UA, NE&SWA 9/20/1863

20 Sept 1863
Majr L. J. Fleming
Chf Engr & Gl Supt
Mobile & Ohio RR
Mobile Ala
Dear Sir,
   On Monday last, we met Prest Board & Col Pritchard {Superintendent, Alabama & Mississippi Rivers RR} at Demopolis. Our interview resulted in nothing satisfactory or definite. Prest. B. {President, W. P. Bocock} was rather non-committal. He said his company either held possession under the Contract with Prest Battle or they did not (a ??? logical conclusion thus far). If they did not, then they held ??? military authority. His Company insist on the validity of the Contract with Prest Battle and failing in that will set up a military claim. He expressed himself in very strong and emphatic terms that his Company will never allow or consent for the Road from York Station to Meridian to pass into the hands of the Mobile & Ohio R. R. Co. He ????? on soon as the Settlement could be made out to permit us with a full exhibit of the business & earnings of the Road from York to Meridian. This we have not yet recd hope to get in a day or two. If our Company are governed by my advice we will at once proceed to recover possession of the road so as to be to lease or otherwise dispose of it as we desire
   We would be pleased to meet yourself and Judge Brown at Columbus Miss on Saturday next in relation to a lease Contingent on our putting you into peaceable & quiet possession. They may if they find we are not prepared to run or to have the road run take it in their hands to offer us possession we not being able to run it ????? military and intervention. We left Co. Tait with Genl Bocock. All manner of pretexts & shifts will no doubt be resorted to to retain possession that their joint ingenuity aided by Lapsly can invent.
   I am in very great haste
Most Respectfully
Yr. Obt. Svt.
R. Jemison Prest {Northeast & Southwest Alabama RR}