NA, A&MR 5/30/1864

Uniontown Ala 30th May 1864
Office Ala & Miss Rs RRd  {Alabama & Mississippi Rivers RR}
Major Gen. S. D. Lee
   Major Gen. Polk, deeming it very important that there should be a through connexion, by rail, over the Alabama & Mississippi Rivers rail road, some months since caused the proper authorities, in behalf of the Confederate Government, to contract with competent parties for the building of a rail road bridge across the Tombigbee river and the Alabama & Mississippi Rivers rail road Company bound itself under certain penalties, provided the proper Confederate Authorities would furnish, if requested, the necessary labor, &c &c, to complete its road by a specified time, so as, the bridge being completed, there should be a through connexion by rail. In view of this arrangement and for the purpose of effecting his object, Major Gen Polk exempted the negro labor of the counties of Marengo and Sumter from impressment for the fortifications at Mobile and, in lieu thereof, ordered that three hundred and fifty (350) hands, from these two counties, be impressed for the prompt completion of the Ala & Miss Rs RRd. This order of Gen. Polk has, in part, been rescinded by his general impressment agent, Colo F. S. Blunt, of Mobile, Ala and the number of hands, authorized to be impressed reduced fifty per cent.
   I have been instructed by the Directors of this road, to call your attention to these facts: to assure you that this diminution of the supply of labor will render the completion of the road in the prescribed time, utterly impossible and to request, by you, a prompt rescission of the order of Colo Blunt and an order that the amount of labor, originally agreed upon, be promptly impressed and furnished for the use of this road: for unless this be done, the object of the Government, in causing the bridge to be built, will be defeated.
   I assure you that there is no time for delay: in fact, f?? thas, owing to circumstances above mentioned and failure to furnish labor called for, the impressment will have to be increased.
   I beg to hear from you at your earliest convenience.
Most Respectfully
James L. Price, Prest.
Ala & Miss Rs. R. Rd.
   I will suggest that the work, for which this labor is required, must be done in the summer months, as the nature of the country precludes the possibility of working it after the winter rains set in.
J. L. P.