- Mar 16, 2016
Used under both Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War and believed to be the oldest Southern locomotive in existence
c.1835 Brathwaite and Ericson "Mississippi" Locomotive
It is believed that commercial locomotive manufacturer Braithwaite and Ericson of New Road London and Liverpool built the engine in about 1834. This manufacturer is known to have exported approximately 14 locomotives to the United States in the 1830s. In 1836, Braithwaite and Ericson changed its name to Braithwaite, Milner and Company and it appears to have exited the locomotive business about 1841. One source indicates that Braithwaite built a locomotive for the 'Natchez and Hamburg', (The 'Natchez and Hamburg' doesn't appear to have existed, and may be a colloquial term for the Mississippi Railroad). and was possibly assembled on site in Mississippi. Other sources indicate that the locomotive was sent in pieces (probably packed in shipping crates) by ship to New York City where it was assembled and sent to the Mississippi Railroad at Natchez. Its cost has been stated as $2,000. Accounts of Mississippi's early years vary. It appears to have entered service in 1837, and may have pulled the first train on the Mississippi Railroad, which is reported to have occurred on April 24, 1837. It seems that its service with this original owner only lasted for a few years. It was also reported that during the American Civil War the locomotive served the Confederates during the Union Army's Siege of Vicksburg in 1863. Ultimately the engine was captured by the Union, and pressed into service to aid in the supply of Union troops.
Full write up can be found here - https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22793/lot/205/