Today in History:

1335 Series I Volume XLVI-III Serial 97 - Appomattox Campaign Part III


[MARCH 23, 1865.-For General Orders, No. 7, Army of Northern Virginia, relating to the protection of agricultural interests, see Part II, p.1287.]

PETERSBURG, March 23, 1865. [Received 2 [p.m.]


Secretary of War:

I have sent to Lieutenant Colonel F. W. Sims, Chief of the Railroad Bureau, the following telegram, a copy of which I send you that you may see and reflect on the facts set forth before any action is taken:

I am fully persuaded that with different managements more can be done than is proposed by this change. Indeed, I think that the Government will gain nothing, and it may result in positive injury to this company. I desire not to offer any captious opposition, but to let the plain statement of facts as set forth speak. The to our own he can, and will, move promptly with freight offering, and then let any for the work. The plan indicated will also necessitate the loading and unloading everything at places where there are no facilities for the business; scales, warehouses, &c., having been burned by raiders. The arrangement also enhances the cost of transportation.


President South Side Railroad.

PETERSBURG, March 23, 1865. [Received 2.10 [p.m.]


My telegram from Richmond did not get to the country directors in time to hold a meeting to-day, so I cannot have a board until to-morrow. In meantime, Mr. Grigg telegraphed me from Lynchburg that Colonel Owen telegraphed him that he will take possession of that end of this road from Lynchburg to Burkeville on Monday next, by order of War Department. I hope that when such a step is taken that I will be informed of it officially and that no such a cation will take place until this company can be heard through its directory. I think the thing a high-handed measure, anyhow, and calculated to result in no good for either the Government or this company. If arbitrary power is to be exercised it certainly should be in the least obnoxious form, and if the power exists to take a roadbed it must also to take rolling-stock, and the most aritrary part of it, and inconsistent, is to require this company to carry its light engines from its own road on a road with heavy grades where they can do but little and put on it engines, beset with bridges which will be materially injured by the continued running of heavy engines over them, and also taking from this company the power to control the speed of the trains, seems to me most contradictory. These are my views and I do not think that the facts set forth can be controverted.


President South Side Railroad Company.