|From the Southern Confederacy (Atlanta,
|February 8, 1862
|Memphis Correspondence of the Southern
|Memphis, Jan. 31
| Today, for the first time in
ten days, freight will be received for Atlanta and points beyond. One
o'clock is the hour advertised for opening the Depot, but by 5 o'clock
this morning, drays loaded to their utmost capacity, commenced forming
on the streets, and at this hour (10 A. M.) every passable avenue is
crowded, and for miles an unbroken string of drays presents itself.
| For several days, we have had
rainy weather, combined with snow and sleet. The Levee presents a most
lively scene. Notwithstanding the almost impossibility of shipping
from here, boat after boat arrives, laden to the guards with freight,
principally Sugar and Molasses. Every warehouse and available
store-room is filled with goods, awaiting shipment. Every vacant lot
is covered with Molasses exposed to the weather, and thousands of hhds
of Sugar with but a flimsy tarpaulin at best to protect them.
| The demands of the Government
upon the Memphis & Charleston Railroad occupy an average of
one-third their stock and power all the time, and frequently a
requisition from the "powers that be" uses all of it for
days together. With this immense demand upon them, you can readily
perceive, it is but a small portion of freight for each point that can
be moved. Every exertion is used by the officers of the Road, and
every possible accommodation extended in their power, but as you must
be aware, more freight is delivered by the boats than is
transported by the Roads. For the past six weeks, instead of decreasing
the amount of freight for shipment, it has increased. *****
| Many merchants bought goods
months ago, paid for them, and sold them to planters and farmers
"to arrive," and have re-invested the amount in goods again.
But where are the goods? Buried three or four tiers deep in some
warehouse, with scarce a hope of shipment. Their money, and their
customers' money safely locked up, and the goods, owing to this
changeable weather, in a very unenviable state. Everywhere is the
scene of leaking, barrel hoops bursting, heads out, staves broken, and
other equally consoling et ceteras.
| A visit to the warehouses and
other points where goods are lying, will be sufficient to discourage
almost any one. Prominent amongst the many marks, stands the freight
for Georgia. Every prominent station upon every Road, is fully
represented here, and more freight for Atlanta than any half dozen
others, Macon, Savannah, Augusta, Charleston and South Carolina
points, also stand in bold relief, and meet the eye at every turn.
Freights are piled upon each other until it almost seems as if the
lower tier would be crushed with the weight upon them, and still the
boats arrive and discharge their enormous loads. What is to be done?
| How are out merchants,
planters and all who have bought goods, that are stored here, to be
relieved? It is impossible, (with every facility and no demands from
Government, and no more freights brought by boats,) for the M. &
C. Railroad, to clear up this freight for months to come.
| There is but one way that
seems to present itself, which is this: Most of our Southern Roads are
not using more than two-thirds, or at most three-fourths of their
capacity. If they could send their surplus to this point, they
could relieve their own line of Road. The M. & C. Railroad is
willing to pay liberally for any accommodation or any help. Without
this is done, our citizens will sustain large losses by damage and
otherwise. The freight cannot be moved by any other means.