Letter from E. L. Wentz to Daniel Craig McCallum, October 13, 1862

E. L. Wentz, of the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad, asks for suggestions about providing shoes for contraband workers on the railroad.

United States Military Rail Road Service,
Office of Engineer of Way and Structures

Col. D. C. McCallum
M.D. & S.R.R.U.S.

The negro force (contrabands) that I have on the Norfolk and Petersburg Rail Road in Government Employ, are so poorly shod that I find it impossible to work them any longer without furnishing them with shoes. This will have to be done or we will be obliged to dispense with their services, as paying them their wages now due will not relieve them in the least from the fact that there is no showes in Norfolk that they can purchase. Could permission be obtained to bring such supplies from Baltimore to this place as we actually require for the use of Government Employees. I can arrange to continue to work negroes (contrabands). Otherwise I will be obliged to dispense with their services altogther as it is impossible to work men without shoes in this climate and such weather as we are getting now. I find it impossible to procure the necessary permission from Military Authority here. Will you please instruct me what to do in the matter.

Oblige very Respectfully Your
Obt. Servt.

E. L. Wentz Engr. N + P

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from E. L. Wentz to Daniel Craig McCallum
  • Extent: 1 page
  • Citation: National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 92, Consolidated Correspondence, Box 871
  • Date: November 13, 1862