NA, RRB 1/30/1863

Jany 30, 1863
Lt Genl Pemberton
   I had a conversation today with Sam Tate, President of the M & C {Memphis & Charleston} Rail Road Co. If he can be clothed with proper authority I think his services can be obtained as Military Superintendent of Rail Roads west of the Alabama river, which he thinks is quite enough for one man. He is a man of great intelligence, indomitable energy and excellent judgment, and if you can secure him you may esteem yourself fortunate.
   Maj Thomson, knows him well and can tell you all about him.
   Mr. Tate informs me that there are large quantities of subsistence & forage in De Soto and adjacent Counties, that can readily be got out if the {Mississippi} Central & Miss & Tenn RR. be repaired as promptly as they should be. In this connection he gave me the name of A L Maxwell, of Chattanooga, as an excellent and energetic Bridge Builder, who has one hundred efficient hands with all the necessary tools&. Mr Tate thinks that Mr Maxwell could in a very brief period repair all the bridges on the roads named.
   In connection with this subject he says that from 25 to 60 miles of Rail Road Iron could be secured with which the Southern {of Mississippi} Road can soon be put in good order, and thus increase its efficiency.
   Mr Tate is at present, he informs me, under the orders of Genl Bragg, but I presume that officer can have very little use for him.
   Mr T left this heading for Demopolis, Ala., where he will remain about a week.
I have the honor to be Genl
Respectfully Yr Obdt Srt
W H M Caudle {?}