Colonial & Early American
The Western & Atlantic Railroad
Built and owned by the State of Georgia, the Western & Atlantic Railroad was constructed between 1841-1850. Costing a staggering five million dollars for the time, the Western & Atlantic established itself as an integral link of multiple railroads which connected ports along the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River.
Given its isolation, the first locomotive for the train had to be literally carted in pieces, delivered piece-meal, and assembled on the tracks of the new railroad line.
Service began four years after construction began, on December 23rd 1842. The inaugral run began at Atlanta [Marthasville], and terminated in Marietta.
At the inception of the Civil War, the Western & Atlantic Railroad had grown to a total of 46 woodburning locomotives. The railroad itself played a key role in the Confederacy, providing key transportation logistics and delivery of materiel for the war effort. Its strategic loss during the Atlanta Campaign dealt a serious blow to the Confederacy, and by some historians' accounts, was a key contributor to the eventual downfall of the South. As with much of the South's key infrastructure, the railroad was heavily damaged during the war.
The line was repaired, and passed through the hands of several railroad conglomerates. Interestingly, during the life of this important railroad, the State of Georgia has continuously held title and simply leased it out. Presently, CSX Transportation possesses a long-term lease for the line from the State of Georgia.
Below please find a recent Western & Atlantic Railroad Note acquired from auction. Denominated at 50 cents, the note is dated May 1862. I estimate it to be in Fine condition. Upon delivery, I will post an updated image.
(note: I would have preferred posting this in the exonumia section. However, pursuant to the section description, that section is only for coinage but not scrip.)
Building the Western and Atlantic Railroad
Route of the Western and Atlantic Railroad
Last edited by CheetahCats; 03-31-2011 at 09:38 AM.
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