mind, we propose merely a private Serenade without any crowd and without expecting any remarks from you or any hospitalities from your household.
Respectfully Yours &c
JAMES W HAYS
|The amanuensis left blanks for the day of the week and the date; that information was inserted in a different handwriting--likely James E. Hays's.|
|Alexander Hays was an African-American church sexton who lived in Washington, D.C. Wash. Dir. ( 1862), 97.|
Letter in clerk's hand, signed by Mitchel. Chase Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania (micro 20:0242).
Head Quarters 3d Division
Camp Taylor Huntsville1
April 20th 1862
My Dear Governor
Your letter of the 6th reached me on yesterday, and I responded briefly by Telegraph. You have been already informed that Huntsville Stevenson, Decatur, Tuscumbia and Florence are in the possession of my Division. We hold to day about one hundred and twenty miles of the Memphis and Charleston Railway. We are running trains regularly as a means of intercommunication between the Brigades of my Division, now stationed at different points along the line. The road is in fine condition, the burnt bridges have been repaired, the depots, water stations, wood stations, turntables, Engine houses machine shops, locomotives and cars are all in good order. I am now rebuilding the road from Decatur to Nashville. The telegraph wires have been put in order between Huntsville and Decatur and will soon be extended from Decatur to Columbia. I find sixteen locomotives on the road, many of them capable of hauling from eighteen to twenty cars loaded.
You well know the importance which I have always attached to the seizure of the East Tennessee and Memphis and Charleston Rail Roads. It was because of this vast importance that I ventured upon a Military movement which nothing but great results could have warranted. In conference with General Buell I urged upon him the importance of driving the enemy from Northern Alabama, and of destroying his great Military Railway by seizing and holding so much of it as lies on the north side of the Tennessee River between Decatur and Bridgeport. As