The Postmaster General's report.
From the report of the Hon. John H. Reagan
, Postmaster General
, we gather the following facts relating to the operations of the Department over which he presides.
The total post of the mail service in the eleven States of Alabama
, Louisana, Mississippi
, North Carolina
, South Carolina
, and Virginia
, for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1860, under the Government
of the United State, was $1,295,245.75 and the total Receipts, for postal service, for the same year were $1,517,549.33 Process of expenditure over receipts, $2,773,706.23. The receipts for the fractional quarter of one month, ending the 30th of June last (as shown by the meagre and imperfect returns) were 492,387.57; and expenditures $300,937.97; excess of expenditures over receipts, $118,553.39.
Of an appropriation of $30,000 to carry into effect an act of Congress, ‘"relative to telegraph lines in the Confederate States
,"’ there has been expended $15,136.27. Eight lines of telegraph have been built, of the aggregate length of 217 miles, at an aggregate cost of $4.363.32 Ten and a half miles of insulated copper wire, with batteries, &c., have been made and sent to the army, for field operations, at a cost of $1,763.56. Operators and watchman have been employed at a cost of $1,695.23, of which $1,515.70 has been paid. --Contracts were made with the Texas Telegraph Company
and with the Arkansas State Telegraph Company
, for building and operating lines and sending Government dispatches to distant portions of the Confederacy
The first was to have been completed by the 10th of December.
There are in the Confederate States
2,579 post-roads established by law. Of these, contracts have been prepared, in duplicate, and sent in letters of instruction to postmasters for execution by the contractors on 1,872 routes, and 533 of the number have been returned properly executed.
The Department has encountered many difficulties in its efforts to secure efficient postal service, and the causes of failure to obtain contracts upon a large number of routes are given in detail in the report.
There are 91 railroads and branch roads in the Confederates States
; of this number only 15 have entered into contracts.
Many of the companies have waived the proposal to contract for the present, on one or another ground Many of them decline to accept the classification and compensation assigned to their roads, and it is manifest that many of them intend, if they can, to avoid liability and the legitimate control of the Department by refusing to enter into contracts, while, at the same time, they signify a willingness to perform the service, but under some protest, and Generally that they must have higher pay. The Department is pursuing a course escalated to meet and overcome objections in this respect.
A portion of & he report is devoted to a notice of the irregularity of the mails, on account of which the department has been visited with much censure.
The difficulty of getting proper schedules adopted and conformed to; the occupation of the roads in transporting soldiers, supplies and munitions of war; the military schedules run by order of the War Department, with the ordinary causes of delay and loss of connections, such as running off the track, breaking of bridges, &c., have rendered the mails so irregular, as to make it an accident, now, instead of the rules, to have regular connections between any distant and important points.
It is alleged that the department has done everything in its power to avoid these irregularities, and is, in no just sense, responsible for them.
The companies have been pretty generally notified that the Department will do all it can by way of fines and deductions for failures, to compel regularity in the service It is impossible, without a publication of the entire report, for which we have not space, to notice every fact in connection with the proceedings of the Department in this and other important respects.
The whole number of post-offices in the Confederate States
on the 1st of June, 1861, was 5,411.
Of this number there have been discontinued since that date 183, leaving in operation 8,228; number established since the 1st of June, 721 whole number now in operation, 5,300.
Number of post-offices of which the names and sites were changed, 47 number of postmasters appointed since the list of June, 5,261; number commissioned by the Department since that date, 4,184; whole number of resignations during the same period, 359, of which number 459 were resignations of appointments conferred by this Department, and 491 were resignations of appointments held under the Government
of the United States
There are 110 routs agents employed.
Seven permanent and one temporary special agents have been appointed.
Estimate of the probable receipts for the year ending June 30, 1862. compared with the receipts from all the post offices now in the Confederate States
for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1850
|Total receipts of all the offices in 1850||$1,517,536.00|
|Total receipts of all the offices in 1561||1,091,012.00|
|Showing a deficiency of||$120,324.00|
This estimate, however, is based upon the returns from only 4,922 post-offices, and the receipts must necessarily be increased by the returns from the remaining 4,034, though the latter are generally small offices, scattered throughout the interior, from many of which the receipts will be inconsiderable.
There are other facts connected with the operations of the Department; which we reserve for a future article.