OR, Series 1, Vol. 18, Page 858

January 26, 1863
Hon. James A. Seddon
Secretary of War, Richmond
My Dear Sir,
   But the shortest and best road from New Berne to Kinston crosses to the left or north bank of the Neuse some 10 or 12 miles below Kinston. I scarcely think they will cross the river; if they do I have two brigades here ready to move by railroad toward Weldon, Kinston {on the Atlantic & North Carolina RR}, or Wilmington, and will endeavor to beat them, let them come as they may. Railroads are an uncertain reliance; they will worry me out of my life yet I think. But I must say in simple justice to Mr. Whitford, president of the North Carolina & Atlantic {Atlantic & North Carolina} Railroad, who was appointed Government agent of railroad transportation at this point by General Holmes, and of Mr. Harvey, his subordinate, that no men could be more willing, attentive, and obliging and none more efficient than they have shown themselves. At all hours, night and day, they have served me; within five minutes they were always ready to comply with any requirement of mine. The State of North Carolina owns two-thirds of the stock in all the railroads within the State except one, and has placed everything possible at my disposal. The only trouble heretofore, has been in the condition of the roads and their fixtures. Colonel Wadley left here about two weeks ago for Charleston and told me that Mr. Whitford would represent him in his absence, and all has gone on smoothly until to-day. Mr. Whitford and his subordinate or assistant, Mr. Harvey, resigned when Colonel Wadley first arrived here, but he urged them to retain their positions, which they consented to do, at least for the present. I am informed that their arduous and valuable services have been rendered the Government without compensation. The communication from Quartermaster General dispensing with Mr. Whitford's services from the 20th instant has crippled me, as far as railroad transportation is concerned, for the present. At the moment Mr. Whitford's note, a copy of which is sent herewith, was handed me I received a telegram saying that the pickets reported the enemy advancing in force from Trenton upon Kinston. I immediately telegraphed you, and hope that the Quartermaster General has reversed his action, or, if not, that in future he will consult with or notify me before taking a step so vitally affecting the interest and safety of my command.
I remain, very respectfully and truly yours,
G. W. Smith