OR, Series 1, Vol. 30, Part 4, Page 496

Engineer Bureau
Richmond, Va., August 14, 1863
 
General Joseph E. Johnston
Commanding Western Department, Morton, Miss.
 
General,
   I have directed Capt. L. P. Grant, Corps of Engineers, to go to your headquarters and confer with you in regard to rebuilding the bridge over Pearl River, at Jackson, Miss., and making all necessary repairs of track to secure the rolling-stock from the Mississippi Central Railroad, and as much of the iron rails from the same road and from the Jackson and Vicksburg road {Southern of Mississippi Railroad} as possible. Captain Grant is a civil engineer of twenty-five or thirty years' experience, and of high standing in his profession. For this reason I have detached him for a few days from his charge at Atlanta, Ga., to have the benefit of his attainments and skill in aid of our efforts to save the invaluable property on the abandoned roads of Mississippi.
   I have respectfully to ask that you will give your engineers authority to collect all necessary labor and materials for repairs of bridges and roads needed for securing the property in question, together with such details for fatigue service and guards from your troops as you may be able to furnish.
   The condition of the main lines of railroad in the Confederacy is such as to make the collection of railroad iron and rolling-stock from some source a vital necessity; for this reason I make an earnest appeal to you for such aid and support as you can give to our efforts to collect these from the roads of Mississippi.
   Mr. Kinny, agent, has been directed by Col. Charles F.M. Garnett, commissioner for collecting railroad iron, to call at your headquarters to ask support and assistance from you in his labors.
   An order has been issued by the War and Navy Departments jointly for the removal of iron from the following branch railroads, viz, Cahaba, Marion and Greensborough Railroad, the Newbern branch {Alabama & Mississippi Rivers Railroad} and the Gainesville branch {Mississippi, Gainesville & Tuscaloosa Railroad} of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad; and unless the supply imperatively demanded by the main lines can be obtained from the source under consideration, it will be necessary to execute the order.
   The absence of Captain Grant from the works at Atlanta ought not to exceed a week, if his mission to you can be accomplished in that time.
Your obedient servant,
J. F. Gilmer
Colonel of Engineers and Chief of Bureau

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