Our army correspondent at Fairfax
having, in a recent letter, made an elusion to the irregularity of the malls in that direction, we deemed the matter of sufficient importance to justify an investigation, and consequently made the proper inquiries at the Post-Office Department, and were permitted to copy the subjoined communication.
It shows that the officials have not been neglectful of the wants of our soldiers, who are the real sufferers by the detention of letters from their friends at home, while the causes of complaint are beyond the Department
--In accordance with your instructions of the 8th instant, I left this city on the morning of the 9th, and arrived at Fairfax C. H. on the morning of the 10th.
The train from Tudor Hall to Fairfax Station has been all the time
since that part of the Railroad was rebuilt, under the immediate control of the Chief Quartermaster
, Major W. L. Cabell
In fact, it is now called the ‘"Quartermaster's Train,"’ and he pays for the entire use of it, and runs it whenever he pleases, or has anything to transport.
A private soldier, from the army, named-- --, was detailed to act as conductor and mail messenger on the train between the two places: and they transported the mails as they pleased, under the impression that they were benefitting the Post-Office Department,
as well as themselves, in carrying the mails.
I endeavored to get the regular mail train run to Fairfax Station, or such portion of it as was necessary to convey the mails and soldiers; but Mr. Vandergrift
, the Superintendent
of the road, informed me that it was impracticable, from the fact that they had no turn-table at Fairfax Station, and that it would be dangerous to run so long a train backwards (ten miles) in the night.
There has been a great deal of complaint about the Winchester
mails, and while at Tudor Hall, I learned that it arose from a want of connection with the Manassas Road
by the Orange and Alexandria Railroad.
[Signed,] W. E. M. Word
, Special Agent
P. O. D.