OR, Series 4, Vol. 1, Page 1171

Demopolis, June 25, 1862
Hon. G. W. Randolph
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.
  Captain Thomson, of the staff of General Bragg, had an interview here yesterday with the president and directors of the Alabama & Mississippi Rivers Railroad Company, and submitted his authority from the general to take military possession of the road, so as to complete the balance of the work necessary to make the connection between Selma and Meridian. The Board adopted a resolution expressing their unqualified assent to any course the Government or military authorities might deem it best to take in regard to the completion of the road, with a proviso that they were not to be understood as thereby making the stockholders liable for any extra expenditure of money in completing the work, over and above allowing fair prices for such work as might be useful to the stockholders after the Government might cease to use and control the road. A copy of this resolution was furnished to Captain Thomson. An inquiry was made of the Board by Captain Thomson as to whether they were under any contract with the Government to finish the road within any specified time, and within what time they could finish it for use with the aid of the Congressional appropriation of $150,000. The reply of the Board was that they had entered into no contract to finish the road within any specified time, but had bound themselves faithfully to apply such means as the company had, and also the $150,000, toward the completion of the road, and to use all proper diligence and activity to accomplish the object. They candidly admitted that in the existing state of things they could not complete the road for use even with the aid of the $150,000. Agreeing that the road was essential to the military wants of the Government, they were ready to yield to whatever course the public authorities might deem best,. The Board say they applied to Congress for the $150,000 in August, 1861, when railroad iron was low, and with the aid of this amount they could, as matters then stood, have finished the road, but that before Congress thought proper to give the aid railroad iron and materials had nearly doubled in price, and that now there is none on market. The idea of the Board seems to be that while they could not purchase iron and materials and obtain the labor necessary to finish the road at once, the Government could take such things and pay for them and push the work through without much delay. There is much public spirit among the people on the route of the road, and if it is understood to be a work of military necessity and under military control, negro labor to any reasonable extent can now be had at fair prices, and iron from the Cahaba and Marion road and the Pensacola road sufficient to complete the work could be taken. Since I have been here I have given the road attention in every way I could, but the company was the ruling power, and I could only act within the limits they might prescribe. The work has not progressed as rapidly as I wished, but some allowances are to be made for the want of better progress. In the first place, the company have been obliged to use their stock notes in place of money to obtain laborers. They have, as I now learn, in their expenditures anticipated about $50,000 of the $150,000 advance. As to this, however, they will inform you.
  I have under your authority taken for the use of the road from the Cahaba, Marion & Greensborough road 55,367 pounds spikes, 3,810 pounds bolts and nuts, 17,636 pounds fish bars, 1,276 bars of railroad iron already delivered, and some 300 to 400 more yet to be obtained {all the bars expected to be taken would have provided about 3 miles of track, both sides}, the weights of all of which will be furnished so soon as the delivery is completed. These articles, I take it for granted, will have to be paid for by the Alabama and Mississippi Rivers Railroad Company out of the advance of the $150,000. It is for you to decide whether this work is to go on under the control of the company or whether under absolute military control. In the event the line via Mobile should fall into possession of the enemy this route would be obliged to be used for the support of our army in Mississippi. Our rivers are now, owing to continued dry weather, almost reduced below the point of navigation. In my last letter I suggested that if the road was to be finished under absolute military authority the company ought not to receive the $150,000. They will, as I now learn, desire at all events to receive so much of this advance as they have already expended. The orders from General Bragg to Captain Thomson in regard to the work have, I learn, been suspended for the present. Please favor me with your decision upon the question as to whether the road is to be completed under the orders of General Bragg or by the company, and with any instructions you may think proper to give for my future guidance. The company propose to send you by special messenger a certified copy of the mortgage. I am advised that, according to the laws of this State, a copy certified is of equal validity with the original, where the original has been lost, and that the loss of the note will cause no difficulty, for the reason that the mortgage itself recites and acknowledges the debt, and this acknowledgment is evidence sufficient. The grain crops in this part of the country are very extensive as to acres and were most promising until recently. The want of rain has injured them.
Very respectfully
A. S. Gaines
Special Agent
  Have received the mortgage but not the bond conditioned for the faithful application of the money. It cannot be paid until this comes, and all expenses incurred heretofore must be paid out of it. There is no other appropriation out of which the expenses can be paid. You will, therefore, return the iron unless the company assumes the debt.