AR, A&NC 6/1/1863 P

Annual Report of the Atlantic & North Carolina RR
as of June 1, 1863
President's Report
 
Report of the President and Directors of the Atlantic & North Carolina Rail Road
 
Gentlemen,
   The earnings for the year terminating May 31st, 1863 have been as per Treasurer's Statement A,
   The detail of the annual operation of the Road is shown by the following:
For the transportation of Passengers $32,371.33
For the transportation of Freight 9,793.51  
For the transportation of Mails 1,300.00 $43,965.84
For transportation of troops 55,043.93
For the transportation of Government Freight 31,838.23  
For the transportation of troops and freight on other Roads 33,052.75  
For rent of Locomotives and Cars to Government 21,905.00  
For rent of Locomotives to other R. Road Companies 3,636.67 145,476.58
For rent of Ware-house to Government at Goldsboro 763.89  
For Coupons Confederate States Bonds collected 133.65  
For Nails, Stationery, &c., sold 284.25 1,181.79
Total amount   $190,623.21
Operating expenses for the same period as per Treasurer's Statement D   38,569.??
Leaving as net profit for the year   $152,054.14
Which is an excess over the previous year of   $21,122.??
 
   The expenses for 1862 were $49,420.79; for 1863, $38,569.14 -- being a decrease of $10,851.65. We must admit, however, that the saving was owing entirely to our inability to procure the material and labor necessary to keep the track and rolling stock in that excellent order which we were accustomed to do in former years.
   Under the most peculiar and disadvantageous circumstances we have been forced to operate. The Road was continually threatened with destruction. In August last, the section of the bridge spanning the river Neuse was destroyed. On the same day the South West Creek Bridge was also burned, by order of the commanding officer of our forces. Finally, on the 14th December, after a very gallant and stubborn resistance by our troops under Gen. Evans, against over powering numbers, the enemy reached Kinston. All of our Locomotives and Cars were run off previous to its capture, and the Ware-house was only slightly injured, by a shell, during the battle, and some of the doors knocked in by Yankee plunderers. This, with the exception of the burning of the sleepers over one or two cattle guards, and the detention of the trains for a few days at Goldsboro, was all the injury the enemy inflicted upon us. Afterwards our cavalry tore up the track remaining between Neuse River and Gum Swamp, about 5 miles, destroyed the ties and crooked and damaged, perhaps, a thousand tons of the rails. They also burned a number of new cross ties which belonged to one of our contractors, and which he had hauled out to the Road for delivery to the Company. With such doubt and uncertainty, it has been impossible to make provision to meet the wants of the Road, or to induce responsible persons to contract for the delivery of wood and ties. Our contractors formerly living along the line of the Road are nearly all in the army. In consequence of the situation of our work, slave labor we could not command at any price, and free negroes, with few exceptions, ran off as fast as they were engaged. But, under all these difficulties, our trains have been run regularly and safely throughout the year, on our own Road, and with but a single accident on other roads, where the damage was light to us, but, unfortunately, a soldier by it lost his life, and three others were wounded. These trains were not running under our direction, but such misfortunes would no doubt happen, sometimes, under the most careful management. The large receipts we give you is a sufficient guarantee that the few men in our employment have not been idle; and when we inform you, that, until recently, w have received only one-fifth for the transportation of troops, and one-half for the transportation of freight, on other roads, you will se we have earned for our own and other Companies, with our trains, upwards of three hundred thousand dollars, and we have evidence that, but for their aid, both the State and Confederate States would have suffered for the requisite transportation for the movement of their troops and freight. W have also given much and timely assistance to other Rail Road Companies in which the State is largely interested. Therefore we feel assured that you will join us in our thanks to all the officers and employees of the Company for their active cooperation in behalf of your interest, and cordially endorse any substantial proof we have given of our appreciation of their efforts to make up in zeal and labor, for their deficiency in numbers, and for the want of that great and necessary adjunct to al Railroads, good and convenient shops. In one point of view the earnings are large, perhaps larger than those of any other similar work in the State in proportion to its length and the rolling stock employed, but they will sink into insignificance when taken in connection with the immense loss you have sustained. In addition to what we have already enumerated, the wear and tear of the Road has been great. It now requires many new ties, and before the winter sets in there should be at least 20,000 placed in the track, and a very considerable amount of other work on the road bed. The machinery and rolling stock have been likewise subjected to the severest test by constant running and exposure, and have doubtless depreciated, notwithstanding its superior quality and the indefatigable exertions of our Master Machinist, Locomotive Engineers, Carpenters and other mechanics in our service.
   Before the 17th April, 1863, the compensation received from other road than our own, for Government transportation, did not more than cover the damage to our trains engaged in the work. Since that date the Government rates have been advanced and trains running on other roads than their own receive one-fourth of the receipts for troops and full rates fr the transportation of freight, while the Road bed is paid three-fourth for troops, and for freight one-half of full rates, in addition to the allowance made to the trains. If this course had not been adopted and our trains used, as heretofore, on other roads, the income from them would not meet the expenditures required for their repairs. The past year's operations may be referred to as a contradiction of this statement. But it must be remembered that prior to its commencement we had taken the stitch in time, and our rolling stock was in excellent condition, now the nine stitches have got to be taken, or else the trains will stop. Therefore, for the public benefit, as well as for your interest, we were gratified to learn of this equitable action on the part of the Government, which was necessary for the support of side line Roads, and it should, and no doubt will, stimulate every Railroad Company and officer, to employ all the means at their command to furnish promptly and cheerfully the transportation required for the defense of the State and Country and maintenance of our armies in the field.
   Several hundred tons of our rails from the south side of Neuse River were loaned to the Navy Department of the Confederate States by His Excellency, the Governor of North Carolina. Some of this iron has already been carried off and requisition has been made upon the President of this Company for the transportation of the balance. We now invite your attention to the correspondence on the subject herewith laid before you.
   The Committee, appointed at your last annual meeting to act in conjunction with a Committee of the Board of Directors to petition the Legislature to remit the interest on the State Loan to this Company of $400,000, and to convert the loan into preferred stock, failed to accomplish that object, and we have, in accordance with the act making the appropriation, directed the payment of the accumulated interest on the debt, which is, to May 31st, 1863, $135,000, provided the Board of Internal Improvement would receive in part payment the Bonds of the County o Carteret, $21,000, now in the possession of this Company. The proposition has been made, but in consequence of the absence of one of the members of the Board, action was postponed to a future meeting. The following is the act authorizing this loan:
   An Act to provide for the completion of the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad:
   Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That the Public Treasurer is authorized and instructed to loan, in behalf of the State, to the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad Company, an amount not exceeding four hundred thousand dollars ($400,000) to be paid in coupon bonds of the State, bearing interest at six per cent. to be paid semi-annually and running thirty years, on the condition that they set aside the receipts of the road, over and above their annual expenses, as a sinking fund to pay the said debt and interest, to be paid before the said company shall order any dividends on the stock of the Company, and that said sinking fund so produced shall be semi-annually paid into the Public Treasury.
   As three successive trials have failed to obtain any relief from our Legislature, we believe it would be entirely useless again to make another effort. Hence we are of the opinion that the surplus funds the Company may have in their Treasury after reserving an amount sufficient to meet our liabilities with our contractors and others and to defray the operating expenses of the road, should be paid at once into the Public Treasury. We are convinced that if we should ever sink this debt the road could be made to pay fair dividends on its cost, if operated under circumstances not more favorable than those we experienced previous to the war. And certainly so far as our present prospects are concerned, if almost total darkness be any indication of the near approach of day, and you may soon expect to reap a harvest of dividends which was never anticipated even by the most sanguine of its friends. The prospect, we must acknowledge, is gloomy indeed. Most of your property destroyed, we at the time believed, and now know, was wholly unnecessary, either for the safety of our army or the protection of North Carolina.
   But we do not question by these acts the patriotic intention of our officers to serve well and faithfully our State, and in the dark hours of our country's history we know you will quietly acquiesce in every deed of those in authority, whether it effects you personally or not, which is designed for the welfare of our people and the ultimate sureness of our arms in this unholy and unrighteous struggle with our ruthless enemy -- trusting hereafter to the liberality of our Government to restore your property. Let us then, for the future, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Let us cling to the remnant of our road as we have done heretofore, and, with the blessing of a kind and merciful Providence, by our own exertions again behold our trains successfully running to the Atlantic ocean.
   For information in detail relative to the affairs of the Company, we refer to the accompanying reports of our officers.
   The Finance Committee have examined minutely the Treasurer's books and vouchers and we presume are prepared to give you the results of their labors.
   All of which is respectfully submitted,
John D. Whitford, President

Home