ORN, Series 1, Vol. 13, Page 816

Atlanta, November 24, 1862
Hon. S. R. Mallory
Secretary of Navy, Richmond
   I have gotten a little method at last into the coal transportation. Have sent to Charleston, S.C., 400 tons; to Savannah, 232 tons; J. H. Warner, Columbus, Ga., 56 tons; in all, for the first month's operations, gross amount of 688 tons, notwithstanding an interruption by the movement of General Bragg's troops of fully two weeks. My cars have been delayed entirely too much at Charleston and Savannah. I shall find out the reason, if any there be for it, and may ask you to instruct the commanding officers to remedy it, should I find any neglect in the unloading of the coal after its arrival at its destination. So much for the coal, and now for the paramount interest--the iron. I fear, should the War Department adhere to their request as to the Brunswick iron, that the views of the Navy Department may be seriously interfered with. I received a dispatch when last at Savannah from General Beauregard, requesting only that in my action I should not require the road {the Brunswick & Albany RR} for military purposes more than I possibly might be compelled to do to consult with General Mercer. I only asked for the immediate removal of the 461 tons of iron {about 4 1/2 miles} already taken from the Brunswick end of the road, and now lying 25 miles up the road at Waynesville, at which point the present running of road terminates. I expect to be able to satisfy General Beauregard that the taking up of some 1,600 tons more of iron from the unused portion of the road {about 16 miles} will not interfere with the military use of the road, in his acceptation of that term, when I can get a personal interview. Again, in reference to the Roberts iron, I have yet only got some 500 tons away, although I have been some three times to Savannah to give my personal attention to its removal. Both General Mercer and Roberts, as president of the road {Vice President of the Savannah, Albany & Gulf RR}, promised everything required, but they failed to perform. Captain James T. Stewart, General M[ercer]'s quartermaster, writes me that he can not get the iron up, Mr. R[oberts] using the means of transportation in hauling cotton and other private freight instead of the iron in question. I am now going down again tomorrow, and shall endeavor, if I find it necessary, to make up a train, for which I have provided the cars, to remove it at once. I feel the importance of immediate and energetic action in the premises, for fear the enemy may possibly cut some bridge upon the Savannah, Albany and Gulf road and thereby seriously interrupt the completion of the vessels now in progress and near completion. The railroads are all so occupied with army movements and supplies that it appears almost impossible to achieve anything in the way of getting iron to the rolling mill. The avenue from Savannah is the furthest from these objections of all, and hence all or any pertinacity upon my part becomes entirely proper. It may become necessary for assistance in the shape of orders from Richmond to enforce the attention of our army friends to the importance of an adequate and immediate supply of iron for the naval service, and, if so, I will ask for it by telegraph from your hands. My address will be Pulaski House, Savannah, for the next few days.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. Miner
Agent of Navy Department
{on back of document, not printed in OR}
Refer thro QM Genl to Col Wadley for cars ??? above ??? to save the Road only to be ?? in case of necessity. I prefer before going it Col Wadley sh try arrangement
Secy War
Respy referred to Col. Wadley AAG
By command of Secy of War
Jasper S. Whiting
Maj & AAG
Dec 6/62