NA, A&F 5/15/1863

Demopolis, Ala May 15/63
A. C. Myers
Qr. Master Genl.
   In reply to your letter of date April 25/63, asking additional information in relation to the ruling price of railroad iron during the year 1862. Will give you the date, price & valuation of iron seized or purchased and placed on the Ala & Miss R RR {Alabama & Mississippi Rivers Railroad} since I have been president of that company.
   You will please bear in mind the price of railroad iron has been steadily advancing since our ports have been blockaded.
Lot No. 1. Purchased in Mobile, April 1861, exclusive of duty 38.50 per ton
" 2. Purchased in Charleston, August 3d 1861 43.50 "
" 3. Seized by Captain Gaines from the Cahaba, Marion & Greensboro RR Co, May 20/62    
" 4. Purchased by Col. Tate of Montgomery and Eufaula RR Co., July 12h 1862 70.00 "
" 5. Seized by Col. Tate of the Ala & Florida RR Co, July 12/62 valued 80.00 "
" 6. Purchased by Col. Tate from the Cahaba, Marion & Greensboro RR Co., Sept 10/62 80.00 "
Lot 1, 2, & 3 Was new iron
" 4 Was new iron -- part had been laid on tracks but not used for business
" 5 Had been laid on track and used for heavy ordinance and other business between Montgomery & Pensacola until the latter place was evacuated by the Confederate troops
" 6 Was laid on tracks and used principally for a freight passenger business
" 2 & 4 I think the most valuable iron on our road
   Col. Tate valued the Ala & Florida RR iron seized and placed on our road at 80 per ton and ??? on willing to acquiesce in that valuation but if the matter is not considered settled between our company and the Government by the payment of $106,208.75 to Qr Master Calhoun at Montgomery they we shall insist on a valuation of what new and equally good iron was purchased on the same day the Ala & Flor was seized viz 70 per ton -- on 12 July 1862.
   The Cahaba, Marion & Greensboro RR Co advertised about fourteen miles of their iron for sale at public auction and as I hear limited their iron to 80 per ton, but failed to get a purchaser. Subsequently, Col. Tate gave their price and purchased on 10h of September 1862 Lot No. 6. We are willing to pay for Lot No. 3, seized by Captain Gains on 20h May 1862. What Col. Tate paid the same company for Lot No. 6 on the 10h September following ??? spikes belonging to the Cahaba, Marion & Greensboro Railroad Company as their iron is not included in Col. Tate's account, having been seized and used before he took military possession of the road.
   The value of the above mentioned iron must be fixed by the government and the Ala & Miss R RR Co. I promise on ??? to pay whatever that may be.
   It will be recollected the price of iron has steadily advanced since the war commenced. I purchased iron rails in 1861 at $36.50 per ton. Col. Tate purchased iron rails on 12h July 1862 at $70, and the G. M. & G. iron was seized on the 20 May near two months before the purchase and received $70 per ton, and on the 10h Sept. 1862, Col. Tate purchased from the same G. M. & G. RR Co 1000 tons at $80 per ton, which had previously been offered at public auction with a minimum of 80 per ton without obtaining a purchaser. This sale at $80 per ton you will perceive was near four months subsequent to the seizure by Captain Gaines.
   In view of the above mentioned facts, I think it unreasonable the Ala & Miss R RR Co should be required to pay more than iron rails sold for near two months after the iron was seizes. The price of iron now is no ??? to ??? of its value twelve months past.
   Should you find any difficulty in arranging the price of the Florida iron, Col. Tate requests you will postpone final action until he reaches Richmond when he will explain all matters satisfactorily to the government.
Very Truly Yours
G. G. Griffin {President, Alabama & Mississippi Rivers RR}