UA, SIW 11/x/1862

Shelby County Iron Manf. Co.
Columbiana Ala. Nov. ? 1862
Col. J. Gorgas
Ordnance Department
   Since my return from Richmond, my company have decided to construct a rail way from their works, to the Alabama & Tennessee river road, a distance of about five miles. They are induced to do this to expedite and facilitate their business; it being difficult to transport on wagons, the large amount of iron they expect to be making soon, to say nothing of the large amount of provender required to be transported. The Company desires also to lay in an ample supply of provisions and provender which can now be obtained, for their numerous operatives and hands and teams, for the ensuing year. To meet these requirements, and to pay for machinery they have had to contract for at very high prices, a large amount of funds is required beyond what I articulated when I had the pleasure of seeing you at Richmond. I am therefore under the necessity of asking for my company, a further advance from the government, say fifty thousand dollars. If we are successful in making iron as we hope, and have every reason to expect, the former advance, and that now asked for, will soon be refunded to the government in iron. Our large new blast furnace believed to be the best in the Confederacy, and estimated to be capable of turning out 125 tons per week, will be in full blast very soon, only waiting for the last of the machinery now on the way and daily expected, which should have been delivered months ago according to contract. The delay of the machinery, wholly beyond our power to prevent, has caused delay in our operations which is regretted, as will on account of the disappointment caused to the government, as for the serious loss it has caused the company. Most of the machinery is on hand and in place for the second new furnace to be of same size as the first, which will be put up without delay; the materials for it being at hand. We will continue to fill the orders sent us through Genl. McRae as far as practicable, until some of the other companies can give a supply of pig iron. The Bibb Company have a furnace about completed, and expect, I understand, to have it in operation in the course of a few days. Unless delayed beyond our calculations, we expect to be able to increase the manufacture of pig iron in the course of January to upward of 300 tons per week, our wish being to make it as large as possible.
   The company are actively engaged in preparations, which are far advanced, to fill the bill of flag officer W. F. Lynch, for ship plates.
   Please dispatch me by telegraph if the company can have the advance requested on presenting proper and satisfactory bonds.
Very Respectfully
Your obt servt
A. T. Jones, Prest
P. S. A dispatch directed to Selma will be forwarded to me from there.