Circular to the Bondholders and Creditors of the Southern Railroad Company, of the State of Mississippi

This September 11, 1865 circular reports on the condition and financial status of the Southern Railroad Company after the Civil War.

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State of Mississippi,
SEPTEMBER 11, 1865.
E. C. Markley & Son, Printers, Goldsmiths Hall, Libaray Street, Philadelphia.

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To the Bondholders and Creditors
of the Southern R. R. Co.

The Southern Railroad Company has suffered seriously in its interests, by the four years of bloody civil war that has just closed, and as the President of the Company, I have been instructed by the Board of Managers to see our creditors, and lay before them a full and frank exhibit of the condition of the road, and the financial affairs of the Company.

We met our obligations with satisfactory punctuality up to the first of January, 1861, and until the ever memorable civil war became inevitable our prospects were growing brighter and brighter.

The Southern Railroad is 140 miles long, starting from Vicksburg, on the Mississippi river, and running to Meridian on an east and west line, there it connects with the Selma and Meridian Railroad, with the Moblie and Ohio Railroad, and also with the North-east and South-west Alabama Railroad, which, when completed, will connect Meridian with Chattanooga by the shortest practicable line. The Southern Railroad intersects the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad at Jackson, Mississippi, the capital of the State, distant 45 miles from Vicksburg. Its important western connection is through the

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Vicksburg, Shreveport and Texas Railroad, which starts from the west bank of the Mississippi river, opposite to Vicksburg, running on an east and west line to Shreveport, on the Red River, and thence to Marshall, in Texas, but for the war this latter road would now have been completed, and in full operation, affording to all parts of Texas a railway communication in connection with the Southern Railroad, with every part of the United States, thereby constituting the Southern Railroad, by its location and important eastern and western connections, a first class railroad in every sense of the term, and it is a reasonable conclusion, that no road of its length in the South, is capable of being made more lucrative than it will be, when its eastern connections with Montgomery and Chattanooga, and its western connection with Texas, are completed.

A glance at the map will show, that between Memphis and the Gulf there is no other railroad running East from the Mississippi River, and it is hardly possible that a competing line will ever be built, and, therefore the Southern Railroad must ever be one of the main links in the great National Chain of Railway, passing through the Southern States and Texas, on the 32d parallel of Latitude, to California.

In substantiation of these favorable anticipations and predictions, I will exhibit a letter which I recently had the honor of receiving, with the kind of permissions of the distinguished writers to use it as I thought proper, premising that these gentlemen were recently selected by the War and P. O. Department to make a personal examination into the condition of the Southern Railroads in reference to their availabitlity for army and postal transportation; and within the last few weeks Maj. Gen'l D. Webster, and E. G. Barney, Esq., (the gentlemen selected by the government to performthat service) having passed over and investigated the ocndition and connections of the Southern Railroad, their statements may be considered disinterested, from the highest authority, and entitled to the fullest confidence. (See Appendix A.)

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The entire construction of the Southern Railroad, for 140 miles, was not completed until June 1861, and for nine months previous to that date, the trains ran no farther east than Newton Station, 109 miles from Vicksburg, notwithstanding the hindrances to business and the difficulties incident to the active work of construction then going on, and for three-fourths of the year the trains not approaching within 30 miles of the eastern terminus, yet the earnings for the year ending August 31, 1861, were $301,611 77.

The gross earnings for the year ending1862,$653,418 38
" " " "1863,$1,637,300 51

These earnings were, of course, in Confederate Currency, except those of 1860, and only serviceable in enabling the company to keep the road and rolling stock in the best condition which such means would permit, and the statement is made not to show how much money we made, but the heavy amount of transportation the road could perform.

In the annual report of 1861, made to the Stockholders by Mr. Smedes, the then President, he stated the indebtedness of the Company on the 1st September, 1861, to be $2,443,357 19.

In my report to the Stockholders up to March 1st, 1865, I make the following statement in relation to the indebtedness of the Company:

"The indebtedness of the Company, exclusive of interest, has not been materially lessened since first September, 1861. Mr. Smedes stated the debt at that date to be $2,443,357 19." It has been reduced by the following payments:

Income Bonds,$104,105 00
Bills Payable,102,636 03
Contractors' Bonds,1,505 61
3 per cent. fund paid State of Mississippi,20,949 07
Brown & Johnson,40,010 86
$269,206 57

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It has been increased by the insurance of the Company's small
notes, to circulate as money, authorized by the Acts of the
Legislature in 1861 and 1862,
$145,175 70
Less amount cancelled,13,880 65
$132,295 05

Altogether reducing the principal of the debt $136,912 42; but with $482,000, the interest added, which has accrued since the beginning of the war, it will make a total increase of $345,087 58, principal and interest.

The present state of indebtedness of Southern Railroad Company is as follows:

Bonds for the purchase of Vicksburg and Jackson
$1,350,000 00
Income Bonds,509,077 56
Bills Payable,174,137 11
Bonds to Contractors,128,786 96
Amount individual debt,12,144 09
Notes issued to circulate as money, outstanding,132,295 05
To which add interest on bonds due and unpaid,482,000 00
Total,$2,788,440 77

By a later statement of the Secretary of the Company, made up to July 1st, 1865, the liabilities of the Company, including principal and interest, are stated as follows:

Total debt with interest, calculated up to July 1st, 1865.—
Bonds, favor Girard Bank,$200,000 00
Interest,48,000 00
248,000 00
Bonds to Trustees to U. S. Bank,850,000 00
Interest,204,000 00
1,054,000 00
Stockholders' Bonds,289,500 00
Interest,68,280 00
357,780 00
Amounts carried forward,$1,659,780 00

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Amounts brought forward,$1,659,780 00
Income Bonds,285,895 00
Interest,89,000 00
374,895 00
Sterling Income Bonds,250,000 00
Interest,125,000 00
375,000 00
Contractors' Bonds,128,786 96
Interest,19,438 88
148,225 84
Bills Payable,172,780 93
Interest,45,000 00
217,780 93
Notes issued as money,130,000 00
Amount due Robt. McDonnell,12,144 09
Interest,4,371 84
16,515 93
$2,922,197 70
Principal,$2,319,106 98
Interest,603,090 72

Of this sum, $1,975,054 33, including principal and interest, was over-due July 1st, 1865,—the remainder of the debt is yet to mature.

It will be seen that the entire debt of the Company, principal and interest, on July 1st, 1865, amounted to $2,922,197 70, of which $2,319,106 98 is principal, and $603,090 72 interest.

At the close of the war, the Company had increased its liabilities between the first of September, 1861, and the first of July, 1865, from $2,443,357 to $2,922,197 70, a difference of $478,840 70, which is made up altogether of arrears [sic] of interest. Under these adverse circumstances, I appeal to your sense of justice and magnanimity, for a liberal extension of the heavy debt, with

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which we have been burdened by the war, and now find ourselves utterly unable to pay, and to ask from you the adoption of some reasonable arrangement which, while it will secure to the creditors a full payment of all their claims, will enable the Stockholders to save something from the wreck of their property, for the families of those who invested their means and devoted their time and energies in the construction of the road, and who are now dependent on its welfare for a future support. It may not be proper in this connection to state, that nine out of ten of the Board of Managers of the Southern Railroad Company, sustained by the counsel and advice of its late and lamented President, William C. Smedes, opposed zealously the unwise and reckless policy of the Disunion party, and the secession of the State of Mississippi.

After the struggle began, we, in common with the whole people of the South, reluctantly acquiesced in the action of the States in rebellion, and rendered obedience to the laws established by the Confederate Government.

During the pendancy of the war, notwithstanding the large amount of the annual earnings of the road, they could not be made available for the payment of either the coupons of interest, or the bonds themselves, which matured within that period. If the currency received by the Company for the transportation of passengers and freight could have been used for that purpose, then our liabilities, instead of having increased $478,840 70, would have been diminished at least one million of dollars.

But it is well known that there has been no currency or circulating medium of any kind, except the issues and bonds of the Confederate States, or of the individual States engaged in rebellion, in circulation in the so-called Confederate States, and those issues the Company was compelled to receive in payment for the transportation of freight and passengers, and we held nearly a million of dollars of claims against the confederate Government for railroad services at the close of the war.

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This currency depreciated so rapidly, that our creditors preferred to retain their claims against the Company to taking it in payment, and consequently only $269,207 47 as before stated, was paid by the Company on account of its indebtedness, between the first of September, 1861 and the first of March, 1865. The only investment made by the Company was the purchase of cotton in 1863, in Mississippi and Louisiana, to the amount of $175,820 34. The money was invested by Willis Holmes, an experienced dealer in cotton, and a man of irreproachable character. He purchased 2,074 bales in Mississippi and 540 bales in Louisiana, making together 2,614 bales. In 1864, when Gen. Sherman was advancing on Meridian, 100 bales of Company cotton were stored in the depot at that place, 85 of which were sent to Selma for safety, 15 not being in a condition to be moved; and in April last, when the United States forces were approaching Selma, the cotton sent there was burned, and the 15 bales that were left at Meridian were consumed by the burning of the Meridian depot. Notwithstanding the desire and efforts of the Company to preseve the cotton purchased for the payment of its debts, I fear that upwards of one-half the amount purchased will have been either burned, stolen, or otherwise destroyed before disposed of. The cotton was purchased by the Company under an order of the Board of Managers made in June, 1863, and assigned and transferred to Robert McDowell in trust, for certain creditors residing in Europe. Mr. McDowell was at the time in the South, a British subject, agent of, and authorized to act for the parties in Europe.

These creditors were selected because the Company thought that, that was the only way to save the cotton from being destroyed by one or the other of the contending armies. The Company knew if they transferred it to Northern creditors, it would certainly be seized or burned by the Confederate authorities, and if they transferred it to their Southern creditors, then they apprehended a like fate from the United States Army. They therefore placed the cotton in the name of foreign creditors, and were thus enabled to obtain a protection for it, from both

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sides. This statement will explain in part the cause of the Company not having made larger investments in cotton. It was an anxious and thoughtful subject of consideration with the Board of Managers, how to invest to the best advantage the funds of the Company for the benefit of the creditors. The investment in cotton was deemed extremely hazardous as past events, and those now transpiring, fully confirm. The Confederate authorities set fire to every bale of cotton that could be found on the approach of the United States troops, and as the United States troops advanced into the country they in turn burned much of the cotton that had not been previously destroyed. However, another and the most serious obstacle to making investments, was the want of current funds to do it with, although the Confederate Government was constantly and largely in debt to the Company, yet it was found impossible to make collections of its certified accounts, and it is a fact, that for the last two years of the war, the Treasurer of the Company rarely had more than enough funds at his command to pay the current expenses of the road; therefore, however desirable it might have been for the Company to make such an investment, it really did not have the ability to do so.

When the war ended, the Company had in their possession in the issues, bonds and vouchers of the Confederate States, $930,462 41.

The disasters to the road and the rolling stock of the Company by the rough heel of war, have been very damaging and numerous. On the 24th of April, 1863, General Grierson's raid destroyed Newton Station, burning the depot building containing the books and papers of that office, with some freight, also destroying the cars of two trains and injuring the engines; the troops tore up half mile of track, and destroyed the trestles; it took nine days to repair the road. In May, 1863, the United States troops under General Grant, while at Jackson, burned Pearl river bridge and several hundred feet of high and expensive trestle work, partially destroying several miles of track east of Pearl river, and about seven miles of track between Jackson

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and Big Black river, including the valuable bridge over that river, together with upwards of 3,000 feet of high trestle work connected with it; also, Baker's Creek bridge and a number of smaller ones. On the march of General Grant's army to Vicksburg, 5 Engines and 50 Cars were captured, and 22 Freight Cars were destroyed at Jackson, that were in bad order, and could not be moved away in time to save them. The cash value of the damage done to the road between Jackson and Big Black, including Pearl river and Big Black bridges, was estimted at the time at $204,000. In the following July, after the surrender of Vicksburg, the United States army again marched to Jackson in pursuit of General Joseph E. Johnston, and pursued him to Brandon and Morton, thirteen and a half and thirty-four miles east of Jackson, tearing up the track and destroying bridges and trestles in their march, to such an extent that the trains did not run further west than Brandon before the 6th of January, 1864, and for a portion of the time the trains run no further west than Morton.

In February, 1864, General Sherman made his great march through the State on a parallel line with the Southern Rail Road, and near enough to it for the cavalry to make sudden dashes on any station he thought proper to destroy.

His troops burned the Station Houses at Brandon, Morton, Lake, Newton and Meridian. The Machine Shop and other Company Buildings at Lake were also destroyed on that occasion. Fortunately all the Shop Machinery, the engines and such cars as were movable, were successfully moved to a place of safety in time to save them from destruction. While the army of General Sherman remained at Meridian, seven miles of our track was as effectually destroyed as labor combined with skill and energy could do it; also, 7,000 feet of Bridges and trestles, including two expensive bridges crossing the Chunkey river, together with eighty-three other trestles along the line of the road. Superadded to these heavy losses, the valuable brick depot and warehouse at Jackson were destroyed by fire in November, 1862, and a commodious depot building at Morton

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was also burned in February, 1863. These two depot buildings, on account of their supposed security, were made the repositories of all the valuable records and papers belonging to the Company. It was deemed prudent to send the archives of the Company out of Vicksburg during the bombardment, and they were sent to those two depots, and were consequently all destroyed. All the furniture, with the valuable library, fine paintings and costly plate, &c., of the late Wm. C. Smedes, the then President of the Company, were entirely destroyed by the burning of the Morton depot.

The Company has the control of the line of road not in operation between Vicksburg and Meridian.

Immediately after the close of the war advantageous and liberal arrangements were made with the military authorities for the speedy re-construction of that part of the track which had been destroyed between Big Black river and Jackson, including the building of Big Black river Bridge, and the long trestle connectedw ith [sic] it. The Company agreeing to pay the Government the acutal cost of the work in transportation of troops and supplies, and as soon as the work is finished that portion of the road is also to be placed under the control of the Company. As the best authority for the probable length of time before the trains will run through, between Vicksburg and Meridian, I will annex a letter I received on 2d of August from Major Adin Mann, Military Engineer in charge of the work. (See Appendix B.)

This was a very fortunate and judicioius arrangement for the interests of the Creditors, Stockholders and Government. The speedy repair of the track between Jackson and Big Black, became somewhat a military necessity, and the authorities placed 1,200 colored troops on the work of repairs, and this important work is being done without the present outlay of any money by the Company, or the incurring of any money liabilitites for the same.

The Company during the war had an especial and watchful eye to the preservation and protection of the Railroad Property; and it has been its policy and aim, to the extent of its ability,

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to improve the track as much as possible—many thousand new cross-ties have been placed on the track in the last two years—cuts have been widened and better slopes given them; a large amount of ballasting has been used to improve the worst por tions [sic] of the track; new and substantial bridges have been erected; and at the present time the road between Meridian and Jackson, is in much better condition and more permanent than it was ever before.

There is one important feature in the organization of the Southern Railroad Company, which goes very far toward securing the fullest measure of fidelity and energy in the management of its affiars, and that is the existence of self-interest in a much larger degree than is usually fouud [sic] in the composition of Railroad Companys. The stock of our Company which is four millions of dollars is held by so few persons, and so large an amount held by each, that every one feels a direct interest in the business, management, and conduct of the affiars of the Company. The present Board of Managers, consisting of eleven members, holding more than one half of the whole amount. A Company thus organized constitutes the best possible security against incompetent and unfaithful management.

The liabilities of the Company up to 1st July, 1865, have already been stated at $2,922,000. I estimate the assets of the Company at a fair valuation in times of ordinary prosperity, as follows:

140 miles of Railroad between Vicksburg and
Meridian at $30,000 per mile,
160,000 acres of land at $5,800,000
1,000 bales Cotton,175,000
Machinery and Rolling Stock,150,000
From which deduct Liabilities,2,992,000
Leaving Excess of Assets,$2,333,000

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When our Railroad connections are made with Texas, through the Vicksburg, Shreveport and Texas Railroad, I do not esteem it an extravagant calculation, to put down our annual earnings at from $80,000 to $1,000,000, of which one-half will be net profits.

It is due to candor to state, that the overthrow of the system of slave labor will diminish temporarily at least the number of bales of cotton that will pass over the road, but at the same time the diminished production will so enhance the value of the product, that the Company will be justified in increasing the price of freight sufficiently to produce an increase, instead of a diminution of profits, from the transportation of cotton. It is fair to believe that the emancipation of slaves, giving them personal freedom, and the right to travel at their own will, will largely increase, perhaps double the travel on the road, so that the undersigned feels warranted, in expressing the opinion, that the annual earnings of the road will eventually be, as above stated, and the creation of a Sinking Fund for the ultimate redepmtion of the Company's mortgage, and entire debt.

Putting the liabilities of the Company at three millions of dollars, the interest at the rate of six cent. per annum, would be $180,000 a year. If the net earnings are $400,000, there will be left after paying the coupons of interest, anterior to the maturity of the principal, a sufficient surplus to enable the Company to purchase new iron for such portions of the track as now require it, and to put the track in first rate condition, also to purchase such additional rolling stock as may be found necessary. From and after the 1st of July, 1867, I have no doubt that the Company will be able to meet its semi-annual instalments of interest with puncutality. Contiguous to the line of the Railroad between Brandon and Meridian, a distance of about 80 miles, there is upon the lands of the Company an almost inexhaustible supply of the finest yellow pine timber, suitable for railroad fuel, for bridges, cross-ties, lumber for

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houses, car building and general traffic, presenting a first rate opening for the establishment of numerous saw mills along the line of the road. There is also the greatest abundance of stave timber, and hoop poles, on the land adjacent to the road, the transportation of which in time must prove a considerable item of revenue to the road. And in the new career of prosperity which the undersigned believes will be commenced in the South under the auspices of a wise and prudent administration of the Government, and by the influence of the new elements to be infused into our social system, he anticipates that a large, diversified, and increasing traffic will rapidly spring up on the line of the road, from increase of population, adding greatly to the receipts and earnings of the road. In addition to this, the Southern Railroad connects with the Selma and Meridian Railroad at Meredian [sic] , that road connects with another railroad at Selma, running north which strikes the rich Alabama coal fields, and iron mines among the richest and most valuable on the continent, and whose products will seek a market throughout the larger portion of the South, and must pass over the Southern Railroad, thus adding vastly to the freignt [sic] transportation.

The Southern Railroad is undeniably on the shortest railroad route leading from the heart of Texas, South Arkansas or North Louisiana to the Atlantic Cities. As a great National thoroughfare, on the 32d parallel of latitude, it is without a rival, and in the nature of things cannot have a competitor, and in this connection the undersigned confidentally expressed the opinion, that with the connection at Montgomery complete, and as soon as the Vicksburg, Shreveport and Texas Railroad is completed, and the railroads in Texas converging to the Texas terminus of that road, are put in operation, the 140 miles of the Southern Railroad will favorably compare in value and in earnings with that of any other railroad of equal length in the South. As soon as these connections are made, the travel will at once be very great and will go on annually increasing, in proportion to the growth and prosperity of the old cotton States and Texas. The charter of the Company is perpetual. Its tariff of charges is

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without limit, and can be fixed at any rate consistent with the interests and will of the Company, and cannot be changed by State Legislation. There is an ample supply of water on the line of the road for railroad uses, favorably distributed for the construction of tanks. Its supply of fuel is inexhaustible. It has been shown by experience, that the road can be efficiently operated at an expense under fifty per cent. of the gross earnings, at the same time keeping the track and rolling stock in a proper state of repair with such renewals as to preserve the property from depreciation. The question now is, what arrangement can be made with the creditors for an extension of the debt of the Company, so as to enable it to retain the control of the road and by the necessary skill and energy restore it to the high state of prosperity and value it bid fair to attain before its prospects were blighted by the destructive war of the past four years.

Believing it to be the true interest of the creditors of the Company as well as that of the stockholders, that no forced sale of the railroad and property should be made, sacrificeing [sic] a property made valauble [sic] by the means and earnest efforts of the stockholders and managers, and in which they have embarked their fortunes, the undersigned hopes he does not appeal in vain to the justice, magnanimity and prudence of the creditors.

The Company, in appealing for indulgence under the present calamities brought about by no fault of theirs, and which they could not forsee, or prevent, does not do so in a spirit unmindful of the just rights of creditors, nor of the high obligations that rest upon the Company, to see that the good will and generous confidence of creditors are not misplaced.

The undersigned proposes to the bondholders and creditors, to fund all arrears [sic] of interest now due, and also to fund all accruing interest up to the 1st of January, 1867, and make it a part of the debt, and pay six per cent. interest upon the entire debt as it will then stand, in semi-annual instalments, the first one to be paid on the 1st of July, 1867, and thereafter at inter-

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vals of six months. He proposes that the 1st of July, 1890, shall be fixed as the period of the maturity of the entire debt, and to issue at once new mortgage bonds to cover the whole of the present debt of the Company, say $3,000,000, to bear seven per cent. interest, these new mortgage bonds however, to be subject to all prior liens in the order of precedence as they now stand, which condition shall be recited in the new mortgage in proper form, a sufficient number of the bonds under the proposed new mortgage shall be reserved, to be exchanged for the bonds now held under the existing 1st, 2d, and 3d mortgages of the Company, allowing the holders of the above mentioned bonds, the right of converting the same into the new seven per cent. bonds for a period of years from the date of their issuance.

The remainder of the bonds under the said new mortgage to be used in the payment of all other just claims now outstanding against the Company.

I esteem this mode of settlement the best both for the creditors and stockholders, and it nearly conforms to the plan suggested by the Board of Managers in the resolution adopted conferrig upon me full power and authority to negociate with the bondholders and creditors for the extension of our debt.

By this settlement the Board of Managers of the S. R. R. Co., will have ample time allowed them to put their road in complete order for full and profitable work to the extent of its capacity, and will carry them to a period of time, when by the development of the transportation business of the road, and the amount of its net earnings, capitalists will be able to judge of the present and future value of its securities. To do this however, time must be allowed to them for the developments which will be made in the course of a few years, undsr [sic] the extraordinary changes of the social system brought about by the effects of the rebellion and altered condition of the South, and to what extent those radical changed in society will effect and hasten the great

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developments of the agricultural mineral, mechanical and physical resources of the South under the extraordinary convulsions and alterations of the last four years.

The large individual interest held in this property by an unusually limited number of stockholders, affords the strongest guarantee for the economical and successful management of an enterprize, upon the financial success of which their all is staked.

If the road should turn out to be anything like as productive as is confidently anticipated; the Company, after a few years, when its connections are completed, and its heavy outlays for new iron and equipment are through, will be able to start a sinking fund adequate to the final liquidation of its full debt—when we reach that condition, holders of the old six per cent. bonds, secured only by a full mortgage of the entire property of the Company, if they have the confidence of capitalists, based upon the earnings and satisfactory management of the road. Arrangements can be made to deposit these new bonds in some institution, to be issued upon the order of a properly authorized agent of the Railroad Company, upon the delivery of the claims to be thus settled and cancelled.

An arrangement of this kind, or some such arrangement, would enable the Company to pay its entire debt, and would eventually save to the owners the valuable property in which they have embarked their private fortunes, and in the management of which, in the past they have given evidence of good faith and untiring energy, and earnest desire to keep and perform every obligation assumed by them. That they have been unable to do so has been no fault of theirs; the war which has brough ruin upon the country is the cause of it, and that cannot be attributed to them, they did all in their power, to arrest the strife, prevent the war, and during four years of bloody conflict, have kept the property togther with remarkable success.

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We have now in our possession 19 Engines, at the beginning of the war we had only twenty, and the one we have lost, is one of the oldest Engines, which was sent by the United States authorities from Vicksburg to the State of Tennessee.

11of which arein good running order.
5do doin shop for ordinary repairs.
3do docondemned.
We have11PassengerCars.

The undersigned deems it not improper to remark, that a large part of the debt, owing by them, was incurred in the purchase of the Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad, for which they agreed to pay a high price, payable on too short a credit, which property was almost valueless to the creditors, paying them comparatively no interest or dividend, and from which it seemed that none would be probably ever realized, and new iron is now absolutely required on nearly all that portion of the track. The present Stockholders have invested nearly all their property in the Southern Railroad; if they lose the road and its franchises, they lose their all; not one dollar of the money that they have paid on account of the purchase of the Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad, or the building of the new road, has ever been returned to them in any manner whatever. No dividend to the value of a dollar has ever been divided amongst the Stockholders, nor does any Stockholder owe the Company anything on account of the borrowed money, or on any other account. If this property is now wrested from their hands, many of the Stockholders and their

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families will be left penniless. Several of the Stockholders have died and left widows and orphans, who look alone to their interests in this Company to sheild them from penury; and the undersigned feels assured, when the debt is made so secure, and when the condition of the Company has not resulted from bad faith or mismanagement, or incompetency on their part, that he will not appeal in vain for such relief, and extension, as will protect and save the Company from ruin, and at the same time secure to the creditors the full payment of their entire debt, within a reasonable period of time, with regular semi-annual payments of interest from and after 1st January, 1867.

Very respectfully,
President Southern Railroad Co.

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Moris Emanuel, Esq.
President Southern R. R. Co.


—In passing over the Southern Railroad and its connecting lines, we have been much satisfied in witnessing the prompt alacrity with which your Company have addressed themselves to the task of restoring the road to its former condition.

Your line is too important to the country at large to be allowed to pass out of existence, even had the local energies of your people been wholly paralyzed.

Great as the local value of your road may be, its National value is immeasurably greater.

The entire population of the Atlantic Seaboard from Maine to Florida, will with the competion of two short lines, find the Southern Railroad the shortest and best route to the South and South-west.

With returning prosperity in your section, but a short time will be required to complete the lines unfinished, and restore the old ones to their former usefulness.

The nearest parallel road north of yours is 200 miles distant, and from the nature of the country it is not probable any competing line will ever be projected.

On the south the same reasons exist for saying your line can have no competitor from Vicksburg to the Gulf.

At right angles to your route, are two trunk lines and a mighty river as tributaries from the North, North-west and South.

Eastward nearly every line pointing toward the West sends its promise of future contributions

Westward Southern Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, with their rich products and future teeming populations, will find in the

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Southern Railroad an indispensible means of communication with the Atlantic Cities.

An intimate knowledge of the rich agricultural resources of the South, the recuperative energies of her people, the inexhaustible beds of Minerals yet undeveloped, justifies us in predicting a higher degree of prosperity for all the interests of your section than the most sanguine mind has yet conceived.

We believe any road, situated asyours is, will pay liberal dividends on a cost of forty thousand dollars per mile.

Brev't Maj. Gen'l U.S.V.
Special Ag't P. O. Dep't.


Dr. M. Emanuel,
President Southern Railroad.


—In reply to your inquiries relative to the completion of the road from Jackson to Big Black river, I would say, that in three weeks we will have the road in running order to Big Black river, and the bridge and trestle completed so as to make connection with Vicksburg by the 1st of October Next. I think this may be relied upon, if nothing unlooked for at present should occur to prevent.

Very respectufully yours, &c.,
Maj. 124th Ill. Vols., and Engineer in Charge.

About this Document

  • Source: Circular to the Bondholders and Creditors of the Southern Railroad Company, of the State of Mississippi
  • Publisher: E. C. Markley & Son
  • Published: Philadelphia
  • Date: September 11, 1865