OR, Series 1, Vol. 52, Part 2, Page 641

Demopolis, Ala., March 17, 1864
His Excellency Jefferson Davis
Dear Sir,
  The great importance to the interests of this department and that of the Army of Tennessee, as well as the cause generally, induces me to write you on the subject of the speedy completion of the railroad from Blue Mountain, Ala., to Rome, Ga. This road if completed would give a direct railroad connection without break of gauge between this entire department and all Georgia and the Atlantic sea-board via Atlanta, and with Virginia and East Tennessee via Dalton. The work is light and in such a state of progress that the building and grading can be done so as to have no delay in track-laying, commencing at once from both ends. The distance only sixty-one miles, the work could be completed in ninety days from the time an efficient force was organized. It would enable the coal-fields in Alabama to supply all the rolling-mills in Georgia with fuel in abundance at once at low rates. It would enable the armies of Generals Polk and Johnston to re-enforce each other in thirty-six hours. The advantages in a military point of view are incalculable and are too plain to need argument. The advantages of supplying the army at Dalton with corn and provisions from the rich canebrake country of South Alabama are very great. The advantages to the general interests of the country are in themselves sufficient to induce the Government to give a helping hand. By its completion the Government would save in transportation alone more than its entire cost in six months. The company only needs iron and energy, and an honest administration of those energies, to insure its speedy completion. It would not cost the Government a cent that would not be returned in six months. But the power to pull up a few short branch roads now of but little use to the Government is needed, and a man put in charge who will apply his energies faithfully to the work. If you will give this matter your personal examination you will order the road built at once, I am sure. The proper data will be before you.
Your friend
Sam Tate
[First indorsement]
April 4, 1864
Secretary of War for consideration and conference.
J. Davis
[Second indorsement]
Retain for conference.
J. A. Seddon