UA, NE&SWA 8/24/1861

N. E. & S. W. Ala. R. R.
Engineers Office
Marion Miss. Aug. 24 1861
 
A. Battle Esqr
Pres. N. E. & S. W. A. R. R.  {Northeast & Southwest Alabama RR}
 
Dear Sir,
   I am just now in receipt of your favor of the 6th ult. appraising me of the order passed by the Board of Directors at a Meeting held in Eutaw on the 2nd day of July in reference to the Engineering department. I am very sorry it did not come to hand sooner & that it did not 'twas your fault, as the superscription shows.
   In regard to Mr Woodruff; I have to say: That he is not now in the employ of the R. R. Co., nor was he kept one day longer on the Road than "his services were actually needed" -- and furthermore; it is universally acknowledged to be not only the right of the Chief Engineer to determine when the services of an assistant are necessary, but the duty also, and it is well known to you, Mr. Battle, that such matters have, heretofore, on this Road, been left entirely to the Chief Engineer. Mr Woodruff went home about the 10th of July; & from that time to the 15th he was engaged in the General offices in Tuskaloosa. Since then (July 15th) his services have not been actually needed", consequently he is not employed, and the action in regard to him was taken by me without any knowledge, or even idea that the President & Board had moved in the matter.
   Now, about my Salary. Do you honestly think that, under the circumstances, you & the Board have treated me properly in passing an order to cut down my Salary $500, without saying one word to me on the subject? I admit the right is in the Board to fix upon the Salary which shall be paid the Chief Engineer, & mine was fixed or rather I agreed to take the position for $2500 per annum, & the President & Executive Committee said naught against the amount. Let me call to your mind these facts: I did not solicit the appointment. I did not want it. I had made some arrangements to go off to the wars, & was very anxious as all of my friends know, to do so; and went up to Tuskaloosa to resign my position on the road & hand over all Rail Road papers in my possession. Any you know very well, that it was not until after a lengthy interview with Mr Rodes, in which I became satisfied that he was so situated that honor forbade his remaining here, and the interests of this R. R. Company & of all concerned with it, demands that one of us should remain, that I consented to take charge. You, as President (&I supposed you reflect the wishes of the Board) entreated me much to do so & now I learn that a little more than two months after you & the Board pas an order, without giving me the slightest intimation of it beforehand, not only cutting my salary down 20 pr. ct., but clearly implying that I am keeping an assistant when "his services are not actually needed." Such, from your letter, I take to be the full purport & meaning of the order of the Board. Really I am surprised! Now is this right?
   I hope therefore, if this is the determined action of the Board, you will take the necessary steps to relieve me at once of all charge on your Road. No more effectual course could have been fallen upon, than the one taken, to get clear of me;
   You will please let me hear from you promptly & oblige.
Yrs very respectfully
G W Robertson
Chf Engineer &c

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