D, A&WP 12/20/1864

Demopolis 20 Dec 1864
Col W. G. Brent
A. A. Genl
Montgomery, Ala.
   I have been expecting for some time a decision of the question which I proposed to you as to the source from which to obtain the rail for the completion of the Atlanta & West Point Road. That work is advancing rapidly to a point at which we must stop for want of rail, if not procured soon. I suggested two sources of supply -- one the Gainesville branch Road, for which I have authority from Secretary of War to remove -- the other, the Mobile & Girard Road (from Columbus, Ga., to Union Springs) which I think may probably be taken with less detriment to the public service at this time than the Gainesville branch, and much nearer the work. We shall require about ten miles & this will have to come from about the middle of the road, as the first 26 miles from Columbus are laid with T rail -- the balance with light flange rail. I received your telegram saying you had referred the matter to Richmond. Communication with Richmond is now so slow it will be a long time before an answer can be received & in the mean time the work may be greatly delayed. Cannot the question be decided without awaiting the answer from Richmond? We are ready to commence laying the track from Demopolis to McDowell, and await instructions about taking up a portion of the Newbern branch for that purpose. Has Genl Taylor decided yet?
Minor Meriwether
Lt. Col. Engineers