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Off the Rails: 1862

Off the Rails: 1862

March 1862. "Manassas, Va. Orange & Alexandria Railroad wrecked by retreating Confederates." Wet plate glass negative by George N. Barnard. View full size.

 

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O&A

I grew up in Burke, VA, within a few hundred yards of the former Orange & Alexandria line - close enough to distinctly hear the click-clack of the trains at night through the trees. There's a very interesting site on the history of the Orange & Alexandria here. The O&A tracks are now used by Amtrak, Norfolk Southern, and one of the commuter railways into Washington, the Virginia Railway Express.

I Beg To Differ

bobprobst states that "Confederates weren't in Manassas around that time. They were bottled up in Richmond and Stonewall Jackson was running up and down the valley. Later in the year (August) Jackson got into Manassas and tore up the rail lines. so I wonder if the time or if the place is wrong here?"

In fact the Confederate Army held the area around Manassas until March 11, 1862. General Johnson had concentrated the Confederate Army of The Potomac around Centreville, which is north of Manassas, for the army's winter camp for 1861-62. A six mile railroad from Manassas Junction to the Centreville camp was constructed to improve supply to the camp. On March 9, 1862 Johnson ordered his army to withdraw to the Rappahannock, abandoning the Centreville lines and Manassas, and both the Confederate military railway and the Orange & Alexandria where ordered to be destroyed The Union Army occupied Manassas on March 11, 1862. In other words the March 1862 is entirely correct.

Question on Date?

Confederates weren't in Manassas around that time. They were bottled up in Richmond and Stonewall Jackson was running up and down the valley. Later in the year (August) Jackson got into Manassas and tore up the rail lines. so I wonder if the time or if the place is wrong here? Or if this was just some guerilla action.

Abe? Is that you?

A little too short and dumpy to be him I think. But that
is still one fine stove pipe hat.

Puttin' On The Ritz

The Gentleman in the top-hat, timepiece in hand, appears to be wondering why his train is late.

Round and Round She Won't Go

That's the wrecked turntable in the foreground.

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