AR, SA&G 5/1/1863 S

Annual Report of the Savannah, Albany & Gulf RR
as of May 1, 1863,
Superintendent's Report
Superintendent's Report
Superintendent's Office
Savannah, Albany & Gulf R. R.
Savannah, April 30th, 1863
Major John Screven
   I herewith submit to your consideration my Report for the year ending 30th April, 1863, from which it will be seen that the gross earnings have been $518,171.12 or 109 1/18 per cent over that of the year previous.
Earnings for the Year Ending April 30th, 1863
For Freight W., by Freight Trains $45,276.14
   "        "       "        Pass. Trains 17,768.61
     Total Freight West $63,044.75
   "  Passage West 143,158.33
   "        "   and Freight West $206,203.08
For Freight East by Freight Train $166,997.52
   "        "        "        Pass.       " 15,312.70
     Total Freight East $182,310.22
For Passage East 120,874.76
For Passage and Freight East 303,184.98
For Passage and Freight East and West $509,388.06
For Mails 8,733.06
     Gross Earnings $518,171.12
   The earnings for Passage have been $264,033.09, for Mails $8,783.06, for Freight $245,354.97, showing a total of $518,171.12 during the year. 80,245 Passengers, exclusive of those furnished with Transportation by Government, have passed over the Road. The earnings for Passage have been $65,023.23 for transportation of Troops, and $199,009.86 for local or regular passengers, showing a total of $264,033.09, against $160,319.13 for the year previous, an increase of $103,319.96, or 64 1/3 per cent.
   The Expenditures for operating the Road have been as follows:
Transportation Expenses -- Including the Wages of Salaried Officers, Clerks at Savannah Depot and Way Stations. Agents on line of Road, and at Thomasville, Conductors, Train Hands, Laborers at Savannah Depot and Way Stations, and subsistence for them $42,942.03
Incidental Expenses -- Including Advertising, Postage, Doctor's Bills, Medicines. Casualties and all other contingent expenses not enumerated under either of the other heads 9,568.03
Repairs of Road -- Including Wages of Supervisor, Overseers and Negroes, cost of Provisions, Clothing, Ties, Spikes, Tools, Repairs of Cars, Shanties and all Materials necessary on repairs of Road 57,660.77
Repairs of Bridges -- Including Wages of Supervisors, Bridge Builders and Negroes, cost of Provisions, Clothing, Tools, Repairs of Cars, Shanties, spikes, lumber and other material required on Repairs of Bridges 33,178.39
Maintenance of Cars -- Including wages of Master Carpenter, employees in Carpenter Shop, cost of oil, tallow, waste, castings, lumber and all other material required for maintaining, repairing and building Cars 35,274.50
Maintenance of Motive Power -- Including wages of Master Mechanic, Blacksmiths, Machinists, Engineers, Firemen and Laborers in Machine and Blacksmith shops, Cost of oils, tallow, waste, packing yarns, castings, fuel, water, and all material and labor required on repairs of Engines 66,211.84
Stock Killed 5,373.60
Freight lost and damaged 1,547.38
Printing and Stationery 3,924.54
   Total Expenses $252,680.56
   Total Earnings 518,171.12
     Nett Earnings 265,490.56
   The increase in the receipts for Passage may be attributed mainly to the large number of Soldiers with their families and friends passing to and fro over the line. The pro rata for passage received for Passengers would have been much larger but for the number of Soldiers passing over the Road at reduced rates.
   The earnings from Freight have been $245,354.97 against $78,543.99 for the year previous, an increase of $166,810.98 or 212 7/20 per cent.
   The receipts from Freight would have been much greater, were we provided with Rolling Stock sufficient to move produce as rapidly as it could have been offered. To perform the service of the Road with ordinary facility and promptness, our Rolling Stock, both Locomotive Engines and Cars, should be at least double in amount. Unfortunately too, our Stock of Cars, consisting principally of Platform Cars, is not adapted to the transportation of Grain and other perishable Freights offered to the Road in amounts unexpectedly large. The consequence has been a constant overcrowding of our Station Houses and delays which worked the most serious inconvenience, both to shippers and to the Company. Frequent efforts were made to increase our Rolling Stock by purchasing additional Locomotive Engines and Cars, but it was not until December last that we succeeded in purchasing from the Central Rail Road Co., two Locomotive Engines at a cost of $13,000.00, and ten Box Cars at a cost of $1200.50 each, with the aid of which we have removed Grain and other Produce nearly if not quite as fast as it was offered. The Ware Houses at several of the Stations and at Thomasville, are filled with Cotton awaiting transportation, which we unfortunately have not the means of furnishing at present, our Rolling Stock being regularly and fully engaged in moving provisions and Government supplies.
   The business of the last season has been one of an unexpected character. Owing to the unfortunate condition of the country, an unusually large grain and provision Crop was planted throughout South West Georgia and Florida, a large portion of which, if not the entire disposable crop, has been forced to pass over this Road on account of the ports of Florida being closed. If you will but consider the disparity in the weight of Grain and Cotton, together with the inconvenience and labor of transporting the former, you will readily perceive the disadvantages under which we have labored. Rail Road Cars are estimated to carry but a given weight with safety, it matters not whether they are loaded with Grain, Cotton or other produce. Eight tons, or 16,000 lbs., is considered one full car load, and is all that a car is expected to carry with safety. Allowing then, that Grain is cultivated in the place of Cotton, and that one acre of ordinary good land will produce one half bale or 200 lbs. of cotton, the same land when planted in corn will produce twelve bushels or 672 lbs. of corn, about 250 lbs fodder and about 300 lbs. of peas, making 1,222 lbs. when planted in grain, against 200 lbs. when planted in Cotton. The grain weighing six times as much as the Cotton, requires a great deal more labor and a much larger number of cars to remove it, with the same dispatch with which Cotton could have been removed.
   The expenditures for the year have been $252,680.56 against $187,400.95, an increase of $65,279.61 or 34 5/6 per cent, over that of the year pervious. The excessive high price of all supplies necessary for the successful operation of the Road, many of which could not be had at any price, together with the increased wages of operatives, have swelled the expenditures to a much larger figure than it would have been under ordinary circumstances. It has also been deemed advisable to lay in a supply of provisions and such other indispensable articles of subsistence as could be secured. One year's supply of Shoes, Corn, Bacon, and other provisions have been purchased at reasonable prices -- also a large quantity of Lard to be manufactured into oil. It having been found exceedingly difficult to procure oil, I have deemed it expedient to establish an Oil Press and manufacture what oil we may require, so far at least, as the necessary material for so doing can be secured. The want of the necessary tools and machines for performing and expediting the work necessary for the construction of Cars, has become a source of serious inconvenience and has been much felt by this Company. With a view therefore of increasing the number of our Cars and offering additional facilities for their construction, a steam Machine Shop, containing Lathes, Planing Machine, Drill Press, Boring Machine, and a few other tools very useful in such work, has been purchased at Thomasville for the sum of $8000, and will be put in operation as soon as the necessary lumber required for Car building (which is now under contract) can be secured. Attached to the Machine Shop is a Grist Mill, also in running order.
   The Rolling Stock is not in as good condition as it was at my last report, owing to the scarcity of the necessary materials for repairing and renewing it. Eight Freight Cars, attached to an irregular train which was thrown from the track in November last, were destroyed or so badly injured as to render them unfit for repairs. An old negro man, acting in the capacity of Train Hand, was so seriously injured as to die from the effects shortly thereafter. The accident occurred on the trestle over Forrest Pond, about 49 miles west of Savannah, and was occasioned by the heating of one of the journals which burnt the track in two -- disarranging the running gear and throwing the car from the track. There have been several other accidents of a less serious nature.
   The Rolling Stock of the Road consists of
Thirteen Locomotive Engines
Eight First Class Passenger Coaches
Four Mail or Second Class Cars
Three Express Cars
Fifty Freight Box Cars
Eighty Three Freight Platform Cars
Ten Platform Stock Cars
Thirty Two Platform Repair Cars
Four Crank Cars
A total of 194 Cars
   Three of the First Class Passenger Coaches were built for Mail, Baggage, and Second Class Cars, and were originally used as such, until within a few months, when owing to the increased travel and the want of sufficient accommodation, it was deemed proper to convert them into regular Passenger Coaches, by removing the Mail and Baggage apartments and substituting seats in their places. It also became necessary on account of the large number of Live Stock that was offered for transportation, to convert several of the Platform Cars into Stock Cars. We propose increasing the number of Stock Cars still further preparatory to next fall's business. I am also in hope of being better prepared to remove the next crop, provided the necessary iron work and castings for building Cars can be secured. The lumber for forty Cars have been ordered, and the work will be commenced as soon as the lumber can be obtained. The shop recently purchased will be brought into service, and cars built and placed on the Road, as rapidly as the running gear can be secured. The Engines have been severely taxed and require over-hauling -- the tires of some are much worn and need renewing, but this cannot be done at present on account of the impossibility of procuring new tires. The Engines, however, with but few exceptions, have performed their trips regularly and successfully. Nevertheless we cannot with any safety rely upon our present Rolling Stock to perform the large business that will be offered so soon as the ports are opened. I would therefore respectfully recommend, that some steps be taken to procure Locomotive Engines from abroad, say ten or twelve, to be ready for shipment as soon as the blockade is raised. For further particulars, relative to the condition of the Engines and Cars you are referred to tables No. 8 and 9.
   9,205 Bales of Cotton have passed over the Road during the year. The number would have been much larger but for the causes above stated, viz: scarcity of Rolling Stock and such as we had being fully engaged removing provisions and Government produce. For the fuller detail of the principal articles transported over the Road you are respectfully referred to Table No. 6.
   The Road bed is in about the same condition as it was at my last Report. I then proposed and designed as soon as the necessary Rolling Stock could be spared, to ballast certain portions of the Track and widen the cuts and embankments -- work which is much needed -- but owing to the heavy pressure of business I have not been able to spare the Rolling Stock necessary for the prosecution of the work. The renewal of ties has been continued, though not to the extent I anticipated or desired, owning to certain Contractors failing to deliver their ties according to contract and the difficulty of making new contracts. 14,96 {transcribed as printed} Ties have been removed and replace by new ones, The Iron in many places is showing signs of lamination, and will need renewing ere long. Portions of the Track on the Western end of the Road is laid without chairs, and I would recommend that they be procured and placed in the Track as soon as possible. The Bridges are in far better condition than they were at my last Report. A large portion of those on the first Fifty miles West of Savannah have been rebuilt and are in good condition. Portions of the embankment over the great Ogeechee Swamp and Rice Fields continue to settle and will no doubt do so for some time, until it shall have forced its way through the swamp mud and found a clay or gravel foundation. The settling renders the Track uneven and unsightly in some places. It is however, closely watched, is perfectly safe by passing slowly over it, and is filled in whenever required. Some of the Bridges on the Western end of the Line have required overhauling and are now in very good order. The entire upper portion of the Great Ogeechee Trestle except the Draw Bridge has been rebuilt during the past year. That over the Little Ogeechee was renewed last year. Preparations are now being made to drive additional Piles and rebuild the lower portion and Draw Bridges of the two Ogeechees. During the year, portions of the Trestle Bridges over the Altamaha Swamp, Back Swamp, and Forest Pond, have been filled in. For further particulars relative to the work, you are referred to the Engineer's Report. I propose extending the Lattice over the Altamaha River, to the first abutment East of the River, about 100 feet. The contract has been let to Mr. A. Reppard. The Bridge is now framed, ready to be raised, and will be completed about the middle or latter part of July.
Yours, Very Respectfully,
G. J. Fulton
General Superintendent