B7, A&NC 3/3/1863

March 3d, 1863
Col. J. D. Whitford  {President, Atlantic & North Carolina RR}
Dr. Sir,
   It seems I did not fairly understand you in regard to the iron on your road, when we last talked together. In January I gave Robinson a permit to take up the torn up iron below Kinston, and I did not intend to countermand that permission.
   This was the first proposition I made to the Sec'y of the Navy which he first declined. Having afterwards agreed to it, I could not well back out. They propose to return it six months after peace, and I see no way to refuse it without laying myself liable to a charge of being indifferent to the public defense.
Very truly
Z. B. Vance