Accidental Destruction

Red Raider

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Joined
Jan 27, 2021
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Lost in Books
Hello all. Are there any reports of the Union or Confederate Armies accidentally destroying their own rail systems, engines, or rolling stock? I know there were instances where they destroyed them when seized by the opposing armies. What I am asking is if they had no idea it was their stuff.

V/r
Joe
 

DaveBrt

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Location
Charlotte, NC
Hello all. Are there any reports of the Union or Confederate Armies accidentally destroying their own rail systems, engines, or rolling stock? I know there were instances where they destroyed them when seized by the opposing armies. What I am asking is if they had no idea it was their stuff.

V/r
Joe
The only "accidental" destruction I can recall by the Confederacy was the premature destruction of a bridge near Corinth that then caused the destruction of several trapped trains. On about the last day of the war in the East, a bridge outside of Weldon, NC was destroyed by the local commander.

Destruction of property as important as railroad bridges and rolling stock was only carried out under orders of some officer -- maybe wrong, but not accidental.
 

Red Raider

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Jan 27, 2021
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Lost in Books
Thanks. Writing a paper on Jominian tactics and the importance of strong interior lines. The railroad and telegraph created the perfect interior lines for communication, resupply, and reinforcement. I couldn't find anything about accidental destruction of their own lines so I figured I would ask the experts here. Thank you.
 
Unsure if this would qualify, but on August 16, 1864 at Shohola, Pennsylvania 65 people were killed when an Erie Railroad train carrying Confederate POWs slammed head on into a 50 car coal train from Hawley after it was mistakenly allowed by a railroad dispatcher to continue on instead of pulling off at Lackawaxen Junction to allow the Erie train to proceed. When the accident happened, the dispatcher fled the scene.
 

Red Raider

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Jan 27, 2021
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Lost in Books
There was supposed to be a ? at the end of my last post. I was in no way implying that was the reason. Railroads were extremely important to both sides during the war and I do not believe either would take a chance at losing one over some prisoners. The rails were much more important than the soldiers.
 

Lubliner

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Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Interesting question of whether a train or locomotive could have been mistaken as one of the enemy's?
I remember reading in Mississippi about two Union raiding parties that had a conflict of orders with the train cars, and what to do with them. Two different cavalry units, one from middle Tennessee and the other from either Memphis or Corinth area, sometime in 1864 I believe. One was first to the scene and began destruction, while other was given orders b Sherman (?) to save them, and run them north if possible.
Lubliner.
 
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