NA, W&W 12/31/1864

Wilmington & Weldon Railroad Company
Office Chief Engineer and Superintendent
Wilmington, N. C., Dec 31 1864
Lt Col F. W. Sims
   Your telegram to me requesting trains to be sent to the aid of the N. C. R. R. Co was duly received and replied to the same day. A request was immediately sent to the Atlantic {& North Carolina} RR Co to send ten of their trains to Greensboro to bring troops this way.
   The reply was they could not have with their light Engines more than six  or seven cars attached to each and that the N. C. Road had or could get abundance of aid from R&G {Raleigh & Gaston RR} Western NC and {Wilmington,} Charlotte & Rutherford Roads. Further they (Major Whitfield) thought we would need all the means of transportation we had here as many other troops ??? Hokes command were to be moved. Consequently no aid was supplied by me to Mr Sumner {Superintendent, North Carolina RR} Nor could I ??? him on the subject tho I telegraphed him very fully to let me know his wants if any.
   My own opinion is that every little if any delay occurred east of the "Piedmont Road."
   Gen Hagood told me he was 60 hours going 48 miles on that road and that sundry men froze to death. That a?? compound of having to stop & cut wood for the Engines.
   I am not here to complain of any one not under my control.
   I will suggest however for the benefit of any future movement in this direction that they should by all means take the route most qualified.
   The troops of Genl Hoke could have been here on Sunday ??try taken that route (??? machinery to Bellville. They could have reached Wilmington in 24 hours ???? of the Railroad and Greesamt two days marching would have put them at Baltfield.
   I had supposed we ??? pretty well move out but ?? accounts I hear from the ??? movement on the NC Rail Road (??? they could only have 10 cars ??? ??? best En??) I think that Road has ?????
I am respectfully
Your obt sevt
S. L. Fremont
Chf Eng  Supt
{The writing is very had to make out -- there are many write-overs and bleed-throughs from the reverse page. The message is clear, even though I cannot make out every word.}