The Construction of Other Confederate Railroads

Lubliner

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An interesting thread that shows a bit of the forethought and planning for infrastructure in the south before the war. I couple of basic questions came to mind. On the first entry with Alabama concerning the Shelby Iron Works, only five miles of strap rail was needed and eventually laid for moving iron and coal. The argument over the track was with the 'Ordnance' or 'Ordinance' department? My thinking was as running rails out west in mining operations the land was owned. My question involves whether the argument concerning the land the five miles of rails crossed was over property rights, thus 'Ordinance Violation' or was it a foundry vs. railroad business, thus 'Ordnance' as you say @DaveBrt. Thanks.
On the Selma and Gulf Railroad the 43 miles of iron rails that were ordered, I was curious if this order could have been filled with on hand stock, or would it have to be smelted. If it was to be drawn from a stockpile already on hand, would that most likelly come from the north? Thanks.
In Arkansas there is mention of 7 miles of track already laid from Arkansas City in 1857. This road was never used, and the construction was halted. Was this iron used later in the war for another purpose? Thanks.
Lubliner.
 

DaveBrt

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Charlotte, NC
An interesting thread that shows a bit of the forethought and planning for infrastructure in the south before the war. I couple of basic questions came to mind. On the first entry with Alabama concerning the Shelby Iron Works, only five miles of strap rail was needed and eventually laid for moving iron and coal. The argument over the track was with the 'Ordnance' or 'Ordinance' department? My thinking was as running rails out west in mining operations the land was owned. My question involves whether the argument concerning the land the five miles of rails crossed was over property rights, thus 'Ordinance Violation' or was it a foundry vs. railroad business, thus 'Ordnance' as you say @DaveBrt. Thanks.
On the Selma and Gulf Railroad the 43 miles of iron rails that were ordered, I was curious if this order could have been filled with on hand stock, or would it have to be smelted. If it was to be drawn from a stockpile already on hand, would that most likelly come from the north? Thanks.
In Arkansas there is mention of 7 miles of track already laid from Arkansas City in 1857. This road was never used, and the construction was halted. Was this iron used later in the war for another purpose? Thanks.
Lubliner.
The Ordnance official involved was Colin McRae who was also part owner of the Shelby Iron Works. The issue was the company's taking some of their production and using it to not fill government demands for iron. Everything calmed down when McRae was sent to Europe.
Selma & Gulf -- I have no proof that any of the iron had arrived. If it had, it might have been in Mobile or New Orleans waiting for the payment of taxes, but I doubt it. If it was in the country, its fate would depend on who got hold of it -- Federals, railroad men, ship builders, Ordnance Department officers.
The Arkansas iron was on the Mississippi, Ouachita & Red River RR. Some of it was taken up and used as protection on some of the river rams. I have it documented. I have no idea what happened to the remaining iron.
 

Lubliner

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Thank you @DaveBrt. I had been thinking of a few Texas forts on the Gulf that may have made use of them. So the main introduction of railroad iron to the southern states before the war began came mostly from the north, or were there established foundries near each of the southern lines of private ownership that would be competitive in pricing?
Lubliner.
 

DaveBrt

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Thank you @DaveBrt. I had been thinking of a few Texas forts on the Gulf that may have made use of them. So the main introduction of railroad iron to the southern states before the war began came mostly from the north, or were there established foundries near each of the southern lines of private ownership that would be competitive in pricing?
Lubliner.
I'm not aware of any Civil War period railroad iron in use in the South that had been made in the South. Southern iron was made in the North or in Wales. The Atlanta Iron Works and Etowah Iron Works are reported to have made some rail, but I can find no evidence of it. Tredegar made one batch of rail in 1860 that was sold to the Wilmington & Manchester RR in October 1861 ( less than 2 miles).

Atlanta did re-roll old rails pre-war, but again I can find no specifics as to who for, when or how much. Once the Navy got organized, they pretty well shut down any use of the big rollers for anything but armor plate production.
 

atlantis

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Nov 12, 2016
I'm not aware of any Civil War period railroad iron in use in the South that had been made in the South. Southern iron was made in the North or in Wales. The Atlanta Iron Works and Etowah Iron Works are reported to have made some rail, but I can find no evidence of it. Tredegar made one batch of rail in 1860 that was sold to the Wilmington & Manchester RR in October 1861 ( less than 2 miles).

Atlanta did re-roll old rails pre-war, but again I can find no specifics as to who for, when or how much. Once the Navy got organized, they pretty well shut down any use of the big rollers for anything but armor plate production.
IMHO it was a mistake to prioritize plate production over rail production. Even if you could not get plates from Britain you could probably get it from Austria which didn't have colonies to lose or much trade with US.
 

Lubliner

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I know at the very outset when the southern states started to secede, they were deluded into thinking the Union would be permissive. This caused Davis in Montgomery to send agents up north to find arms, even a Springfield workshop to purchase equipment, and many other items including boats and possibly rails. I believe two iron works in northern Tennessee and Kentucky were questioned early on about their ability to roll stock, but the reply was negative due to time constraints and other contracts.
Lubliner.
 
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