NA, RR 2/2/1865

Office Naval Iron Works
Columbus, Ga., Feb 2nd 1865
 
{No address on the letter}
 
Sir,
   I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 30th ult.
   In reply I can only state that you are already in possession of all the information I have with reference to "Engines & Cars."
   Allow me to state facts as I understand them. I received an order from Hon. Secretary of the Navy dated Oct 6th 1864 to turn over to you such public property immediately connected with and necessary to the "reception, transportation and delivery of coal." In obedience to this order I visited Selma, and turned over to you the Steamer "Iron King" and the unfinished steamer at Montgomery now called the "Black Diamond," three coal barges, ten small cars (one damaged), lots of trucks, wheelbarrows, shovels &c, and the coal then remaining at Montgomery.
   I also informed you of the following fact: That Mr Jackson had sent forward an Engine which was daily expected at Columbus when I left, that I had understood the Engine to be entirely out of repair and that one of the driving axles was broken and would have to be repaired. It was understood between us that I should repair the engine before turning it over -- such assignment I considered advantageous to the Dept. & certainly an accommodation to yourself.
   I call your attention to the following extract from a letter written to you immediately upon my return from Selma, Dated Nov. 1st 1864.
   "I have inspected the Locomotive "Black Dwarf" and find it a pretty hard case, and rather small. It requires considerable repairs and general overhauling. I will try and have it on the road by the middle of the month although it may be much later. I will lose no time upon it as necessity compels me to get coal if possible."
   On the 18th of the month our men were called to the field, consequently the repairs were not made as expected, and of which fact you were advised.
   I informed you further that Mr Jackson had commenced the construction of several cars at the shops of the M. & W. P. R. R. {Montgomery & West Point RR}, and that the work was progressing -- it was understood that I should complete the cars -- such an assignment being an accommodation to yourself.
   From my understanding of the above facts, In was more than surprised to find my disposition to aid in the matter so readily construed into disobedience of orders.
   You said further ??tation of a similar character and to render it unnecessary that the Bureau of Orders & Detail should "enforce a compliance with my instructions." I have directed all the work & materials for the cars in Montgomery to be turned over to your agent at that place, The Engine is here subject to your order. I will deliver it at the Depot of this place or send it to Montgomery as you may prefer. I have taken the Engine to pieces, and have repaired many of the defective parts, but much remain yet to be done. I am boxing up the small pieces ready for shipment. I will send them at once to the Depot although transportation may not be immediately obtained.
   The above mentioned articles comprise all the property under my control belonging to or in any way connected with the coal business, and I regret exceedingly they were not turned over with the other property in strict compliance with my instructions from the Department.
   But I have acted more with a view to the interest of the Department than to my own conscience in being relieved from the aforesaid construction & repairs.
Very respectfully
Your obt Svt
J. H. Warner
Chf Eng C. S. N.
In charge

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