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[for the Richmond Dispatch.]
Railroads — an Address to the Congress and Legislature.

The time has come when the Virginia Legislature and the Government of the Confederate States will show themselves to be utterly blind to me true interests of he country, if they do not take immediate steps to complete the railroad between Keysville and Clarksville. It was a wise policy, doubtless, for the Confederate Government to pass a law for the extention of the Richmond and Danville Railroad to Greensboro', on the North Carolina Central Railroad. The importance of this link in our railroad system is undisputed. But it is a bran-new enterprise, the route itself not surveyed; the distance is fifty miles or more; the necessary expenditure is upwards of a million, and its completion within less time than a year a scarcely possible. It may be, and most probably will be that a year heace the necessity which has given the enterprise being may have passed away.

We want a road --not a year hence. The disaster at Roanoke Island, it is admitted, has put a new phase upon the face of affairs. The bridge at Weldon is not now inaccessible to a bold foray of the enemy. Its destruction would be no small calamity to the Southern people. The direct railroad connects between Richmond and Wilmington, and all the South Atlantic coast will be thereby cut off. There is a remedy — a sure, easy, cheap remedy.--No. not a remedy: there is a prevention, cheap, easy, sure, if the State or Confederate Government will do their duty. The distance from Keysville, on the Dasville Railroad, to Clarksville, the terminus of the Roanoke Velley Railroad, is only 21 miles. The connecting line of railroad is more than half finished. At Clarksville the stone piers of the bridge across the Roanoke are complete. At that terminus a mile of grading is also finished. At the Keysville terminus, 10 miles of road-bed is ready for laying track. Three miles is already laid with the best T rail — The whole route from Keysville to Clarksville is cleared of timber, and abundant still are cut and sessored, and lying all along the line, ready for use. The only hilly and rugged portion of the route has been graded. On the balance of the route the excavation now to be done is comparatively light. The depots even have been in part constructed. The road, in a word, is more than half complete. Prompt and energetic action would put the road in running order in three months. The services of a man, known to the writer, competent to superintend the unfinished work and to push it to the speediest completion, can be had on the most reasonable terms. Negroes, slave and tree, can be had on terms more favorable than at any previous juncture in our history. It is not unlikely, in view of the occupancy by the enemy of North Carolin a territory, that any number of slaves could be had from the coast counties of that State for the mere keeping, provided assurances were given that their labor should be appired to the patriotic important, and necessary purpose of constructing this road, and thereby of connecting the Atlantic seaboard of both the Carolinas with our Confederate capital. But, in any event, the requisite labor can be had on the most favorable terms. With Confederate or State Tressury notes to the amount of , the completion of this invaluable work would be secured to the people within the brief space of three months. Thus a railroad link would be made, whereby through freight and passengers could be transported from Charles on, S. C., to Richmond, Va., without break of bulk as to the former, and with scarcely a transfer of baggage as to the latter. The statements here made are --they are important truths.--They are grates so plain and of such import in this present national crisis, that we dare impute to the photic authorities, State and Confederate, after blindness and weakness not to see them and be controlled by them. When the enemy already, by their bold assault at Roanoke Island, and by their still bolder advances up the Tennessee river, have notified us in the most unmistakable language that they mean, if possible, to break up and destroy utterly all the railroad cannexions between the different sections of the Confederacy when they have taught us by two and severe disasters that cutting us on main lines of intercommunication is the poncy which they specially cherish, could be possible that a lesson taught by so dear experience, shall prove of no utility and of no effect?

The interests of North Carolina and Virginia especially, and yet scarcely less the interests of absolute Confederate States, cry alend in this present emergency for the immediate complection of this half finished road. It can be finished in a short time, at little expense, with an absolute certainty that it will confer inestimable benefits upon the whole country. This appeal is made to the good judgment, , patriotism, and prudent forethought of the Confederate and State authorities, with the hope that they will delay no time to do this work, so indispen-able to us all in the existing condition of public affairs. A

First Point on York River, Feb. 11, 1862.

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February 11th, 1862 AD (1)
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