NA, M&WP 2/24/1864

Engineers Dept
Atlanta Ga Feby 24th 1864
Lieut. Col. A. L. Rives
Acting Chf of engineer Bureau
Richmond, Va.
   Your dispatch of yesterday was rec'd late last night. I have replied by telegraph this morning. To give you a better idea of the proposed change of gauge of the Montgomery & West Point Rail I will state the present condition & character of the track. From Montgomery to Notasulga 46 miles, and 6 miles from the West Point end, the track is a T Rail lain on cross ties, the miles intervening & ??? of 35 miles is built with wooden stringers, laid in to in on the cross ties, on which is spiked a light flange Rail thus {sketch not reproduced here}. 
   The T Rail track can be changed rapidly. The stringer track requires the blocking out for 3 1/2 inches from the cross-ties on the outer side of the stringers, and new wooden ???? on the inner sides. I propose to move our line of Rails. In moving the T Rail many of the old spikes will be destroyed.  A complete supply of new spikes should be provided before commencing the work. Both the requisite number of ????? spiking-hammers, axes &c and without interference from trains I think 300 able hands can accomplish the work on the main line (87 miles) in 15 days.
I am Colonel
Very Respectfully
Yr Obt Svt
L. P. Grant
Capt Engrs
Engineer Bureau 15 Mch 64
Respy forwarded to Lt. Col. F. W. Sims in information with request that the papers are returned. The Hon Sec of War is much interested on the within question of gauge & Col. Sims attention is earnestly requested.
A. L.. Rives
Lt. Col. & Acting Chf. Bur.
Railroad Bureau Mch 18/64
Respy retd to Col. A. L. Rives. A communication from C. T. Pollard Esq Prest M&WP RRd has already been forwarded to the War Dept. in which the change suggested is discussed. The change I do not consider practicable, though it is possible, and even after it was made our condition would not be better materially, if at all.
F. W. Sims
Lt. Col. & Q. M.
For conference with Lt Col Sims