NA, RRB 4/20/1864

Goldsboro, April 20th 1864
Liut Col F. W. Sims
Rail Road Bureau
Dear Col,
   I have this morning endorsed a letter of Mr Harvey {Superintendent, Atlantic & North Carolina RR} to Col. Fremont {Superintendent, Wilmington & Weldon RR} as to his course respecting transportation for Govt. I must say there has been much misrepresentation about it. There is more in Col. Fremonts abrupt manner than his acts to condemn. Bound as soldier he imagines he is yet commanding troops or rather his abrupt & rough treatment of prisoners generally bad as to believe to. When Gen W. A. Wise complained of Col Fremonts conduct & management of his trains which was referred to me by you to investigate & respond it was my intention to go thoroughly into the matter & investigate his conduct to the very bottom that he might be removed or the reports & suspicions about him silenced. I met, however, Gov Vance at this place the day after, I think it was, I recd the papers from you when he informed me that Col Fremont had been appointed by the Board of Internal Improvements of No Ca to represent the State stock in the annual meeting of the Stockholders of the W&W R Road hence I never investigated or reported. I believed that the large interest of the State in his Road & his endorsement particularly our Governors would clear up all suspicion as to his loyalty or improper management of his Road. It was rather an extraordinary appointment & no doubt was made to endorse him. Another reason why I did not look into the matter I did not deem it politic at that time to come in conflict with our Governor who was aiding the Govt in every way in his power -- to his own injury with some of our people. Mr Harvey was the Agent of our Road & at my suggestion he was also appointed by Col Fremont to act at Goldsboro as Agent of the W&W Road for Govt transportation. Thus it gave me in some control, through Mr Havey over his Road, or trains. Col Fremont never did refuse to fill promptly any requisition I made upon him for trains or cars when he had them. You could have but little conception, unless you remained at this place for a month of the interruption of the transportation of Govt freight by the movement of troops. I feel better today than I have in three months but am yet quite feeble.
Yours truly
John D. Whitford  {President, Atlantic & North Carolina RR and CS Transportation Coordinator}
Is it too late to congratulate you on your promotion if not I now do so.
Yours J. D. W.