NP, MAP 9/5/1861

From the Memphis Appeal
September 5, 1861
Manassas -- Reminisces and Random Shots
Groveland, Miss., Sept. 2, 1861
   Returning from Virginia the other day, I was struck with the palpable bad management of the Virginia & Tennessee railroad. Everybody I saw on the route complained of it -- everybody noticed the numberless wrecks of cars scattered along the roadside, suggestive of frequent collision, running off the track, and any amount of carnage. A land side or two had occurred just beyond the tunnel, at the summit of the Allegheny ridge, and the train from Lynchburg had to stop at Big Spring, eight or ten miles beyond. Transportation around this gap had been provided for about one half the passengers -- the rest had to walk; and when we arrived at the Montgomery White depot, the regular train had left! The consequence was, many had to lie down on the platform and pass the night in the open air, while others, more enterprising, walked down to the Springs, two miles off, where they fared "sumptuously," but expensively, till next day. Next morning a train came up from Bristol expressly to take us off, as we understood. It came in sight of the depot, stopped long enough for those who had but little baggage, to run down and get aboard, and then steamed away to Bristol, leaving a large crowd of men, women and baggage on the platform, to pass another ten or twelve hours in that romantic but comfortless solitude.
   These little circumstances will give you some idea of the management of the Virginia & Tennessee railroad. Recent accidents and causeless detentions on some of the East Tennessee road would seem to indicate that they are managed only a little better. On the whole line, I am informed, from Richmond and Lynchburg to Nashville, the fare has been raised from twenty to twenty-five per cent. since the war began. A through ticket from Richmond to Chattanooga, now costs twenty-three dollars and fifty cents!
   Comparisons, "they say," are odious, but no one who travels over the line, can help remarking the difference between the management of the Virginia roads and that of the Memphis & Charleston road -- a difference so hugely in favor of the latter. The Memphis & Charleston, it is universally conceded, is the most admirably managed road on the continent. The comfort and convenience of passengers, are attended to on the most liberal scale; and, though a comparatively high rate of speed is consistently maintained, accidents of any kind hardly ever occur, and the passengers feel as safe in a Memphis & Charleston train as he would in a horse-boat, "sailing down to Lynchburg town," or " the raging canal."
J. P. P.