NA, ENG 12/12/1863

Engineer Bureau
December 12th 1863
Major Minor Meriwether Com &c
Demopolis Ala
   Mr. Brooks letter of the 24th ult with remarks on his proposition in regard to the Tombigbee River Bridge by yourself & Mr. Tate, has been duly recd. The Secy of War to whom it has been submitted is disposed to authorize the conscription of the bridge on the following terms,
   The Govt to build the bridge, the cost being considered an advance to the Ala & Miss RR {Alabama & Tennessee River RR} Co. The railroad Co to connect the bridge with those portions of the road already completed with all possible dispatch, to pay to the Govt until the close of the war, unless the debt is sooner discharged, at the close of each year dating from the completion of the bridge the nett proceeds from government transportation on the Ala & Miss RR. Also, at the close of the first year, interest at the rate of eight per cent per annum on the total cost of the bridge and at the close of each succeeding year during the progress of the war interest at the same rate on the amount remaining unpaid. If the debt is not extinguished before the conclusion of the war, the Company to pay to the Govt. fro the bridge, such additional sum as may be deemed just by disinterested arbitrators.
   This proposition agrees with that of the President of the Ala & Miss RR Co with the exception that the profits arising from Govt transportation are to be refunded to the Govt at the close of each year during the war.
   The Hon Secy is earnestly desirous that the construction of the Tombigbee bridge should be pressed. Should the Co accept the above proposition please give the matter your utmost consideration.
Very Respectfully Yours
A. L. Rives
Lt Col & Actg Chf Bu