place by Lieut. Genl. Pemberton in charge of Transportation in the Department, which position he held under Genls Johnston, Polk, Lee and Maury.
   There was a very large accumulation of Stores at Meridian, Enterprise and Stations adjacent to Meridian, and several hospitals containing sick and wounded, which, from the rapid approach of the enemy, it seemed almost impossible to remove; but by untiring energy and judicious management of Major Whitfield the last train departed from Meridian a few hours before the arrival of the enemy.
   He then fell back to Enterprise -- 14 miles -- and continued to run trains to that point for 48 hours and to within 1 1/2 hours of the enemy's arrival. All Government Stores, except some corn in the shuck, including about two thousand (2000) bales of Government cotton (the orders and preparations for burning which had been given before his arrival from Meridian), were saved and transported to Mobile. On that part of the Rail Roads occupied by Genl Sherman's force no Government stores or supplies of any kind, were left or lost except a small quantity of corn in the shuck, which it was impossible to obtain the labor to load.
   Lieut. Genl Polk then ordered Maj Whitfield to remain on the Mobile & Ohio Rail Road, and furnish the Company with such assistance as might be necessary to repair the damage done by the enemy. It was by his great energy in concentrating labor and supplies that we were enabled to run trains over the 48 miles of Road destroyed by Genl Sherman in less than 30 days, and in five days less time than was required to repair 9 miles of the Selma  Road, not so badly damaged and to which the Government had likewise furnished the required assistance.
   My position has placed me in intimate contact with many officers in this Department but I have seen no one who labors with more zeal, energy and devotion to the interests of our country than Major Whitfield and no one has more richly earned promotion.
   It is proper to say that he -- like his father, ex-Governor Whitfield -- has uniformly and steadily supported and defended your Administration. I have written this without the solicitation or knowledge of him or his friends, and as a matter of justice to a true and valuable officer.
I am sir
Your obt Servt.
L. J. Fleming
Chf Eng & Genl Supt