Biography of A. S. Gaines

A National Archives' biography exists for A. S. Gaines and is in black below. Blue entries are my additions to their work.

   Abner S. Gaines is found in Selma, Ala. in the 1860 Census living in a hotel along with two other Civil Engineers. His age was given as 30, his place of birth was Alabama and he is shown without property or wife. Since the information for the Census might well have been provided by the hotel owner for all his guests, all this information is somewhat suspect.
   In one of the letters below, his father gives Abner's age as almost 30 in 1862. He is also officially listed as being from Tennessee in Army records. Before the war, he worked for 12 years on rail road construction in the South, the last several years being on the Mobile & Ohio RR.
   Gaines is included here because of his position as a Government Agent in the completion of the Alabama & Mississippi Rivers RR between Selma and Meridian in 1862. After that job was completed, he was only occasionally related to railroad matters. He was commissioned into the Engineer Corps in 1864.
   In 1873, he represented Wayne County in the Mississippi Legislature. In 1882, a Mobile & Ohio RR map listed him as a Land Commissioner, living in Mobile.
Start of War Was working as an Engineer constructing the Selma & Gulf RR
March 18, 1862 Applied for appointment in the Army. His profession, and President Davis' knowledge of him, made it likely that he was only considered for Engineer duty
April 4, 1862 Appointed Government Agent to assist the Alabama & Mississippi Rivers RR in completing the entire road from Selma to Meridian
May 20, 1862 Under direction of Sam Tate, seized iron from the Cahaba, Marion & Greensboro RR for the completion of the Selma to Meridian road
May 29, 1862 Reported to the Secretary of War on sources of iron for the Alabama & Mississippi Rivers RR
June 12, 1862 Requests status of Alabama & Mississippi Rivers RR money
June 20, 1862 Was left in charge of completing the Alabama & Mississippi Rivers RR when Fleming was relieved
October 2, 1862 Ordered to not impress slaves
October 21, 1862 Ordered to give any iron he did not need to the Navy
October 27, 1862 Recommended again for Engineer Corps Captain
January x, 1863 Became Assistant Engineer at Mobile
March 3, 1863 Again applied for an Engineer Corps commission
August 3, 1863 Spent the previous 2 weeks working defenses at a Mobile & Ohio RR bridge
October 10, 1863 For some reason, Major General Gilmer instructs his Acting Engineer Bureau Chief Rives to not forward Gaines appointment recommendation until Gilmer had provided additional comments
October 15, 1863 RR President comments on his capability as an engineer
NA, ENGR 10-15-63
October 21, 1863 Gilmer says he has a valid claim to a Captaincy
NA, DSCGF 10-21A-63
November 14, 1863 Ordered to Army of Tennessee
NA, DG 11-14A-63
January 22, 1864 Appointed from Tenn. as Capt. of Engrs.
February 20, 1864 Assigned to inspect and ready the bridges on the Mobile & Great Northern RR
March 22, 1864 From Dalton, Ga., accepts commission as Captain of Engineers
NA, ENGR 3-22-64
June, 1864 to end of War On duty in the Army of Tennessee and, in 1865, in Mississippi
The remaining biographical entries are not related to railroads
May 10, 1865 Paroled at Gainesville, Ala. as Captain of Engineers