OR, Series 4, Vol. 1, Page 1145

Selma, Ala., June 6, 1862
Hon. James A. Seddon
Secretary of War
  The undersigned, president of the Alabama & Mississippi Rivers Railroad Company, acting under instructions of the Board of Directors of said company, respectfully shows that it is indispensable for the early completion as well as efficient operation of the railroad under his charge to be supplied with iron spikes, chairs, and bolts required for the construction of the incomplete portion of the road, and in keeping the finished portion in repair. Iron is also required for repairs of machinery, especially iron tires for the wheels of locomotives, which on a portion of the locomotives have become so worn by constant use as to render them almost unfit for service, and without new tires these locomotives will ere long become entirely unfit for service. New locomotives cannot now be obtained in the Confederate States. Your memorialist has succeeded in procuring spikes sufficient for the construction of about one-third of the incomplete portion of the road, but there is no further supply within his reach. He has made application for the spikes and other iron necessary to the only iron manufactory where there seemed any prospect of procuring a supply--that is, the Shelby County Iron Manufacturing Company, a new company which is engaged in preparations for the extensive manufacture of iron. This company would agree to furnish the iron required, but say they are under obligation to deliver to the Government all the iron they will be able to make for the next twelve months beyond what will be required to fill certain contracts made prior to their contract with the Government; but that if permitted by the Government they will supply the iron required by the company of memorialist. This may be done without diminishing materially the supply of iron intended for the Government. As this is one of the roads deemed by Congress and the Government essential in military operations -- "a military necessity" -- it is unnecessary that the undersigned should speak of the importance of its completion, as his company is striving to do at the earliest day practicable, and that when completed its machinery should be in a condition to furnish promptly and regularly means for the heavy and constant transportation which will doubtless be required by the Government. To accomplish this a supply of iron is indispensable, and, as stated above, the only known source whence a supply can be obtained is the iron establishment referred to. Your memorialist therefore respectfully requests that permission be given to the Shelby County Iron Manufacturing Company to furnish this iron.
Most respectfully submitted
G. G. Griffin
By W. S. Knox
Secretary and Treasurer
[First indorsement]
Chief of Ordinance
  To what extent can the Shelby County Iron Manufacturing Company be permitted to delay their contract with the Government in order to furnish iron for the railroad? It is of great importance, and we desire to complete it as rapidly as possible.
G. W. R.
[Second indorsement]
  Hon. Colin J. McRae having begun work at Selma, or near there, on the supposition of receiving this iron to be used there for Government purposes, and the contract having been made through him, the question will be referred to him. I have written to him on the subject.
J. Gorgas
Colonel, etc.