Biography of John W. Goodwin

Compiled by the National Archivists before the microfilming of the Civil War records.

 Entries in blue are references and my additions.

(My thanks to Arthur Stansfield for the non-war years information.)

   John Wallingford Goodwin was born in South Berwick, Maine in 1825. He graduated from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine in 1844 and worked for the next four years as a Civil Engineer on Massachusetts railroads.
   In 1848, Goodwin moved to Alabama to work in the construction of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. He married Georgia Smith and they had 4 children. 
   When the war ended, he remained as Chief Engineer and Superintendent of the Virginia & Tennessee RR. From the 1870s, John W. helped build the Texas Eastern & Western Railroad, the Texas Central, the Southern Pacific, the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe, and the International & Great Northern. In 1883 he returned to Tennessee as division superintendent of the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad. In 1887, he left for the Norfolk & Western Railroad, remaining there until his death except for a brief period, when he was chief engineer for the construction of the Lynchburg & Durham railroad, which in 1892 merged with the Norfolk & Western.
   He died in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1910, at the age of 86.
April 10, 1861 Mentioned as Assistant Superintendent of the Mobile & Ohio RR and acting in the stead of the absent Superintendent
April 24, 1861 Enlisted in a company that became part of the 3rd Alabama Infantry Regiment. Was made a Sergeant
May 1, 1861 Detached to the Alabama Quartermaster Department by order of Col. J. M. Wither, Alabama Assistant Quartermaster General
July 19, 1861 Appointed from Ala. as Maj. & Q. M., to report to Gen. J. M. Withers
December 2 - December 31, 1861 On special duty with the Ordnance Department, District of Alabama, Gen. J. M. Withers commanding
December 31, 1861 - July 17, 1862 Superintendent of Whistler Arsenal, Mobile, Alabama
December 31, 1861 Paid for steel shipment to Mobile for gun carriage construction
January 6, 1862 Reports status of work at Whistler
March 3, 1862 Forwards railroad-related papers
March 13, 1862 Relieved of duty on Gen. Withers staff
March 15, 1862 Ordered to report to General Beauregard in Jackson, Tenn.
April 20, 1862 Reports to Gen. Bragg on the work required on the railroad from Meridian to Selma
April 30, 1862 Receives reports on planters and slaves on the line of the RR near Demopolis
NA, A&MR 4-30-62
NA, A&MR 4-30A-62
June 26, 1862 Mention favorably as a candidate to finish the Alabama & Tennessee Rivers RR
July 17 - August 27, 1862 Announced as Military Superintendent of Railroads on the staff of Gen. Braxton Bragg
August 27 - December 9, 1862 Relieved as Military Superintendent of Railroads and assigned as Quartermaster, Gen. J. M. Wither's Division
December 9, 1862 - March 6, 1864 Assigned as Military Superintendent of Railroads, Gen. Bragg's Army of Tennessee
February 21, 1863 Purchased iron used to rebuild a Nashville & Chattanooga RR bridge
February 23, 1863 Pay requested, but I am uncertain who it is for
March 31, 1863 Was busy rebuilding the Nashville & Decatur RR
April 16, 1863 Approve the bill for the repair of a Nashville & Chattanooga RR bridge
July 30, 1863 Nashville & Chattanooga RR bridge completed under his contract
August 6, 1863 Is mentioned by Sims as possible help to Hottel in removing rolling stock
October 17, 1863 Received spikes at Dalton
October 27, 1863 Was repairing the East Tennessee & Georgia RR at Dalton
November 13, 1863 Approved purchase of iron work from Tredegar for repair of an East Tennessee & Georgia RR bridge
November 16, 1863 Drew picks, axes and shovels at Chickamauga
November 22, 1863 Requests Sims assistance with getting priority on Macon & Western RR
December 4, 1863 Approved bill for repairs on an East Tennessee & Georgia RR bridge
November - December, 1863 Requested to become Superintendent of Virginia & Tennessee RR by its President
February 1, 1864 Approved bill for rebuilding bridges on the Western & Atlantic RR
February 10, 1864 Gen. Johnston reports to Gov. Brown, of Georgia, that Maj. Goodwin has rescued 25 Western & Atlantic RR cars from Mississippi (probably should be Major Hottel)
February 11, 1864 Approved to be Superintendent of Virginia & Tennessee RR
NA, QMR 2-11F-64
Mid-February, 1864 May have been in Dalton, then travelled to Atlanta
NA, AOT 2-21A-64
February 20, 1864 Was in West Point, Ga. assisting in troop movements on the Atlanta & West Point RR
NA, AOT 2-20-64
March 1, 1864 Ordered by Gen. Joe Johnston, Commanding the Department of Tennessee to report to Col. Robert Owen; took charge of the Virginia & Tennessee RR
March 6, 1864 - March 9, 1865 Reported as Major and General Superintendent, Virginia & Tennessee RR
April x, 1864 Became Superintendent of Virginia & Tennessee RR
July 1, 1864 Submits annual report for the fiscal year for the Virginia & Tennessee RR
September 21, 1864 Goodwin requests Sims help in feeding his hands
November 13, 1864 Reports his current assignment and duties
NA, QMR 11-13-64
November 24, 1864 Was confirmed by Lt. Col. Sims as being employed to the greatest advantage
November 29, 1864 Present duties are not appropriate for a quartermaster
December 6, 1864 Receives Nitre & Mining Bureau material
December 8,1864 Receives weekly shipping report instructions
December 11, 1864 Is quoted regarding use of a locomotive
January 26, 1865 Report on forage on his Road
NA, QMR 1-26A-65
March 9, 1865 Resigned as Major, effective March 1, 1865. Resignation accepted March 24, 1865
July 1, 1865 Submits annual report for the fiscal year for the Virginia & Tennessee RR