AR, A&NC 6/1/1864 P

Annual Report of the Atlantic & North Carolina RR
as of June 1, 1864
President's Report
 
Report of the President and Directors of the Atlantic & N. Carolina Rail Road
 
Gentlemen,
   In presenting this, the Tenth Annual Report of the condition of your Road, we regret to have to inform you, that the enemy still retains possession of that portion of the line extending from Core Creek to Morehead City; upon which, he is now running daily trains. Twice during the year, his operations were interrupted by the movement of our troops, which enabled us to learn that the track and road bed have been kept in pretty good condition. But all the bridges below the river Trent, except the Scott's Creek bridge, have, now been destroyed, by our own troops. On the section of the Road that we have operated, from Kinston to Goldsboro, the business has been fully equal to our expectations and the trains have been run regularly and successfully throughout the year. On other Roads, where we have done much work, with our trains, as you will presently see, we have met with some accidents, but none involving the loss of life or property of any considerable amount.
   The gross receipts for the year ending May 31st, 1864, were $315,787.31, derived from the following sources:
On Atlantic & North Carolina Rail Road:
Transportation of Troops for Government $64,641.60
Transportation of Freight for do 65,134.08 $129,775.68
              "         of Passengers 33,965.25  
              "         of Way Travel 16,765.52
              "         of Freight 13,052.90  
Special Train 75.00  
Mail Service 1,300.00
Rent of Ware House 600.00
Coupons C. States Bonds collected 220.00 65,978.67
    $195,154.35
On Other Rail Road:
Transportation of troops and freight 116,432.96
Rent of Locomotive 3,600.00 120,032.96
     Total Receipts   $315,787.31
   The expenditures of the Company for the last fiscal year were as follows:
For transportation, including pay of conductors, engineers, firemen, wood, &c. $32,897.43
For station expenses and salaries of agents 5,343.74
For shop account, including repairs of engines and cars, purchase of stock material, oil and waste, &c. 32,381.15
For road account, including pay of road and section masters, new cross ties and supplies 9,983.52
For general administration, mileage to directors, and salaries of officers 6,673.40
For office and incidental expenses, stationery and printing 1,052.80
For lost and damaged freight and stock killed 861.80
For negro hire and negro subsistence 11,556.60 100,720.44

Nett profits

$215,066.87
   The business of the Road for the years 1863 and 1864,compares as follows:
  1863 1864 Increase
Gross earnings $193,625.96 $315,787.31 $122,161.35
Expenses 38,569.14 100,720.44 62,151.30
Net Earnings $155,056.82 $215,066.87 $60,010.05
   Notwithstanding this shows a large increase over the preceeding as that did over all prior years, we employed no additional force, except on the track. Had it not been however, that our officers and employees with very few exceptions, exercised the most diligence and industry, this end could not have been obtained. Every requisition upon their time both night as well as day, has always been responded to with cheerfulness and alacrity, and they are justly entitled to our thanks for the interest they have manifested in behalf of the Road. But in spite of our efforts to keep them down, you will observe, the expenses of the Road have also greatly increased over the last or any previous year. This result you will remember we anticipated in our last Annual Report, and is due in part to the repairs of the Road and rolling stock, and especially to the increase of the salaries of officers, the wages of engineers and mechanics, the price of labor and provisions and materials of all kind, indispensible to the wants of the Road. But with the additional allowance, we were compelled to make, from a sense of justice, as well as necessity, to all our employees, they could scarcely meet their ordinary daily expenses, which of necessity must take place. We therefore feel it our duty to call your attention to the annual compensation of the Secretary and Treasurer of the company and to respectfully recommend that it be increased to correspond with the compensation of other officers and employees of the Road.
   A more detailed report of the financial affairs of the company will be found in the appended statements of the Treasurer, from which the items we give you have been taken.
   Immediately after your last annual meeting, we directed the Treasurer to pay upon the liabilities of the company all monies in his hands not required in the opinion of the President for the operating expenses of the Road. Agreeably to this order, as soon as the amount one hundred and forty-eight thousand dollars, necessary to liquidate the interest on the State loan of $400,000 was received, which was in November last, it was paid over to the Public Treasurer for that purpose. In the following month, December, one hundred thousand dollar was paid on the principal of the debt. But on the 12th day of March $19,000 more offered by the Treasurer of this company was refused by the Public Treasurer for the subjoined reasons, given in his report to the last Legislature:
   "The passage of the act of Congress of the 17th February last to reduce the currency and to authorize a new issue of notes and bonds," embarrassed my department in several particulars. Its immediate effect was to make all Confederate notes, above the denomination of five dollars, uncurrent at their face: While the ordinance of the Convention of the 26th of February 1862 No 33, make all claims to the State payable in Confederate notes. I was not authorized to receive or pay them out at less than their face. There were several large debts due to the State which I though might possibly be tendered. The Atlantic & N. C. R. R. Co., owed the State on account of the loan to that company, under the act of 1856, Chap. 11, some $400,000. This act provides that the loan was to be made only on condition that the Road should not ??? its receipts over and above annual expenses, as a Sinking Fund to pay the debt and interest; and on the additional condition of giving a mortgage on the effects of the company, ??? to make the State harmless against loss of both principal and interest, which mortgage I have not been able to ??? The following are all the payments which have been made on this debt, to wit: Nov. 1863, one hundred and forty-eight thousand dollars, December, one hundred thousand dollars." The Public Treasurer after alluding to debts due the State from these corporations goes on to say, "the foregoing and other debts of less magnitude were due to the State when the currency act of the 17th of February was passed, all of which I was required to pay in any Confederate currency, at its face, according to the several terms of the ordinance of the 26th of February, 1862.
   And again he states, "I submitted these views to the Council of State: and to avoid the difficulty as to the payment of the aforesaid debts to the State, told them, that I would take upon myself the responsibility of declining to receive payment of said debts in Confederate notes at their face, should payment be tendered, until your pleasure should be known, believing that a fair interpretation of the ordinance would not require me to receive the currency at its face after Congress had diminished its value one-third."
   The course pursued by the Treasurer of the State, met with the unanimous approval of the Legislature, and so much of the ordinance of the convention authorizing the payment of debts due the State by this and other corporations in Confederate money, was repealed. This act of the Assembly leaves the company in rather a singular predicament. Our charter, 23rd Sect., only allows the purchase of land and materials necessary for the construction of the Road, or for effecting transportation thereon, and for no other purpose whatsoever. And the State loan of $400,000 to the Atlantic & N. C. R. R. Company, was made on the condition that they set aide 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.
   Thus it will be seen, that we can neither invest the money we may have in property, except as before stated, or pay it out to you in dividends, unless we follow the precedent of the State Treasurer, and assume the responsibility of investing it as our judgments may dictate, for the best interest of the company.
   It is respectfully submitted to you whether such action is not necessary under existing circumstances.
   In answer to the inquiries, from the President of the Road, whether the company could pay the balance of the debt, due the State, in the new issue of the Confederate States or in the old issue with the discount or one-third off, the Public Treasurer says: "your Road can pay the balance of the $400,000 loan in North Carolina Treasury Notes of any issue, but not in Confederate currency."
   The mortgage referred to, in the Public Treasurer's report, was registered in all the counties through which the road runs; and placed in the hands of the Executive of the State, by one of the agents of the company, before the bonds as provided by the act authorizing the loan of $400,000 were delivered to our Treasurer.
   As an erroneous idea is apparently entertained, by those not conversant with the subject, of the character of this loan, we take occasion to repeat here that portion of the report of the Board of Directors relating to it, and made to you in 1858:
   "Agreeably to the resolution passed at your last meeting, the Directors of the company executed a mortgage to the Governor of the State, and obtained the loan of four hundred thousand dollars in State bond. In connection with this matter, it will be remembered, that although we advised the acceptance of the loan upon the terms proposed by the Assembly, we did so under the belief that the necessary relaxations of the restriction of the act could be obtained from the next Legislature. We are still of the opinion, that it would be but right and proper for the State to either make up the loss on the bonds or to release the company from the interest on the debt, to the amount of the loss we sustained."
   We are yet fully impressed withy the importance of paying the State debt, as we are convinced it would have a direct and important bearing upon the future prospects of the Road. This loan once paid, fair dividends could be declared on the stock of the company, and it would, doubtless, rise to correspond in value with the most successfully operated Roads in North Carolina.
   Every effort has been made by the Superintendent of Government Transportation, in accordance with our orders, to have the Government's accounts audited and settled monthly, since November last, to enable us to reduce the liabilities of the company as fast as possible. But so far we have failed; latterly, in consequence of the movement of the enemy's forces near Richmond. Hence, we have now, large amounts due us, as the Treasurer's report shows, from the Government, and Railroad companies, who are also waiting upon the Quartermaster General for settlement, to enable them to settle with us.
   Before we close, it is due to you to reiterate what we were compelled to say in the report of last year, that the receipts, as favorable as they appear, bear no comparison to the loss you have sustained, if the wear and tear of your road and rolling stock is considered. But in our operations, we have been actuated by more than pecuniary interest, and have cheerfully used all the means at our command for the success and maintenance of our armies in the field. Therefore, whether our receipts will cover the losses of the Company or not, we have the satisfaction of knowing, that by the successful transportation of troops and freight for the Government, on our trains, we have operated for the best interest of the State and Country.
   The accounts of the Treasurer have been thoroughly examined by the Finance Committee, who are, no doubt ready to report to you the result of their labors.
   Death, at all times a mournful messenger, has been sent again into our Board. A noble heart, since your last annual meeting, has ??? in heart forever. Col. Peter G. Evans, one of the State Directors of this Board, has fallen and added one more to the number whose deaths are now spreading sorrow through the hand. At the head of his Regiment, in the State of Virginia, during the past summer, he fell in battle, gallantly leading his men against the enemy, Thus another of the brave sons of North Carolina gives up his life for the cause of his country, on the field of battle, where patriotism and duty voluntarily led him from the enjoyment of an interesting and happy family.
   To them his loss is irreparable. To many friends to whom he was endeared, by his warm and generous nature, his loss is deeply felt, and his memory will be forever cherished. To the members of this Board, his loss is great, and we his associates in the Directory, will never forget his ardent attachment to this work, and his energetic and liberal action in behalf of this Company from its organization.
Respectfully submitted,
John D. Whitford, President

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