AR, C&SC 1/1/1863 P

Annual Report of the Charlotte & South Carolina RR
as of January 1, 1863,
President's Report
To the Stockholders of the Charlotte & South Carolina Railroad Company:
   Your President and Directors respectfully submit the following Annual Report:
   With the close of the 31st day of December, terminated the 15th fiscal year of your Company. During the past year, the business of the Road has been unusually heavy. It more than exceeds, in gross income, double the amount of any preceding year. From the Treasurer's Report, the earnings from all sources amount to the sum of six hundred and forty-one thousand five hundred and twenty dollars and seventy-six cents ($641,520.76). The expenses for the same period are one hundred and eighty-nine thousand three hundred and thirty-four dollars and twenty-one cents ($189,334.21) -- leaving a net income of four hundred and fifty-two thousand one hundred and eighty-six dollars and fifty-five cents ($452,186.55). This sum is chargeable with two dividends, payable in July last and January, 1863, the payment of interest on the funded debt, the redemption of $30,000 of bonds due January 1st, 1863. From it is also to be deducted the cost of about 1000 bales of cotton and 40 slaves, purchased for the use and benefit of the Company, the accounts for which are not entirely closed -- leaving a balance of about $15,000 to liquidate outstanding accounts and claims against the Company.
   It has long been the settled policy of this Company to own a considerable portion of the labor necessary to the maintenance of the Road. The cotton is held as a medium of exchange and basis of credit abroad after the blockade of our ports is relieved. Should the war, wantonly and wickedly forced upon the Confederacy by the Federal Government, terminate immediately, your Company will require the expenditure in foreign countries of not less than one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, to restore its property to the same condition it maintained at the beginning of the revolution. Upon the return of peace, the necessities of the Road will be urgent, the currency of the country depreciated, and sterling exchange will for some time rule high; with the cotton, supplies can be then imported at the lowest rates. 
   The Stockholders should realize the facts, that while their income has been greater, the deterioration, wear and tear of their property has been in a corresponding ration. The rails in the track have been much worn; the engines are without their usual efficiency; notwithstanding many cars have been built in the shops during the war, the number on hand is reduced fifty per centum below the average supply. This was the result, to some extent, in yielding to the urgent appeals of the Government to expedite all munitions of war to their destination. The threatened interruption of the East Tennessee and Virginia roads by the enemy, and the inconvenient transfer across the Cape Fear River, at Wilmington, caused much of the heavy ordnance and other munitions for the defence of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, as well as the Valley of the Mississippi, to pass over your Road. Owing to the difference in the gauge of tracks at Charlotte, these heavy guns and other munitions were received by your cars, and without transfer sent to Charleston, Savannah, West Point, Corinth, Mobile, New Orleans, Vicksburg, and Columbus. As was anticipated, many of these cars were never returned. A number of them were west of Huntsville, Alabama, when it was captured by the enemy. These losses are referred to only in explanation of the present condition of your property. In the then defenceless condition of our country, the causes which led to them were cheerfully submitted to, and would be again under similar circumstances. Such urgent demands have not been made upon your transportation for the past few months, and it is hoped that such necessity will not occur in future.
   According to the authority vested in the Board of Directors at your annual meeting two years since, a stock dividend of 33 1/3 per centum was directed to be issued on the entire capital stock, to each stockholder in proportion to his shares. This issue, when completed, will increase the capital stock to about one million five hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars. This amount will be somewhat varied by the number of fractions of shares purchased from or sold to the Company, the holder in all cases having the election to buy or sell at par value. To this time 3,676 1/3 additional shares have been issued; in which $9,700 were paid for fractions, and $8,633.33 received for fractions of shares, leaving a difference between cash received and disbursed on this account only $1,066.67, reducing the dividend of stock that much less than 33 1/3 per centum on the amount issued. There are yet outstanding about 442 shares entitled to receive the stock dividend. It is desirable to have this account closed as early as possible; and for this reason the rule was adopted to pay no dividend upon the new stock until the old certificate was surrendered and a new one issued including the stock dividend. The equipment of your road was not ample at the beginning of the war for its then limited business, and in addition to doing more than double its usual transportation, it has furnished the engines and cars to the Atlantic, Tennessee & Ohio Railroad, with which it has been operated. The greater portion of your income is from freight, the passenger account including the transportation of soldiers. All Government freights, with slight exceptions, have been conveyed at rates much below the average charges in time of peace, to wit: 20 cents per hundred pounds per hundred miles, and the soldiers at 2 cents per mile. The ordinary charges on the Government business would have given you an income of about $200,000 more than it has yielded. In addition much freight has been transported free of charge for benevolent and patriotic purposes. This has been accomplished too while the prices of every element which enters into the operating expenses of railroads have advanced from 50 to 1,000 per cent, and yet it is gratifying to state that your expenses are not 30 per cent. on the gross income of the road. Such results are not often attained by corporations under similar circumstances, no can such be expected by the stockholders in the future. At the beginning of the past year the Company had a fair quantity of material and supplies on hand, purchased at peace prices. These have all been consumed, and the Company is now paying for many essential articles ten times their former rates.
   Notwithstanding the advancing prices of the country, your charges for transportation of passengers and freights were not changed until October last, when they were increased on passengers about 20 per centum, and on freights an average of 30 per centum. While the railroads generally have contributed, in a high degree, to maintain the Government, it is manifest that their advances upon other interests have not been commensurate with the increasing prices of the country.
   The Atlantic, Tennessee & Ohio Railroad will be completed to Statesville by the 20th of February. This will become an important auxiliary to your road when finished. The progress of the work has been delayed by the difficulties in procuring materials for the completion of the bridge across 3d creek, two miles from Statesville. This bridge is 93 feet above the surface water of the creek, and 550 feet long, with about 600 feet of trestle connected thereto, making no ordinary structure. The income of the road for the past year in its incomplete condition, running only four trips per week, will amount to nearly $24,000. To this time it has only been necessary for this Company to endorse $151,000 of its 6 per centum bonds; and the opinion is entertained that it will not require much more aid from any extraneous source. With this important tributary complete, and an assurance that the Greensboro and Danville connection {the Piedmont RR} will be made during the ensuing year, you have every reason to rely upon a permanent and increasing business. Only one more important link is necessary to place your property on the principal highway of the Confederacy. This is the Columbia and Augusta connection. Let this work of only 70 miles be constructed, and you annihilate 70 miles between these two cities -- just one-half the present distance by rail. To this work your Company and the City of Columbia have for years been pledged to do their duty, and whenever the Cities of Augusta and Hamburg and the Georgia Railroad Company, and the planters along the line will unite with them, the road can be built without any foreign aid or capital. Should concert of action between the respective parties identified in interest be secured, the graduation of the road would be placed under contract at once. Should Savannah or Charleston fall into the hands of the enemy, this proposed road might become of vital importance to the Confederacy, a greater military necessity than the Piedmont connection. 
   The trains have been run with much regularity, considering the difficulties of the times and the pressure of business upon them, and it is cause of gratitude that no serious accident has occurred. More than 90,000 passengers have been transported over the road without injury to any one. Your former Superintendent left the road in August last, and early in September E. Hulbert, Esq., of Georgia, was selected to fill the position. His report, with that of the Treasurer, including the various tabular statements, are submitted, and your attention is invited to them for the more detailed statements and accounts of the business of the road.
Respectfully submitted
Wm. Johnston