Relay House, 1861.

Robert Gray

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#1
Union troops pose for a picture at the Relay House, Maryland in 1861.

The B&O Railroad was the only railroad into Washington DC until after the Civil War, thus it was an essential supply train route for the Union. To prevent Confederate attack or sabotage of the Thomas Viaduct and Washington junction, the Sixth and Eighth Massachusetts regiments, as well as Cook's Boston Artillery Battery, took control of the railroad junction, Relay House train station, and the Thomas Viaduct on May 5th, 1861. The Relay House itself became the occupying Union Army headquarters.

To prevent the smuggling of arms and supplies by railway to the Confederate states, both freight trains and passenger trains passing through Relay were stopped and searched at the Relay House station by Union troops. Passengers had their trunks and even their food baskets searched. Everything from picnic baskets full of brass buttons destined for Confederate uniforms to thousands of percussion caps for rifles and pistols hidden in trunks were found and confiscated.

There were eventually over 2,000 troops stationed around the Thomas Viaduct in Relay, Elkridge, and the fields across the tracks from Relay that would later become the village of St. Denis. The entire area became a military occupation for the duration of the war, much to the dismay of the local residents.

Thomas Viaduct & Relay, Maryland Railroad History blogspot

07407001.jpg
 

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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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#2
railroad relay.JPG

Wonder what's up with the shirtless guy, or is he wearing a light colored shirt? Fireman on the train, meaning the guy who got to shovel coal into the furnace? ( there's probably a train term for furnace, my train terminology is limited to ' train ' and ' track ' ) Grgrgrandfather was a fireman post war, a one-armed one which I've never been able to figure out.
 
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#5
View attachment 315599
Wonder what's up with the shirtless guy, or is he wearing a light colored shirt? Fireman on the train, meaning the guy who got to shovel coal into the furnace? ( there's probably a train term for furnace, my train terminology is limited to ' train ' and ' track ' ) Grgrgrandfather was a fireman post war, a one-armed one which I've never been able to figure out.
Looks like a light colored shirt to my tired eyes.
 
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Lima, OH
#6
Not trying to be a jerk, but...Coal was actually shoveled into the Firebox (combustion chamber). The boiler is the pressure vessel itself.
The resultant heat from the firebox "fed" the boiler, generating steam, thus providing power.
Your one armed GGGrandfather fireman must have been a heck of a man.
 

Lubliner

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#7

Norm53

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#9
I really was trying to figure the building in the background. A hotel, bar and waiting room with a ticket sales window. The balcony had nobody watching, surprising me it should be empty. But look off to the last window above on the right.
Lubliner.
I don't follow you. To which photo do you refer?
 

Norm53

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#11
Partly answered my own question, considering the map, but I need a better view of both. (Even the famous Latrobe is cited.)

(Everything worth knowing is located somewhere on the Internet!)
 
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Norm53

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Cape May, NJ
#13
I was mentioning the one shared by the OP, but your attachment allowed me to answer what I saw.
I understand it all now. The OP photo shows the RR over the viaduct with the Relay House. The reference at the end of the OP shows the viaduct and the Viaduct Hotel.
http://thomas-viaduct-relay-maryland.blogspot.com/
The Viaduct Hotel replaced the Relay House per the Wiki article.
The new Relay House is a replica of the original building.

PS. I wish that the Wiki links would appear w/o the entire articles. They are cumbersome in viewing the post.
 
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