OR, Series 1, Vol. 17, Part 2, Page 637

Headquarters Department No. 2
Tupelo, Miss., July 4, 1862
Col. Samuel Tate
President Memphis & Charleston Railroad
   As you have kindly consented to take the general superintendence of the work of completing the Meridian and Selma Railroad {the Alabama & Mississippi Rivers Railroad} the commanding general instructs me to request you to repair to Demopolis, Ala., at your earliest convenience and relieve Capt. P. H. Thomson, C. S. Army.
  The principal object of taking military control of this important work is to give such aid to the company that it may be completed in the shortest time possible and render it available for military purposes. You will therefore please confer freely with the officers of the company in question, who have at their disposition a loan of $150,000. You will doubtless be able so to arrange matters that while the interests of the company should be properly secured all possible expedition may be given to the completion of the work. You are fully authorized to employ all necessary engineers, agents, overseers, etc. Labor will be obtained by hire, material by purchase, when practicable; but military necessity and the high public interest depending on the most vigorous prosecution of the work will justify impressment whensoever obstacles are interposed. It is hoped, however, this may be avoided; but if not, you will promptly resort to it. It is anticipated especially that you may find it difficult to secure all the iron, spikes, etc., for the road without impressment. In all such cases impress promptly and firmly, taking the needful articles from available sources where the least damage will be done or burden imposed.
  Pleased to secure your services at this time, the general intrusts the work to you with every confidence in your known energy and long experience, well assured of an early and successful completion of the work. Please inform the general of the condition in which you may find the work, and from time to time of the progress made under your direction.
Respectfully, your obedient servant
Thomas Jordan
   I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true copy of an original order issued to me by Genl Braxton Bragg, on the 4th day of July 1862. Under the authority of which I made a contract with the Cahaba Marion & Greensboro RR Co for Iron Rails Chairs & Spikes on account of which I have this day certified in favor of said Compy for Ninety five thousand four hundred and eighteen 63/100 Dollars. Signed in duplicate
Sam Tate  Milt Supt
Meridian & Selma RR Co