OR, Series 4, Vol. 2, Page 270

Richmond, Va., December 31, 1862
 
General S. Cooper
Adjutant and Inspector General
 
General,
  Having asked a conference of the presidents and superintendents of the railroads in the Confederate States on the 15th instant at Augusta, Ga., for the purpose of consultation as to Government transportation, I have the honor to report the result of that conference and of my subsequent action:
  Agreeably to my call there was a general attendance, and, after organizing, I read to the convention a letter (copy of which is hereto attached and marked A) setting forth as briefly as possible the object to be accomplished and expressing a desire on my part to do all that I could to aid the roads. Whereupon the convention appointed three committees, one to confer with me and report business for the convention; one to take into consideration a tariff of charges for Government transportation, and one to report a schedule to be run between Richmond, Va., and Montgomery, Ala. The committee appointed to confer with me had under consideration a plan or system to be adopted by which to carry on Government transportation. This committee was unable to agree and so reported to the convention, but submitted a plan which had been suggested by a part of the committee, and which I believed would work satisfactorily. In the report of the convention this plan appears as having been proposed by me, whereas it was, as I have said, suggested by a part of the committee; but as they could not agree and did not submit a majority and minority report this method was taken to bring some plan before the convention. Upon this plan some debate was had, and when it was put to vote it was rejected, as will be seen by the report of the convention (which is hereto attached and marked B). Having rejected this plan, a resolution was introduced expressing an earnest desire to co-operate with me in carrying on Government transportation, but failing to agree upon any definite plan of action I regarded the resolution as of no value beyond the expression of the good wishes of the convention. The committee to whom was referred tariff of charges for Government transportation made a report proposing a very considerable advance upon the present rate. While it was under consideration I said to the convention that I had hoped the tariff of charges would not have been disturbed for the present; that while there were roads that ought to receive a larger compensation than at present, there were, I was satisfied, others that were fully remunerated by the present rates; that I did not think a uniform rate just, but I should require more time than I then had to enter into any consideration and agreement for a change, and that I should feel bound to report against the tariff of charges then proposed; yet, upon the report of this committee being put to vote, it was, with some modification, adopted by the convention. In my judgment this tariff is not equitable with any classification of the railroads that can be made, and I respectfully submit whether or not the action of the convention in this particular shall be ratified.
  The committee to whom was referred a schedule between Richmond, Va., and Montgomery, Ala., failed to arrive at anything satisfactory. Having in my judgment failed to accomplish anything practicable by the action of the convention, I addressed a circular to the presidents of the railroads in the country (copy of which is hereto attached and marked C), asking that the superintendent of each road be allowed to act as my assistant in conducting Government transportation and indicating his duties in so doing. To this circular I hope for a favorable response, and I trust a system may be built up from it which will result satisfactorily.
  Having thus stated the action of the convention of the presidents and superintendents of railroads and what I have done to organize a system of Government transportation, it may be proper for me to give some idea of the origin of the difficulties and detentions of the transportation of Government freights, which it is proposed to obviate by my appointment. Amongst the first and most important is the disregard many army officers have for the private property of railroad companies; as, for instance, ordering rolling-stock from one road to another without making any effort or provision for returning it, or even without examining into the safety of the cars to run. Impressing cars and engines has been a common occurrence, and to such an extent has the ordinary routine of employees been interfered with that they cease to feel a proper interest in conducting a business which invests them with no responsibility so long as quartermasters are exercising a quasi control of the road and its stock. This involves the Government in much additional expense and causes the demoralization of railroad employees. At some depots where ordinarily the railroad companies would transship freight at their own expense, quartermasters feeling that some extra vigor is necessary in times of such delay, will employ labor at Government expense to do the transshipping or loading which should properly be done by the railroad companies. This plan having once been started must continue so long as there is any interference with freights after the Government agents turn it over to the railroads. The railroad employees are much more competent to perform all the duties pertaining to the safe and rapid transportation of freights than any one not conversant with the very many details connected therewith, but they can only remain efficient so long as they are held to an entire and strict responsibility.
  In regard to these difficulties I would suggest that they might be reached and remedied by a general order, the details of which I will furnish if my views are carried out. As of still greater importance than the foregoing difficulties I would ask attention to the actual condition of the rolling-stock and machinery now in use, and the scarcity of men to operate the roads and repair the machinery. Many of the roads had scarcely enough of anything at the beginning of our troubles for more than ordinary repairs, and the wealthiest and most provident companies are beginning to feel severely the want of all kinds of supplies. To some extent the Government can give them relief by permitting the iron foundries and rolling-mills now engaged wholly on Government works to furnish them with the necessary materials, and by permitting the detail of men already enlisted or exempting from conscription of such men as are necessary for the safe conduct of the railroads of the country. There is not a railroad in the country which has an efficient force today, and the power vested in the enrolling officer is seriously diminishing even the small number of men left to perform duties upon roads, the success of which is of the first importance to the Confederacy. These difficulties must be remedied or the roads will very soon be quite unable to meet the requirements of Government, and the election must now be made between letting them go down or rendering them the necessary assistance for successful operation.
Trusting that these hasty observations and suggestions will meet with approbation,
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant
Wm. M. Wadley
Assistant Adjutant-General
 
[First indorsement]
January 1, 1863
Respectfully submitted to Secretary of War.
S. Cooper
Adjutant and Inspector General
 
[Second indorsement]
  Examined. Colonel Wadley's views on the proposed tariff of prices approved. Oral instructions given as to further negotiations and arrangements with the roads.
J. A. S.
Secretary
 

A.

Augusta, December 15, 1862
Presidents and Superintendents of Railroads in the Confederate States
 
  Gentlemen: I have asked a conference with you for the purpose of taking into consideration the difficulties that now exist in Government transportation, and as far as practicable to remedy any defect that may be found in the present plan upon which it is transacted. Safety and dispatch are the ends desired. To accomplish these ends it is necessary to arrange schedules so as to enable your trains to connect with as little delay as possible, and to have a mutual understanding and agreement for the delivery and receipt of freight between connecting roads. In this connection I desire to avoid sending messengers with freight. I do not know the nature or extent of the difficulties that have been experienced, and therefore I cannot suggest a remedy, but I presume the want of rolling-stock by some roads, while that of others has been scattered over distant lines leaving the owners without sufficient to transact their business, is among them. As a partial remedy to the roads in want of rolling-stock, I propose to part with all that is owned by Government, and I desire the roads having a superabundance to supply (as far as practicable) those that are deficient. I do not suppose there is enough to supply all, yet a fair distribution will very much relieve the wants of the country, and I trust that those more fortunate than their neighbors will promptly come to their relief in this time of need. To prevent cars from being scattered I think that an arrangement should be entered into in reference to interchange between roads, and when once determined on let it be rigidly enforced. In providing for transshipment it may be desirable that exceptions should be made for heavy ordnance. I requested the Quartermaster-General to have his bureau represented at your meeting in order to meet any questions that may arise in reference to evidence of transportation or of auditing your accounts, and to represent this department allow me to introduce to you Major Wood and Captain Smith, of the Quartermaster's Department. If there are other matters in reference to Government transportation upon which it is desirable to have an understanding, or if there is anything I can do as the agent of the Government to facilitate transportation, I shall be very willing to cooperate with you. With this brief statement of my object in calling you together, I trust that you will unite in trying to accomplish the desired object. With your cordial cooperation I am sure all difficulties will vanish, and without that co-operation I am equally certain that my appointment will be of no avail. In conclusion let me beg that you will take sufficient time to mature whatever we undertake to do. I desire all possible dispatch, but from my past experience in meetings of this character I am satisfied that there is too much haste in bringing them to a close.
I am, gentlemen, very respectfully, your obedient servant
Wm. M. Wadley
Assistant Adjutant-General
 

B.

Augusta, December 15, 1862
 
  Pursuant to a call from Col. William M. Wadley, assistant adjutant-general, the convention of railroad officers met in the Masonic Hall at 10 a.m. On motion of Mr. Pollard, Mr. Cuyler, president of the Georgia Central Railroad, was called to the chair, and Alfred L. Tyler and William L. Clark were appointed as secretaries. The meeting having been organized, the following roads were found to be represented:
Alabama and Florida Railroad of Alabama, C. T. Pollard, president, S. G. Jones, superintendent; 

Alabama and Mississippi Rivers road, W. S. Knox, secretary and treasurer; 

Alabama and Tennessee, T. A. Walker, president, William Rothrock, superintendent and engineer; 

Alabama Shelby Coal Mine Branch, William Rothrock, superintendent and engineer; 

Atlanta and West Point, John P. King, president, George G. Hull, superintendent; 

Georgia Central and branches, R. R. Cuyler, president, G. W. Adams, superintendent; 

Charleston and Savannah, B. D. Hasell, president; 

East Tennessee and Georgia, C. Wallace, president; 

East Tennessee and Virginia, J. R. Branner, president; 

Rogersville and Jefferson, R. C. Payne, president; 

Florida, Atlantic and Gulf, S. L. Niblack, president and superintendent; 

Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac, Charles Ellis; 

Virginia Central, Charles Ellis; 

Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, R. L. Owen, president; 

Vicksburg, Shreveport and Texas, J. U. Horne, president; 

Brunswick and Florida, C. L. Schlatter, president; 

Western and Atlantic, by letter from J. S. Rowland, superintendent; 

Montgomery and West Point, C. T. Pollard, president, D. H. Cram, superintendent; 

Wilmington and Manchester, T. D. Walker, president; 

Wilmington and Weldon, S. D. Wallace, president, S. L. Fremont, superintendent; 

Mobile and Girard Railroad, B. E. Wells, engineer and superintendent; 

Mobile and Ohio, L. J. Fleming, superintendent; 

Nashville and Chattanooga and branches, V. K. Stevenson, president; 

Nashville and Northwestern, V. K. Stevenson, president; 

New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern; 

North Carolina Central, by letter from T. J. Sumner, superintendent; 

Muscogee Railroad, J. L. Musttan, president, W. L. Clark, superintendent; 

Macon and Western Railroad, Isaac Scott, president, A. L. Tyler, superintendent; 

Southwestern, R. R. Cuyler, president, Virgil Powers, superintendent; 

Orange and Alexandria, R. L. Owen; 

Richmond and Petersburg, Charles Ellis, president; 

Petersburg Railroad, C. O. Sanford, superintendent; 

Savannah, Albany and Gulf, Hiram Roberts, president, G. I. Fulton, superintendent; 

Raleigh and Gaston, W. J. Hawkins, president; 

Charlotte and South Carolina, E. Hurlbut, superintendent; 

Georgia Railroad and branches, John P. King, president, George Yonge, superintendent; 

Atlantic, Tennessee and Ohio, E. Hurlbut, superintendent; 

South Side Railroad, H. D. Bird, superintendent; 

Richmond and Danville, C. G. Talcott, superintendent; 

Southern Railroad, by letter from M. Emanuel, vice-president; 

Northeastern, S. S. Solomons, superintendent; 

Cheraw and Darlington, S. S. Solomons, superintendent.

  The chairman then proceeded to read Order No. 98, from the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, stating what powers the Government had delegated to Colonel Wadley, after which the latter proceeded in the following letter to explain his reasons for calling the meeting.
  On motion of Mr. Pollard the chair appointed a committee of eight, including the chairman of the convention, to take into consideration the matters represented by Colonel Wadley and to report at 3 p.m. The following-named gentlemen composed that committee: Pollard, King, Owen, Ellis, C. Wallace, Stevenson, Fleming, Cuyler.
  On motion of Mr. Fremont a committee of five was appointed to arrange rates of transportation for "men and things." The chair appointed Fremont, Adams, Yonge, Scott, Horne.
  On motion of Mr. Sanford a committee of eight was appointed to consult with Mr. Offutt, of the Post-Office Department, and arrange schedules for the Southern route. The chair appointed Messrs. Sanford, Ellis, Fremont, Walker, Yonge, Hull, Crain, Jones.
  The meeting then adjourned till 3 p.m., at which time it met and was called to order by the chairman, when it was found the committee was not ready to report, and was further adjourned till 10 a.m. next day.
*****
Tuesday, December 16, 1862
  The convention met at 10 a.m. and was called to order by the chairman. The minutes of yesterday were read and confirmed. The committee on transportation made a report, which, on motion of Mr. Pollard, was referred back for amendments. The committee to take into consideration the matter reported by Colonel Wadley offered the following:
  The committee to which was referred a resolution to confer with Colonel Wadley, chief of Government transportation, and to procure for the consideration of the convention such matters as will enable the railroad companies to meet the views of the Government, respectfully report that they have been unable to agree. They submit to the convention the following plans proposed by Colonel Wadley, upon which he believes he can carry out satisfactorily the duties which devolve upon him as chief of Government transportation.
C. T. Pollard
Chairman
 

Plan Proposed by Colonel Wadley

  I would suggest for the consideration of the committee that harmonious and efficient action in relation to the public transportation can be secured upon a plan of this character:
  First. My appointment of the several railroad superintendents as my assistants in the performance of my duties, without compensation; these assistants to observe the direction and carry out my views as chief manager of transportation, and to make reports to me at such times, and from time to time, as I may direct.
  Second. The several railroad companies to allow the passage of their cars over adjoining roads, and for such distances and terms as to repairs and safe and speedy return, and upon such compensation and method of payment as I may prescribe. It is contemplated, by a regular system of reports from the assistants, to keep me at all times advised in relation to the situation and condition of the cars permitted to go on adjoining roads, so as to secure me their quick return in good repair to the roads to which they belong.
  Third. In cases of necessity such railroad companies as may have it in their power to do so to allow, at my request, their locomotive engines to pass over adjoining roads in charge of the enginemen belonging to them, to be assisted by competent enginemen of the road receiving aid, and under such regulations as to rate of speed and tonnage hauled as I may prescribe, or such as the assistants belonging to the companies aiding and aided may be agreed on. The rate of compensation to be fixed by me.
  Fourth. The Government, through its proper agents, to furnish to the several railroad companies all such railroad supplies, including subsistence for their negroes engaged in the repairs of road, as the Government may be enabled to furnish, at such cost, to be paid promptly in cash, as I may prescribe.
  Fifth. The Government to be at the expense of returning to the several companies such of their engines, cars, etc., as were ordered from the railroads owning them by the Government, and this return to be made as soon as it can be safely done under my direction.
  Sixth. The Government to aid in the construction of such railroad connections between roads as I may consider and report to be necessary.
  Seventh. Demands for Government transportation to be made upon me, or any of my assistants, by any commanding officer authorized to make it, and where delays are occasioned by the act of such officer due compensation to be determined by me to be made to the company delayed.
  Eighth. The appointment by me at Government expense of agents to superintend the carriage of goods or troops over such breaks as may exist at the termini of railroads.
  Ninth. Such companies as may have more engines or cars than necessary for their business to sell the same to companies wanting aid, at prices to be agreed upon.
 
Mr. Pollard offered the following resolution:
  Resolved, That the railroad companies represented in this convention concur in the plan suggested by Colonel Wadley, chief of Government transportation, and adopt it.
 
  Mr. Stevenson offered the following substitute, which, on motion, was adopted by a vote of twenty-five ayes to eight nays:
  Resolved, That the convention of railroad officers now holding take this means of acknowledging their approval of the appointment of Colonel Wadley by the Government to take the direction of Government transportation; and the railroads cheerfully pledge to the Government their assistance and co-operation with Colonel Wadley in carrying out the wishes of the Government and in perfecting the connection of roads and quick transfer of freights and passengers from road to road.
 
  Mr. Owen offered the following resolution, which was adopted:
  Resolved, That in view of the existing necessity of some agent for the Government upon each line of railroad, the superintendent of each road be requested to offer his services to Colonel Wadley, assistant adjutant-general, and assist him in carrying out his views and make such reports to him as may be deemed necessary to him.
 
  The committee on transportation submitted the following amended report, which, on motion, was adopted:
 

Report

In view of the greatly enhanced value of every article entering into the consumption of railroad companies, and as railroad companies have been forced to increase their charges for the transportation of freight and passengers in their general business, your committee can see no reason or justice for retaining the present rates for carrying for the Government. We therefore submit the following tariff of charges: For troops--To be 2 cents per man per mile on main or thoroughfare lines, and on side or local lines, 3 cents per mile. All soldiers on furlough to be charged at the foregoing rates. Commissioned officers or Government agents traveling with or without requisitions shall be charged full fare. The roads to be classed by Colonel Wadley, chief of Government transportation. On things--First class, percussion-caps, powder, and fixed ammunition, 60 cents per 100 pounds per 100 miles. Second class, all articles not enumerated in the first, third, fourth, and fifth classes, 80 cents per 100 pounds per 100 miles. Third class, live stock, $30 per car per 100 miles; less than a carload local rates will be charged. Fourth class, hay, fodder, shucks, bran, straw, empty wagons, ambulances, and other Government carriages, $20 per carload per 100 miles. Fifth class, wood, coal, lumber, stone, and bricks to be carried by special contract, or at local rates of each road. For all distances less than 50 miles, to be paid as 50 miles, and for 50 miles and less than 100 miles, to be paid as 100 miles. Extra or special trains ordered by proper authority, to be paid for at the rate of $1 per mile for the locomotive and one car, and for every additional car 10 cents per mile for freight and 15 cents per mile for passenger cars. When an officer having proper authority orders a train to be held in readiness for transportation of troops, the proper charge for the locomotive shall be $25 per day and $3 per day for each car, including the services of conductor, engineer, train hands, and firemen while so held, and no charge to be less than for one day. When trains of one road pass over another carrying troops or freight of any kind, the road owning the train shall receive as full compensation for such trains one-eighth of its earnings, to be paid by the road owning the track passed over. For the transportation of the bodies of soldiers killed in battle or that die in service each road shall adopt its own rules and rates of charge. The Government should in all cases state by what train, freight or passenger, the transportation is to be performed, and when it is by passenger train 50 per cent. additional to the foregoing rates shall be charged. It is the decided and unanimous opinion of the committee that all Government trains should be discontinued at once and the machinery turned over to the roads most  in need of it, to be determined by Colonel Wadley, chief of Government transportation. The committee recommend the rates fixed in this report be not applied to roads west of the Mississippi River. The committee submit the following resolutions and recommend their adoption:
  1. Resolved, That the foregoing rates of transportation of men and things and the rules of charges set forth in this report be, and the same are hereby, adopted, to take effect on the 1st day of January next.
  2. Resolved, That this convention are of opinion that the amount due each railroad company for transportation of men and things should be settled monthly by the quartermaster nearest the principal office of the company within fifteen days after the close of the month.
Respectfully submitted.
S. L. Fremont
 
By Mr. Adams:
  Resolved, That Colonel Wadley be earnestly requested to have all the cars seized and removed from the various roads by Government officers returned at the earliest practicable moment to the roads to whom they belong.
Passed.
 
By Mr. S. L. Niblack:
  Resolved, That the roads in the State of Florida are excepted from the report of the committee on transportation as adopted by the convention.
Passed.
 
By Mr. Pollard:
  Resolved, That such roads as have been or may be in the possession of the enemy, or partially destroyed, be excepted from the report of the committee regulating the rates of transportation.
Passed.
 
By Mr. Fleming:
  Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed by the chairman to confer with the Postmaster-General and to petition Congress for an increase of compensation for the transportation of the mall, and the passage of a law for the more equitable adjustment of fines and forfeitures for failures to perform the same.
Passed, and the chair appointed Fleming, Sanford, Stevenson, Ellis, and Owen.
 
  The committee on schedules not being ready to report, were relieved from further duty.
 
By Mr. Adams:
  Resolved, That the secretaries have a sufficient number of copies of the proceedings of the convention printed and send ten copies to each road represented, by express, with bill of proportionate expense of printing.
Passed.
 
The meeting adjourned sine die.
 

C.

Augusta, Ga., December 17, 1862
 
To --- ---,
    --- ---:
 
  Dear Sir: Having failed at the recent meeting of presidents and superintendents of railroads in the Confederate States to agree upon definite plan for carrying on Government transportation over the several railroads of the country, and deeming it of the first importance that some system should be agreed upon by which all will act in harmony, I respectfully submit and ask your concurrence and agreement to the following:
  Your superintendent to act as my assistant, without compensation, in conducting Government transportation over your road, it being his duty to receive from commanding and authorized officers orders for transportation, and to order and conduct such transportation to destination or to a connecting road, as the case may be; to receive from and deliver to connecting roads all freight from or destined to connecting lines; to report to me at least once a week the general condition and state of Government transportation and conduct of Government agents on his road, and in the event of any accident or stoppage of Government freight or troops to make special report of the same by telegraph; in the event of any unusual amount of freight or troops to be transported, to be reported by telegraph or letter to the superintendent of the road over which the same may have to pass in order that he may be prepared for the same; to make immediately a full and accurate report of the amount and condition of his rolling-stock and the general condition and wants of his road, and in the event of any change in his rolling-stock or road to report the same. My object in obtaining the information in reference to the rolling-stock, condition, and wants of the several roads in the country is to enable me to aid those in want so far as may be in the power of the Government to supply. If you agree to this plan of carrying on Government transportation you will please notify me at Richmond, Va., and instruct your superintendent to enter upon the discharge of his duties in accordance with it immediately. On the other hand, if you object to the plan, or to your superintendent acting as my assistant, be pleased to notify me, in order that I may provide some other manner of superintending and conducting Government transportation over your road.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant
Wm. M. Wadley
Assistant Adjutant-General

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