OR, Series 4, Vol. 3, Page 1095

Confederate States of America, War Department
Richmond, Va., February 18, 1865
 
The President of the Confederate States
 
Sir,
   I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the following resolution of the Senate adopted on the 24th ultimo:
   Resolved, That the President of the Confederate States of America be respectfully requested to furnish the Senate

First. With information as to the number of white men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, and of the number of negroes who, in addition to their own officers, may be required for the necessary employments and the proper discharge of the functions of the Department of Medicine, of the Commissary-General, of the Quartermaster-General of the Engineers, of the Ordnance, and of the Niter and Mining Bureau.

Second. A like estimate as to the Post-Office and Navy Departments.

Third. A like estimate in regard to the railroad transportation of the country, including not only the working, but the equipment, repairs, and construction, in his consideration, of the number required for such transportation.

Fourth. To specify the railroads, if there be any such, whose repairs and construction, in his opinion, will be necessary for military purposes and ought to be effected in whole or in part by appropriations from the Confederate Treasury.

   In response to the foregoing resolution I submit the inclosed communications from the respective bureaus of this Department to whose operations the inquiries relate.
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   In response to the third clause of the resolution the Quartermaster-General finds himself unable, for the reasons assigned by him, and by Lieutenant-Colonel Sims, in charge of railroad transportation, to state the number of men required. These numbers vary so greatly with the varying conditions of the country, the positions of the armies, and the consequent changing demands upon different railroads, that even an approximation in numbers is difficult.
   In response to the fourth clause, the Chief of Engineers and the Quartermaster-General concur in indicating the following as the most important railroads, the repairs or construction of which are necessary for military purposes, viz:
First, the connection of Columbia, S.C., with Augusta, Ga.; second, the connection of Albany, Ga., with Thomasville, Ga.; third, the connection of Union Springs, Ala., with Montgomery, Ala.; fourth, the connection of Montgomery, Ala., with Selma, Ala.; to which the Chief of Engineers adds: Fifth, the completion of the railroad bridge over the Tombigbee River at Demopolis, Ala.
   I concur in the recommendation of the Chief of Engineers, that instead of making separate appropriations for the construction of particular works, and for repairs, that a general appropriation be made for construction and repairs of railroads necessary for military purposes, to be applied to such works as the future exigencies of the war shall indicate to be most essential.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
John C. Breckinridge
Secretary of War

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