After the Civil War commenced, boat traffic on the Osage diminished. The Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers (1887) documents the reduced role of river transportation on the Osage:
“There was no steamboat commerce above Tuscumbia during the year. Only $45,960 of shipments went upriver while $559,956 worth of railroad ties and lumber was rafted or hauled downstream.
“The tie commerce is about what it was five years ago; the steamboat commerce has decreased, due in part to short crops, and in part to railroad facilities.”