[N&W] "Confiscated" coal?

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue May 18 22:43:20 EDT 2004

I've been trying to fully grasp the meaning of a telegram dated March 7,
1914 from the Willshire Milling Company in Willshire, Ohio (on what was then
the Clover Leaf, later Nickel Plate, later N&W) to the Peacock Coal Company
in Pomeroy, Ohio (on the Hocking Valley, later C&O). The telegram asks for
the coal company to send another carload of coal, as the latest shipment was
"confiscated" by the Clover Leaf. My question is - was that a common
practice? Did railroads appropriate consigned shipments of coal for fuel use
in times of shortages? For all I know, the shipment was lost, or the car bad
ordered, or something else. So far, all I can determine is that coal
production in Ohio was about cut in half from 1913 to 1914, so I suspect
that there might have been shortages at the time.

Any help out there?

David McGrann

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