OR, Series 1, Vol. 39, Part 2, Page 578

May 4, 1864
Hon. J. A. Seddon
   There is a gap in the Alabama & Mississippi {Rivers} Railroad from Demopolis to McDowell's Landing, a distance of four miles. This road is indispensable to me for military operations, and the completion of it a military necessity. Labor cannot be hired to finish the road at any price. Can I impress labor to finish this road under the recent act of Congress? The necessities of my department require that I should be in possession of the law of Congress upon trading in the enemy's currency-greenbacks. Send me a copy.
L. Polk
May 5, 1864
When the necessity exists you can impress labor, but slaves engaged in agriculture are, by the law, the last to be impressed. I will send copy of the law.
J. A. S.