OR, Series 1, Vol. 24, Part 3, Page 938

Office Miss. Central R, R, Co., Grenada, May 31, 1863
General Joseph E. Johnston, C. S. Army, Comdg., Jackson
Dear Sir,
   I hope I may not be thought intrusive by the suggestions I am about to make.
   It is conceded by all that the wheat crop in the northern counties of this State is large, and is now being harvested. There is great danger that after it is gathered it will be destroyed by our enemies.
   The product of the crop referred to is important to sustain our army and citizens. The producer desires to sell as speedily as possible, to prevent its destruction and to obtain means to pay his taxes. The means of transportation is wanting. Teams cannot be obtained. The only remaining means is such repairs of the railroad as will permit the running of small cars by horse or some other power.
   The Mississippi & Tennessee Road is running its trains from Grenada to Panola, probably as far as it is safe to run them, even if they could pass the river at that place. It is probable that burden cars of small dimensions could be run occasionally by horsepower north of Panola, and probably the Mobile & Ohio Road could run similar cars north of Okolona with or without repairs of road track. This company runs regular trains as far north as Water Valley, and have been for some time running small cars drawn by mules between Holly Springs and Oxford, and brought out a considerable amount of public property. Between Oxford and Water Valley there has been no communication except by road wagons, the distance being 20 miles.
   An expenditure of a few thousand dollars would render the railroad track safe for small burden cars between Oxford and Water Valley or Abbeville, on the south bank of the Tallahatchee, and some $25,000 or $30,000 expenditure would be required to put the track in good order for engines to run to Abbeville, and $50,000 to put it in order to Holly Springs. If repaired to Abbeville, so as to run the mule cars, a large amount of grain could be brought out at a small expense, and a large amount of wheat saved that otherwise may not be. One mule with these cars will do the work of twenty on a common road.
   If these repairs are to be made on this road, it must be done at the expense of the Government. The company are unwilling to do it at its own cost. It would not be a source of profit or any benefit to it, while to the Government it might be of great benefit. Should it be deemed advisable to attempt the repairs, the company will render every possible assistance except paying the expenses.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
W. Goodman