NP, ASCY 3/11/1863

From the Southern Confederacy (Atlanta, Ga.) 
March 11, 1863
A Most Important Work
   The following letter will explain itself, and as it is on a subject of general interest, we take the liberty of publishing it.
Gen. Braxton Bragg, C. S. A.
My Dear Sir,
   Please accept the accompanying maps, showing the connections which the Dalton & Jacksonville Railroad (of which the Blue Mountain & Rome road is a part) will make when completed.
   I am aware that it is a favorite enterprise with you, and that you will do all in your power to expedite its completion. The Directors of the Ala. & Tenn. R. R. {Alabama & Tennessee River RR}, at their last meeting, placed this work in my charge, and after three months delay, since Congress made the appropriation, I feel as though the work should be pushed with the utmost dispatch. A few months, with all the facilities that can be thrown upon the line, would complete the work from Blue M/t to Rome, and open the communication between the Railroads of the Northeast and Southwest of the Confederacy. There is no heavy work on the line, and the whole amount of excavation to be done, cannot exceed 250,000 cubic yards, scattered over sixty miles of road, it being chiefly light embankment.
   By the 22d of this month, we want 500 hands upon the work, and by the 22d of June next, you and your staff will be able to make a through trip, almost without a change of cars, from New Orleans -- yes, New Orleans, to Richmond, in sixty hours.
   From New Orleans to Richmond by way of Jacksonville and Rome, is 1200 miles; by way of Montgomery and Kingston, 1440, and by Augusta and Wilmington, fourteen hundred and eighty miles.
   Meanwhile provisions and tools must be provided, and properly disposed along the line. May I not, with reasonable hope, ask you cooperation to enable us to carry out this programme? I have this hope sir, knowing your zeal in the problem of the day, and your ability to work it out.
   There is an abundance of provisions within reach, but they hang on high -- the holders insisting on blockade prices.
   Second -- The government has an quantity of shovels, picks and wheelbarrows: and if I understand it rightly, the breastworks system of fighting has been abandoned, and the tools may be idle.
   Third -- Again, for the sixty miles of road we want 150,000 cross ties, and other timbers in proportion. I have advertised we will pay thirty-five cents per stick, for first class ties of oak, which in ordinary times would be a remunerative price. The timber is on the rout and overlooking the road bed for the most of the way, and we only lack a few men to take the contracts, and lay the axe at the root of the trees. All these ties can be let within ten days, if one man to the mile (hardly a corporal's guard may be detailed for this service. I have assurances to this effect, and how can sixty men be of more service to the country than by securing the early completion of the Blue Mt. & Rome Railroad.
   Fourth -- There are saw mills along the line, nearly all of which are shut down, because their owners are away in the army, which would immediately go to work for us, if the above suggestions are answered. This is a very quiet way of doing the war -- but this would have been, and will yet be an important arm of the service.
   Allow me to express my conviction that an early peace awaits us, and that a most triumphant prosperity is in the future for the New Republic; and I am free to say it is the boldness of your own and other hearts; together with the blessings of Him, who doeth all things well, which has done so much to achieve it.
I am respectfully, your &c,
Geo. Wadsworth
Chief Eng. Blue Mt. & Rome R. R.
Jacksonville, Ala., Feb. 6, 1863