OR, Series 4, Vol. 2, Page 483

Richmond, Va., April 14, 1863
Hon. James A. Seddon
Secretary of War
  Since my conversation with you last evening I have concluded that I knew enough of the equipments of the various railroads making up the principal lines of the country to enable me to give you a sufficiently accurate estimate of their necessities in the way of engines and cars, in order that a determination be come to as to what shall be done to increase their efficiency, and, if possible, meet the wants of the country. Commencing at this city and looking south and west, we have a line reaching to Middle Tennessee through Lynchburg and Chattanooga and to Atlanta, Ga., by Dalton.
  The roads making up this line are as follows:
Name of roads Stock wanted
Richmond & Danville, South Side 2 engines 50 cars
Virginia & Tennessee 4 engines 50 cars
East Tennessee & Virginia, East Tennessee & Georgia 4 or 5 engines 75 cars
Nashville & Chattanooga 50 cars
Western & Atlantic Can do with present stock, but wants material
  By the southern route we have a line to Weldon; thence via Wilmington on one hand and via Raleigh on the other to Kingsville, S. C.; thence to Augusta and Atlanta on one hand and to Macon and Columbus, Ga., on the other. From Florence there is a road leading to Charleston, and from thence to Savannah. There is also a connection with Savannah through Augusta by Millen. The roads making up this line with the various branches are as follows:
Name of roads Stock wanted
Richmond & Petersburg 5 cars
Petersburg 50 cars
Wilmington & Weldon 4 engines 100 cars
Wilmington & Manchester 1 engine 100 cars
Raleigh & Gaston Can get along with present stock
North Carolina 4 engines 100 cars
Charlotte & South Carolina 2 engines 50 cars
South Carolina Can get along with present stock
Northeastern 2 engines 25 {cars}
Georgia Can get along with present stock
Central of Georgia Can get along with present stock
Southwestern 50 cars
Muscogee Can get along with present stock
  The Macon & Western road forms a connection between Macon and Atlanta. This road ought to have 50 cars in addition to its present stock.
  From Atlanta and Columbus the Atlanta & La Grange {Atlanta & West Point} and Montgomery & West Point roads connect the two places. The latter road ought to have two engines and fifty cars. The former road can get along with assistance that it receives from the Georgia road.
  From Montgomery to Mobile the line is made up by the Alabama & Florida road of Alabama and the Mobile & Great Northern road. Each ought to have an engine and twenty-five cars.
  From Mobile to Vicksburg the Mobile & Ohio and Southern roads form the line. The former ha{s} abundant equipment and the latter is at present supplied by the Memphis & Charleston road, now nearly out of use.
  In addition to this route to Vicksburg, we have the Alabama River from Montgomery to Selma; thence by rail to Demopolis, where there is a portage of four miles and a half on the Tombigbee River; thence by rail to Meridian -- eastern end of the Southern road to Vicksburg. This road, from Selma to Meridian is also supplied with equipments from the Memphis & Charleston road. The New Orleans, Jackson & Great Northern and the Mississippi Central roads form a line from Ponchatoula -- forty-seven miles from New Orleans -- to Water Valley, in North Mississippi. Each of these roads ha{s} abundant equipment for present use. Much of it, however, is getting in very bad order, and extensive repairs will be necessary to render it equal to any great emergency.
  On our northern border we have the Virginia Central and Orange & Alexandria roads connecting this city with Lynchburg. These roads, I think, ought to have one engine and twenty-five cars.
  The Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac road connects this city with Fredericksburg, and, I am informed by its president, ought to have two engines and twenty-five cars.
  By this estimate 31 engines and 930 cars are wanted. I have no doubt you will think it a very large estimate, but I beg to remind you that the deterioration of both is not much, if any, short of 25 per cent.; and with the limited means of repairing and impossibility for renewal during the past two years I am only surprised that the roads of the country have been able to keep up to the present standard.
  I have thus, I believe, given you a correct list of the roads making up the principal lines in the country, and I do not think I have exaggerated their present necessities in the way of equipments to enable than to perform promptly the transportation which the country demands. That more {could have been} accomplished than has been done I am free to admit, but that anything like the necessities of the country can be met without largely increasing their power is, in my judgment, out of the question. Practical results for a considerable time should guide us in our judgment as to what may be expected in the future; and for the last two years the railroads of the country have been unable to meet the requirements of Government. Can we expect any better result in the future without some change in their condition? I think not, and therefore urge the necessity of prompt action looking to a restoration of the principal roads in the country to the best possible condition.
  Should you not consider this estimate sufficiently accurate, I will take early measures to obtain more precise information.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant
Wm. M. Wadley
Assistant Adjutant-General