AR, M&O 4/1/1866 CE

Annual Report of the Mobile & Ohio RR
as of April 1, 1866,
Chief Engineer's Report
Office Mobile & Ohio Railroad Company
Mobile, April 8, 1866
Hon. Milton Brown
President of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad Company
   I have the honor to submit the following report of this department for the current years 1864 and 1865:
   The earnings were:


From passengers $1,548,870.03
From freight 2,013,794.25
From express 72,678.82
From mails 39,155.89
     Making a total of $3,674,498.99
   And the expenses:
For repairs of road 637,195.25
For repairs of machinery 471,810.45
For conducting transportation 1,172,590.68
     Making a total of 2,281,596.38
     And leaving a net revenue of 1,392,902.61
   The earnings from January 1, 1864 {should be 1865} to May 1, 1865, when confederate money ceased to be current, were:
From passengers $224,966.74
From freight 279,506.31
Unpaid Confederate States transportation, including mails 668,391.11
Express 10,356.26
     Making a total of 1,183,220.42
   And the expenses:
For repairs of road 315,813.10
For repairs to machinery 200,615.55
For conducting transportation 390,254.19
     Making a total of 906,683.84
     And leaving a net revenue of 276,536.58
   In addition to the foregoing amount, there were unadjusted claims between September 1, 1864, and May 30, 1865, which would have been paid if the confederate government had succeeded, amounting to $2,615,811.82.
   It will be recollected that the last rail was laid on the 22d of April, 1861, and that the federal forces arrived at and occupied Cairo on the same day. From that date trains were run regularly through, and the through business would no doubt have been large, but the embarrassment resulting from the examination of passengers' baggage and freight for contraband articles gradually reduced it, until it was entirely stopped by the occupation of Columbus by the confederate forces. From that time to the close of the war the road was virtually operated under the direction of the confederate authorities. The destruction which necessarily resulted to the rolling stock and roadway from the contending armies and repeated raids, and from the natural wear and tear, accelerated by the impossibility of obtaining the materials and supplies necessary for repairs, may be stated as follows:
  January 1, 1860 {probably 1861} May 1, 1865
Locomotives in running order 59 15
Locomotives under repairs 8 4
Locomotives out of order but good -- 38
Locomotives exploded and condemned 1 8
Passenger cars in running order 26 11
Passenger cars under repairs 1 7
Baggage cars in running order 11 3
Baggage cars under repairs -- 2
Freight cars in running order 721 231
Freight cars under repairs 62 88
   The stock designated as in running order on the 1st May would not have been used before the war, but th pressure of business forced its use, notwithstanding its bad condition.
   The damage to the roadway consisted in the destruction and decay of the bridges, trestle-work, and cross-ties from Okolona to Union City, a distance of 184 miles; the burning of nineteen warehouses and station buildings, the destruction of the tools and stationary engine in the Whistler repair shops at the evacuation of Mobile, and the wearing out and burning of about 37 miles of rails. In addition to this there were 21 miles of rails burnt by General Sherman's raid in February, 1864, besides the destruction of the warehouses, water stations, bridges, and trestle-work in 48 miles of road, the details of which, together with the short time in which it was repaired, were given in the last annual report of this department.
   At the close of the war the road was in fair running condition to Okolona, 261 miles, and passable for trains to Corinth, but there were only 15 locomotives, 231 freight, and 11 passenger cars to operate it; and the tools of the only repair shops for keeping the rolling stock in order were unfit for use. *****
   ***** All of the freight cars on the road before the war were constructed at the company's shops, of the best material and workmanship, and were not only better adapted to the business, but less liable to run off the track; *****
Roadway -- As far as practicable during the war, no expense was spared to maintain the road in the best condition; but during 1864, it was impossible to obtain the necessary labor, and the imperative demands for rolling stock for government transportation were so great, that the gravel trains necessary for drainage could not be applied to that purpose. ***** 
Repair shops -- Before the war, I called attention to the necessity of erecting repair shops at some point, as near as practicable, equidistant from those at Whistler and Jackson, Tennessee; but heavy liabilities had been incurred for new rolling stock, which, it was believed, could be run without greatly increased cost for a year or more, when the company's financial embarrassments would probably be relieved, and they could then be erected. The war came on soon after and made it impossible to obtain the necessary tools for shops, and nothing was done. *****
   The war has been disastrous upon the railroads in the southern States as upon any other interest. Some of them, as in Georgia, had been constructed at small cost, for cash stock subscriptions, were free from debt, and had been in operation long enough to be well stocked and with ample supplies for repairs. Others, as in the Carolinas and Virginia, had been aided by those States to the extent of one-half or two-thirds of their cost, and the larger part of their obligations were accessible and paid during the war. In these cases the stockholders lost their dividends, but the floating debts and interest on the securities were paid out of the earnings, and the only material damage was from natural wear and tear of rolling stock and roadway. Where, however, railroads were just completed, with a heavy bonded and floating debts, the larger part of which was held beyond the Confederate States and could not be paid during the war, the accumulated indebtedness for interest will bear heavily upon their prostrate condition for some years.
Very respectfully,
L. J. Fleming
Chief Engineer and General Superintendent