NA, RR 4/18/1862

Corinth, April 18th/62
Major R. B. Hurt
Military Supt R Rd
   I am in receipt of your note advising me "that it is of the utmost importance that the Army stores destined for Columbus Miss be forwarded at once."
   I beg to say that the conveniences and arrangements for transporting Freight on the Columbus Branch are entirely inadequate to the demands made by the several departments, all of whom insist upon the Freight being sent immediately forward.
   The Columbus Branch was constructed for a very small local business, and in a Prairie ??? of black mud, with a light Rail, and has been only passable during the winter at a speed of five or six miles an hour. With the imperfect machinery conveying from other Roads it is difficult to run a train over it without some of the cars leaving the Track. The mud in which the track is laid is of such a character that it is impossible to work in it during the winter or at any time, except when it is perfectly dry. The siding and turnout accommodations are sufficient for its local business but entirely inadequate to discharging the amount of Freight ??? ??? forward.
   If the Freight coming forward now is to be sent down the Road as fast as delivered by the Memphis & Charleston Rail Road it will inevitably result in a blockade, which will lock up & render useless a large part of the Machinery of the Mobile & Ohio Rail Road. Nothing shall be left undone by working night & day to perform the service required by the Government, but the Freight now coming forward cannot with the siding accommodations be discharged at any one or two points without interrupting the running of Trains.
Very Respectfully
Your obt St
L. J. Fleming
Sup Mobile & Ohio RR