NA, QM 1/9A/1864

Goldsboro, No Ca.
January 9th 1864
Maj. F. W. Sims
Rail Road Bureau
   I have recd your letters of the 1st & 7th insts. As you state, it will require all the power of the North Carolina RRoad to transport 150,000 bushels corn per month {about 35 trains of 15 cars each}, & it will give the Raleigh & Gaston Road all it can do. The Wilmington & Weldon Road has been exceedingly unfit trisemte. Recently on night before last an Engine, just from the Shops where it had been thoroughly repaired, ran over a tree that the ice storm had thrown across the road below this place, & is now bottoms up in the ditch & badly damaged. Three passenger cars were also injured, but fortunately no one was killed. We have had gallantry on that road & the ??? from Wilmington to Weldon. Tho??? to have been compelled during the last eight days to load some cotton for one State to Wilmington & for a week before & a month after Christmas in this fashion both white men & negroes greatly prefer play to work. But I hope & believe matters will soon be straightened & that we make the ability to keep this line clear of Govt freight. Atlantic Road {Atlantic & North Carolina RR} has now two trains at work for Govt & in a few days we will put another at the corn. I must say that in consequence of the constant interruption of the trains of the Weldon Road for the transportation of troops that the Road is entitled to more consideration from the Govt on allowance that be made for it than for other roads in the State ??? except the Atlantic Road is similarly dehearted.
   I believe at present it ??? the best not to interfere in any way with North Carolina Road. If we move to hire trains or take any steps in that way, it would shift in a measure the responsibility of that road to the Govt, to make good the pledge to haul the 150,000 bushels per month. I will keep watch that way & hold Mr. Webb {President, North Carolina RR} up to his pledge & in care of fortune will ??? act as qm trains. In the event of Mr. Sanford {President, Petersburg RR} not being able to take the grain away from Weldon or Gaston as fast as delivered by the Raleigh & Gaston & Atlantic trains arriving here through to Petersburg I do not fear any detention on lower line & you  may count satisfied no exertions will be spared to keep it clear of Govt freight of all kinds.
Very Respectfully
John Whitford
Supt Roads ???