Confederate Military Railroads

The Confederate Government constructed several short stretches of track to meet needs that were not of interest to commercial railroads. Very few details have come to light on these projects.




Montgomery, Al.

The Railroad Bureau had a short line (about 1 1/2 miles long) built in Montgomery to connect the Montgomery & West Point and Alabama & Florida (of Alabama) Railroads. Looking at a map makes it clear that at no extra effort, the Montgomery & Eufaula RR was probably also connected by the same line {Ref: Official Atlas 74/3}. It was constructed in early September 1863. It was improved by the Bureau in February 1864 (lowering the grade), using the Montgomery & Eufaula Railroad's workforce under contract.
NA, SWR 12-4A-61
NA, SWR 12-5-61
NA, QMR 12-16-61
NA, RR 3-22A-63
NA, A&F 4-8-63
NA, ENGR 5-11-63
NA, ENG 5-23-63
NA, QM 8-27-63
RRBAT 9-14-1863
NA, M&E 11-20-63
NA, M&E 2-5-64
NA, M&E 2-5A-64
NA, RRBT 2-9A-64
NA, M&E 2-10-64
NA, M&E 2-10A-64
NA, RRB 8-22C-64
LVA, RRB 12-9-64
AR, A&F(FL) 5-1-67 S
Montgomery, Ala. In 1865, Sims reports buying a locomotive for the track from Montgomery to the river.
Montgomery, Ala. I'm not sure what line this supported.
NA, RR 8-10-64

Selma, Ala.

A very short track was run from the Naval Foundry to the Alabama River to allow the easy loading of coal onto the river steamers. The spur was about 1500 yards long. An April 1865 map of Selma shows a spur from this spur leading to the city's line of fortifications -- another 500 yards.
Selma Railroads
NA, QMR 7-10-63
NA, ENG 7-18C-63
NA, ENG 7-21-63
NA, RR 10-3-63
NA, RR 10-9A-63
NA, RR 10-9B-63
NA, A&TR 10-31-63
NA, A&TR 3-22-64
NA, RR 11-18-64

Tennessee River

This one-mile long siding was constructed by the Nashville & Chattanooga RR under the orders of Gen. Sam Jones in later 1862 to assist in moving trains over the river. It was probably at Bridgeport, Ala.
Bibb Iron Works RR In 1863, the Confederate Government bought controlling or total control of the Bibb Iron Works. The Works were enlarged and a rolling mill added. According to the article below, a 2 1/2 mile railroad was built to connect the Works to the Alabama & Tennessee River RR.

Augusta, Ga.

In 1863, Col. Wadley reported turning over to Capt. Sims railroad iron that had been laid in Augusta. This was probably 600 yards to connect the Augusta & Savannah RR to the Georgia RR and thereby to the South Carolina RR -- a move recommended by Ashe in 1861. A direct connection between the South Carolina RR and the Augusta & Savannah RR may have been built in late 1864.
NP, MT 11-15-61
NA, G 12-17-61
B3, LEE 2-22-62
SC, QM 3-18-62
UG, RR 4-3-62
OR Series 1, Vol. 6,  Page 428
OR Series 1, Vol. 6,  Page 471
UG, RR 4-19-62
OR Series 1, Vol. 14, Page 482
NA, AG 5-27-63
NA, RRB 7-31D-63
NA, RRB 9-1F-63
NA, CoG 10-17-63
NA, CoG 10-17A-63
NA, RRB 12-31-64
Macon, Ga. An 800-yard spur was approved by the Macon city government, connecting the Macon & Western RR to the old Macon & Western RR shops, where the Macon Armory was being set up. A new Armory was being built alongside the Macon & Western RR, about 2 miles from city center (the one shown on the Official Records Atlas map). This new facility was not yet completed at the end of the war. I have found no proof that the approved spur was constructed, but since the money, rails and permission were all in place, it probably was built. The rail was flat rail, provided by the CS Navy. The track was laid by the Macon & Western RR.

Savannah, Ga.

This 1,400 yard long connection between the Central (of Georgia) RR and the Savannah, Albany & Gulf RR, at Savannah, was recommended to Congress in December of 1861 and was completed in early June of 1862.
NA, G 12-17-61
NA, DSCG 4-18-62
NA, DSCG 4-23A-62
NA, DSCG 4-28A-62
NA, DSCG 5-13-62
NP, MT 6-6-62
NA, RR 6-10-62
NA, RR 6-10A-62
NA, RR 6-11-62
NA, RR 8-31-63
NA, RR 10-31F-63
NA, RR 12-16-63
NA, RR 12-31D-63
NA, RR 1-31B-64
NA, RR 1-31C-64
NA, RR 2-29C-64
Savannah, Ga. A 3 1/4 mile connection was laid from the city to Fort Lee. It appears that a track was laid in late 1863 and was improved and partly placed on a trestle at that time. Connection in the city was made to the Savannah, Albany & Gulf RR. It appears to have had its own locomotive in early 1864.
NA, RR 10-7-63
NA, RR 10-14-63
NA, RR 10-31-63
NA, RR 10-31A-63
NA, RR 11-6-63
NA, DSCGF 11-7A-63
NA, RR 11-7-63
NA, RR 11-23A-63
NA, RR 11-30-63
NA, RR 11-30A-63
NA, RR 11-30B-63
NA, RR 12-3-63
NA, RR 12-3A-63
NA, RR 12-24-63
NA, RR 12-31-63
NA, ENGR 1-18-64
NA, RR 1-31-64
NA, RR 2-1-64
NA, CoG 2-8-64
NA, CoG 2-20-64
NA, RR 2-23-64
NA, RR 2-28-64
NA, RR 4-7A-64
Savannah, Ga. A short track was ordered constructed from the Atlantic & Gulf RR line to the flour and grist mills in eastern Savannah.
Columbus, Ga. The Mobile & Girard RR and the Muscogee RR appear to have been connected in 1863.
NA, ENGR 8-29-63
Abbeville, S. C. to Washington, Ga. On March 15, 1865, Beauregard ordered Engineer Major McCrady to connect the Charlotte & South Carolina RR to the Georgia RR by way of the Greenville & Columbia RR and new track from Abbeville to Washington. The new track would have been about 45 miles long and would have required a ferry or bridge over the Savannah River. There is no indication any work was done on this new route.
OR Series 1, Vol. 47, Part 2, Page 1396
OR Series 1, Vol. 47, Part 2, Page 1423

New Orleans, La.

A switch and short stretch of track was installed to connect the Pontchartrain RR to the Mexican Gulf RR.
ORN Series 2, Vol. 1, Page 653
New Orleans, La. This was probably a spur from the New Orleans & Carrollton RR to the  magazine. The road was about 2/3 mile long.
Marshall, Tx. to Shreveport, La. See Texas entries
Corinth, Miss.

A temporary track is mentioned, but there is no further information.

NA, RR 7-16-63
North Carolina

Fayetteville, N. C.

A road of about 1.5 miles was planned to link the arsenal to the Western RR (to get coal) and the Cape Fear River (for connection with Wilmington and its railroads).
NP, RD 2-7-62
NA, RR 2-28-62
Wilmington, N. C. A RR bridge to cross the Cape Fear River was under study.
NA, ENGR 8-2-64
NA, ENGR 8-12-64
NA, ENGR 8-21-64
Goldsboro, N. C. A spur of about 175 yards was built to connect the Piedmont and North Carolina RRs to a QM warehouse
Halifax, N. C. The Navy requested a 3/4 mile spur to the local Navy yard. Results of the request are unknown
NA, QMR 9-27-64
South Carolina

Charleston, S. C.

A connection was made between the Charleston & Savannah RR and the South Carolina RR by building a bridge over the Ashley River. The bridge was constructed on private property, using State of South Carolina money. The private owner refused to allow any but government freight and passengers to use the bridge. It was completed the first week of April, 1863. In 1864, the company tried to get government assistance in building a permanent bridge, but was unsuccessful. A connection was also required in the City itself to connect the Charleston & Savannah RR and the South Carolina RR.
NP, CM 11-18-61
OR Series 1, Vol. 6,  Page 407
SC, QM 3-18-62
NA, DSCG 3-27-62
NA, DSCG 4-2-62
NA, DSCG 4-16-62
NA, DSCG 4-21-62
NA, DSCG 4-23-62
NA, DSCG 4-26-62
NA, DSCG 4-28-62
OR Series 1, Vol. 14, Page 573
COC, C&S 3-14-63
NA, ENG 10-14B-63
NA, ENG 12-18-63
NA, ENG 12-18A-63
NA, ENGR 1-9-64
NA, ENG 1-23-64
NA, ENGR 1-26-64
NA, QMR 2-13A-64
NA, NE 2-19-64
NA, ENG 2-22I-64
NA, ENGR 2-25-64
NA, ENG 3-1B-64
NA, ENGR 3-8-64
NA, ENG 3-16-64
NA, ENGR 3-20-64
NA, ENGR 3-22A-64
NA, ENG 3-26-64
NA, ENG 3-26B-64
NA, ENG 3-28B-64
NA, ENG 3-28E-64
NA, DSCGF 4-23-64
NA, ENG 5-2B-64
NA, DSCGF 5-3-64
NA, DSCGF 5-18-64
NA, ENG 5-19D-64

Nashville, Tenn.

A report to the State Assembly says that money was advanced by the State to connect 3 railroads in the city. A newspaper report confirms the completion of the connection.
NP, RD 9-28A-61
OR Series 1, Vol. 52, Part 2, Page 158

Memphis, Tenn.

This short road was to connect the city's three roads so that troops and supplies could be moved through the city without delay. It was also to help evacuate the city, if required.
NP, MAP 2-23-62
NP, MAP 2-28-62
NP, MAP 3-4-62
NP, MAP 3-8-62
NP, MAP 3-9-62
NP, MAP 3-14-62
NP, MAP 3-15B-62
NP, MAP 3-19-62
NA, Mem&O 3-x-62
NP, MAP 4-12-62
NP, MAP 4-22-62
NP, RD 5-8A-62
NA, QMR 1-5-64

Galveston, Tx.

A 5.6 mile extension to the Galveston, Houston & Henderson RR (then under control of the CS Government) was built (in early 1863) to support the gun batteries / forts on southern and eastern Galveston Island. It is shown on Confederate maps in the Atlas to Accompany the Official Records.
Galveston Railroads
NA, RR 2-4-63
NP, HT 4-3A-63
NA, GH&H 4-30-63
OR Series 1, Vol. 15, Page 1063
NA, RR 5-1-63
NA, GH&H 5-12-63
NA, RR 5-24-63
NA, GH&H 6-30-63
OR Series 1, Vol. 26, Part 2, Page 296
NP, RSJ 11-6-63
Marshall, Tx. to Shreveport, La. The 14 miles of the Southern Pacific RR from Jonesville, Tx. to Swanson's Landing (on Caddo Lake) were removed in 1864 and re-laid from Jonesville to Wascom, Tx. (on the Louisiana border). The first 5 miles west of Shreveport was operating as part of the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Texas RR. It appears that the remaining 8 or so miles were laid with rails from the Red River RR. Post-war statements from the officers of the Southern Pacific RR say that the road was completed in 1864 and was operating.
Houston, Tex. A 1,600-foot connection was made between the Texas & New Orleans RR and the Houston & Texas Central RR in November of 1863.

Centreville, Va.

This 5-mile road was completed by Capt. Thomas Sharp in early 1862 to ease the supply situation of the army in the Manassas area. General Johnston had selected a winter encampment that was almost impossible to supply by wagon during the winter rains. This railroad, running from Manassas, on the Orange & Alexandria RR, to the camp, replaced the reliance on the wagon road. The railroad was poorly and hastily constructed, using too few ties under the Baltimore & Ohio RR rail; it remained in operation only about a month before Johnston evacuated the area to pull back toward Richmond.
Centreville RR Map
Manassas Junction Railroads
AR, O&A 9-30-61 EC
NA, QMR 10-24-61
NA, QMR 11-3-61
NP, RD 11-19C-61
NP, YE 12-5-61
NP, RSTD 12-11-61
NP, LN 12-13-61
NP, RD 12-14-61
NA, MG 1-31A-62
NA, MG 2-3-62
NA, RF&P 2-24-62
NA, MG 3-1-62
NP, CM 2-12D-62
NA, RRB 3-5-62
NA, RRB 3-9C-62
NP, NOTP 4-1-62
NA, RRB 4-30P-62
Biography of Thomas R. Sharp
Did Sharp Build the Centreville Railroad?

Petersburg, Va.

This short line (approximately 1 1/2 mile long) connected all of the railroad depots inside the Petersburg city limits, though for most of the war its main use was connecting the Richmond & Petersburg RR to the Petersburg RR. It must have originally be built of light rail (probably strap), since only very light locomotives were allowed on it (14 ton locomotives). Originally, only in extreme situations were freight trains allowed to use this line. The road was reconstructed in May, 1862. A RR bridge was constructed over the Appomattox River in August, 1863.
AR, R&P 4-1-61 P
NP, RD 4-27-61
NP, RD 5-1-61
NP, RD 5-2-61
NP, AG 5-4-61
NA, QM 6-6-61
NA, QMR 6-11-61
OR Series 4, Vol. 1, Page 405
OR Series 4, Vol. 1, Page 417
OR Series 4, Vol. 1, Page 484
NP, RD 8-15-61
LVA, R&P 10-11-61
LVA, R&P 10-15A-61
LVA, R&P 10-20-61
LVA, TRED 11-18A-61
NA, QMR 11-26B-61
AR, R&P 2-1-62
NP, RD 2-3A-62
NA, RR 4-7A-62
NA, RRB 4-12-62
NA, RRB 4-15A-62
NA, RRB 4-16-62
NA, QMR 4-24B-62
NA, MG 5-19-62
NA, RRB 5-22B-62
NA, RF&P 6-30-62
NA, RRB 6-30F-62
NA, VC 6-30-62
NA, RRB 7-18-62
NA, RRB 7-18A-62
NA, RRB 7-21-62
NA, VC 7-24-62
NA, RRB 9-1-62
NA, RRB 9-5-62
NA, RRB 9-5A-62
NA, RRB 9-17-62
NA, RRB 9-17A-62
NA, RRB 9-29-62
NA, RRB 9-29A-62
NP, RD 2-5-63
NA, QM 5-9-63
NA, QMR 5-15B-63
NA, QMR 5-26-63
NA, QMR 5-28-63
NA, QMR 5-28A-63
NA, ENG 6-4-63
NA, ENGR 6-26-63
NA, QMR 6-29-63
NA, ENGR 6-30A-63
NA, ENG 7-3A-63
NA, ENG 7-4-63
NA, RR 7-29A-63
NA, RF&P 8-1-63
NP, RS 8-10-63
NA, ENGR 8-11-63
NA, ENG 8-13-63
NA, RRB 9-1B-63
NA, RR 9-4-63
NA, RR 9-8E-63
NA, RR 9-15-63
NA, RR 9-15K-63
NA, RR 10-3A-63
NA, RR 10-5-63
NA, QM 10-14A-63
NA, RRB 12-2-63
RRBA 12-5-1863
NA, RF&P 1-1-64
NA, RF&P 1-23-64
NA, R&P 1-30-64
NA, RRB 2-3-64
NA, RRB 2-15-64
NA, RF&P 3-1-64
NA, RF&P 5-1-64
NA, RF&P 8-1-64
NA, ENGR 9-19A-64
NA, ENGR 9-19B-64
AR, R&P 10-1-65 P
A map prepared by the Confederate Engineer Bureau and the Engineer Officer in charge of the Petersburg defenses in 1863 shows all five of the railroads that entered the city connected at various points near the city center. {Ref: Official Atlas 40/1} I assume these officers would not make an error about such a fact, but I have no other information on the connections. See Confederate Railroad Construction Plans

Richmond, Va.

The possibility of rolling stock being trapped north of Richmond if the city fell caused the Government to lay a temporary track on the streets of the city to allow the evacuation of rolling stock south. The track was evidently never used for commercial traffic. The 1/2 mile line connected the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac RR with the Richmond & Petersburg RR {Ref: Official Atlas 89/2 and 92/1}. Since the track was to be removed, at the city's insistence, at the end of the war, no grading was done to lower the steep hill encountered by the connection. This hill was extremely difficult for locomotives to climb and sometimes required several tries to succeed. See Confederate Railroad Construction Plans for the construction of a permanent track. The heavy grade caused the RR Bureau to recommend the connection of the Richmond & Petersburg RR to the Virginia Central RR.
AR, R&P 4-1-61 P
B5, RCC 4-26-61
NP, RD 4-27-61
NP, RD 5-2-61
NA, QM 6-6-61
NA, QMR 6-11-61
OR Series 4, Vol. 1, Page 405
OR Series 4, Vol. 1, Page 417
OR Series 4, Vol. 1, Page 484
NP, RD 7-23-61
NP, RD 8-5-61
NP, RW 8-5A-61
NP, RE 8-10-61
NA, VC 9-7A-61
NP, RD 9-18-61
NP, RD 9-26-61
NP, RD 10-19B-61
NA, QM 10-24-61
NP, RD 12-23-61
NA, RRB 12-31N-61
NA, RRB 12-31R-61
NP, RW 1-8-62
NA, RRB 1-20-62
NP, RD 1-25-62
NA, RRB 1-31A-62
NA, RRB 1-31D-62
AR, R&P 2-1-62
NP, RD 2-3A-62
NA, RRB 3-31AD-62
NA, RRB 3-31AG-62
NA, RRB 4-30L-62
OR Series 1, Vol. 11, Pt 3, Page 501
NP, RE 5-28-62
NP, RD 5-28-62
NP, RE 5-31-62
NA, RRB 6-4-62
NP, RD 6-4B-62
NP, RE 6-7-62
NP, RD 6-10-62
NA, RRB 6-17A-62
NA, RRB 6-17B-62
NP, RD 7-8-62
NP, RE 7-21-62
NP, RD 8-4-62
NA, RRB 10-15-62
NP, RE 10-27-62
NP, RD 11-24-62
NP, RD 1-28-63
NP, RS 8-1-63
NA, R&P 1-30-64
NA, RRB 2-6-64
NA, RRB 2-15-64
NA, SWR 4-7-64
NA, QMR 4-9A-64
NA, ENG 6-24-64
NP, RW 9-28-64
NP, RD 10-5-64
Chesterfield Connection In January, 1865, the Engineer Bureau requested horses and mules to be used in constructing a connection in Chesterfield (across the James River from Richmond) between the Richmond & Danville RR and the Richmond & Petersburg RR. The connections size, location and purpose are not known.
NA, QMR 1-19A-65
Richmond & Petersburg RR Extension An officer reported his duty station as being on the Extension of the Richmond & Petersburg RR. Since that Road ended on the north bank of the Appomattox River, across from Petersburg, and that terminal had come under fire during the Union operations against Petersburg in 1864, the Road had established a temporary terminal at the previous station. The extension shows on a US Army map, under the name of N. Michler, Major of Engineers and Brevet Brigadier General, and appear to run from a point on the Richmond & Petersburg RR about 3 miles north of its previous Terminal almost straight south to the small community of Ettricks. The extension appears to be about 2 miles long.

Northern Virginia

A connection was advocated between the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac RR and the Manassas Gap RR/Orange & Alexandria RR at Manassas Junction. The line would have been about 30 miles long. Its proximity to the Potomac River would have made it easy to interdict. It is not likely that any serious planning was done on the road.
NP, RD 12-9-61
LVA, RF&P 12-24-61
NP, RD 1-18-62
NP, RD 2-3A-62
NP, RD 2-10A-62
NP, RD 2-22-62
LVA, RF&P 3-7-62
Danville to Lynchburg A Richmond newspaper reported that surveys had been completed for this 80-mile road. It was claimed that the iron could be provided and labor would be from Government impressment. The road was not chartered and no construction was started. Its intent was to provide an easy connection between western North Carolina and western Virginia, though it was only slightly farther west than the Richmond to Burkeville line.
Danville A letter from the Superintendent of the Richmond & Danville RR implies that a connection track was being laid to connect that road and the Piedmont RR in November 1864. The two roads were of different gauges, but it was clear to all but certain North Carolina politicians that the Piedmont RR gauge had to be changed to match the Richmond & Danville RR. There is no other evidence that the Piedmont RR gauge was being changed until 3 or more months later.
Charlottesville to Canal  The President of the Virginia Central RR proposed a 3-mile spur from Keswick station (8 miles east of Charlottesville) to the James River Canal. Capt. Sharp was proposed as the Government Agent to build the spur, however there is no indication any work was done. The spur was to provide a way for Virginia Central RR freight to continue east to Richmond if the RR bridges near Junction could not be kept in service.