NP, RD 2/8/1862

From the Richmond Dispatch
February 8, 1862
The Convention of Railroad officers
   This Convention, having for its object the adoption of measures to secure a supply of material for the railroads of the South, assembled at the Council Chamber in this city on Wednesday last, and adjourned yesterday, after having accomplished its object, so far as it was possible, in a satisfactory manner.
   Mr. Goodman, of the Mississippi Central, was President of the meeting, and Mr. Chas. G. Talcott, of the Richmond & Danville, Secretary.
   The following railroads were represented in the Convention, in most instances by their Presidents:
Memphis & Charleston
Virginia Central
Southside Railroad
Petersburg Railroad
Richmond & Petersburg
Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac
Virginia & Tennessee
{Richmond &} York River
Wilmington & Weldon
Orange & Alexandria
Richmond & Danville
Mississippi Central
Southern of Mississippi
Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville
Washington County, Texas
Western North Carolina
Greenville & Columbia
Manassas Gap
   There were in attendance, besides, a number of Superintendents and other railroad officers.
   The plan adopted by the Convention to carry out the purposes of the Convention, is in substance as follows: It divides the railroads in the Confederate States into four districts, on the assumption that it would be impossible for such a vast number of interests to work together advantageously. The railroads in Virginia constitute one division; those East of the Savannah river, and South of Weldon another; those South of Knoxville, East of Tombigbee, and West of the Savannah river another; and those West of Chattanooga and the Tombigbee, East of the Mississippi river, and South of Kentucky, another.
   A Central Rolling Mill is to be located in each division, with such machine shops and foundries as may be necessary; the capital requisite to put these works in operation to be subscribed and paid by the roads belonging to the respective divisions. The affairs of the rolling mills are to be managed by a Board of Directors in each division, consisting of the Presidents of the roads, and they are to locate the mills to the best advantage of the roads concerned to fix the price of material and transportation to select and appoint a General Superintendent for the works, and fix the capital necessary to carry out the and the manner of paying in the same. Each road and interest to furnish all the old material they can spare
   The second part of the plan is in substance as follows: In the event that the roads constituting either division should fall or decline to establish mills as above provided, the roads are pledged, if it shall be found necessary, to make advances to individuals or associations who will undertake to establish the same, to the extent and upon the fasts hereinafter stated: That any person or association who may establish and put in operation, within eight months of the 1st of January, 1862, a manufactory of railroad supplies which shall be approved by the companies, they will contract to purchase of them annually, during the present war and for a term of three years from the close of the war, such supplies as they shall manufacture, to the extent of the requirements of the several companies, for repairs, consumption, and equipment, for the period named, at a price not greater during the continuance of the war than fifty per cent. upon the rates current for articles of like quality on the 1st of July, 1860, and after the close of the war an advance of not more than thirty per cent. upon the actual cost of transportation of similar articles at the time of purchase, exclusive of import duties. In addition, the companies agree to make loans at six per cent. interest to individuals who establish such manufactories as may be approved of, to an extent not less than fifty nor more than seventy-five per cent. per mile of each of said roads, for a term not to exceed three years. The amount loaned to each individual to be determined by the roads, but not to exceed in the aggregate the above limitation. Manufactories so established to give the preference to roads who have loaned their capital.
   The Presidents of companies in the Convention pledge themselves to call together their Boards, and secure action upon the foregoing plan. at an early day.
   Several resolutions were adopted by the Convention, of which the following is the most important:
   Resolved, That in the opinion of this meeting it is of great importance to the defence of the Confederacy that every facility should be extended to the development of the mineral wealth of the Confederate States; and as a large proportion of this wealth is now owned by alien enemies, an earnest application be made to the Confederate Congress to pass a law confiscating and selling the interests in the property so owned by alien enemies in the various mines of minerals, which will enable Southern operators to work the same.