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 :: Railroads ::
Information about railroads in Richmond, Va., during the Civil War.

This page is a collection of sources on the railroads in Richmond during the Civil War. Five lines terminated in Richmond: Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad, Richmond and York River Railroad, Richmond and Danville Railroad, and the Virginia Central Railroad. None of these lines connected in the city. In addition, the city worked on a railroad through the city at various times during the war.

Richmond Dispatch 11/8/1860; report from the board of the Richmond and York River Railroad; important details about RR’s plans and operations
Richmond Dispatch 4/23/1861; description of the arrival of Col. Robert E. Lee into Richmond and speech from the Spotswood Hotel
Richmond Dispatch 4/23/1861; train has left the Fredericksburg depot to convey the VMI cadets to Richmond
Richmond Dispatch 4/23/1861; construction on the city railway continues
Richmond at War 4/26/1861; city council approves railroad connections through the city
Richmond Dispatch 4/27/1861; order to connect the railroads in Richmond and Petersburg
Richmond Dispatch 5/2/1861; the city railroad has been advanced as far as the American hotel and is progressing nicely
Richmond Dispatch 5/2/1861; plans are being made to connect the RF&P and Richmond & Petersburg RRs through Richmond, and well as connections through Petersburg
Richmond Dispatch 5/30/1861; great description of the arrival of President Jefferson Davis in Richmond and the celebration in the city as he is escorted to Spotswood Hotel; later he reviewed the troops at Camp Lee
Richmond Dispatch 6/1/1861; Description of the arrival of Gen. Beauregard at the Spotswood Hotel
Richmond Dispatch 6/25/1861; New Orleans Washington Artillery leaves Richmond for Manassas
Richmond Dispatch 7/2/1861; 5th North Carolina Regiment arrives in Richmond and camps near the York River RR depot
Richmond Whig 7/4/1861; lamentation regarding the use of the new city railroad
Richmond Dispatch 7/6/1861; City Railroad is not running because of lack of cars
Richmond Dispatch 7/10/1861; report of a collision on the Virginia Central and R. F. & P. RRs
Richmond Dispatch 7/10/1861; Dr. Hoge, chaplain at Camp Lee, has set up collection place for donations next to the R. F. & P. depot
Richmond Dispatch 7/16/1861; POWs from Yorktown arrive, and are taken to the prison depot; some are from the "scum of Baltimore," and one a spy
Richmond Dispatch 7/24/1861; description of the arrival of the bodies of Generals Bartow and Bee in Richmond and conveyance to the Capitol to lie in state
Richmond Dispatch 7/24/1861; anxiety in Richmond over the slain at First Manassas; huge crowds assemble at the Central depot, where "Gen." Davis (the President) arrives and addresses the crowd
Richmond Dispatch 7/24/1861; 631 prisoners arrive from Manassas and are taken to the prison depot - six hundred more are expected soon
Richmond Dispatch 7/25/1861; trains arrive from Manassas bearing wounded, who are taken to private homes for treatment; 500-600 POWs are set to arrive; the prison depot is already full; notes that General Corcoran arrived in Richmond two days ago
Richmond Dispatch 7/25/1861; bodies of Bartow, Bee, and Johnston were escorted from the Capitol to the Petersburg depot for transportation South
Richmond Dispatch 8/1/1861; report of a body left on the platform at the Virginia Central depot
Richmond Dispatch 8/2/1861; rumor of body on the platform at the Virginia Central depot is false
Richmond Dispatch 8/3/1861; the number of wounded POWs is now near 500 and more arriving; medicines will be needed
Richmond Dispatch 8/3/1861; appointment of new superintendent of the Richmond and York River RR
Richmond Dispatch 8/3/1861; great description of train accident on the Central Railroad, near Hanover Junction
Richmond Dispatch 8/4/1861; more details on the Hanover Junction train wreck
Richmond Dispatch 8/5/1861; 74 new Yankee POWs arrive - housed at prison in Jefferson Ward
Richmond Whig 8/5/1861; connecting tracks for the RF&P and Petersburg RRs (running up 8th st) will be completed in a few days
Richmond Whig 8/5/1861; new superintendent for the Richmond and York RR
Richmond Enquirer 8/10/1861; Railroad up 8th street, connecting RF&P & Petersburg Railroad is nearly complete
Richmond Dispatch 8/30/1861; 13 POWs arrive
Richmond Enquirer 9/3/1861; a car is running on the new city railroad
Richmond Whig 9/4/1861; the new city passenger railway is now in use
Richmond Dispatch 9/18/1861; locomotive "J. R. Anderson" is on the new tracks connecting the RF&P and Petersburg RRs
Richmond Enquirer 9/21/1861; Jamestown relic is in the hands of Thomas Wynne, the Superintendent of the R&P railroad
Richmond Dispatch 9/27/1861; Virginia Central RR is building a stone building at their RR shops
Richmond Dispatch 10/2/1861; excellent account of the arrival in Richmond of federal prisoners and their route through the city to Mayo's factory prison
Richmond Dispatch 10/7/1861; details on the times of departure at the Petersburg Railroad
Richmond Dispatch 10/7/1861; More than 100 sick arrive for hospitals via the Central railroad
Richmond Dispatch 10/8/1861; correction of times of departure on the Petersburg Railroad
Richmond Dispatch 10/24/1861; details on the anxiety at the Central depot over the non-arrival of prisoners; too many prisoners in town; Plans afoot to convert a tobacco factory on 25th into a prison
Richmond Dispatch 10/25/1861; Enormous description of arrival of POWs at VA Central depot. Sent to Mayo's Factory, corner 25th and Cary. Much on 18th & 19th GA as guards. Wm. Harris, future author, is among the prisoners
Richmond Whig 1/8/1862; schemes for connecting railroads via tunnels are before the Legislature
Richmond Dispatch 1/21/1862; Knifing and shooting at Va. Central RR depot.
Richmond Dispatch 1/21/1862; Engineer of RF&P RR murdered
Richmond Dispatch 1/23/1862; 4 POWs arrive on the Richmond and Danville Railroad
Richmond Dispatch 1/25/1862; details on plan to connect area RRs by “permanent tracks”
Richmond Dispatch 1/25/1862; ambulance train runs off the track near Gordonsville. Nobody hurt.
Richmond Dispatch

1/25/1862; an engine on the Va. Central RR blows up - no one hurt.

Richmond Dispatch 1/28/1862; new schedule for trains on R&YRRR
Richmond Whig 1/28/1862; General Assembly passes a bill to move the line of the South Side Railroad to avoid the High Bridge, near Farmville, which has been scaring passengers
Richmond Dispatch 2/7/1862; Two cars of Va. Central freight train derail just below Hanover Court House.
Richmond Dispatch 2/13/1862; soldier badly injured in mis-step at RF&P RR depot
Richmond Whig 2/15/1862; Capt. O. J. Wise's remains arrive via the Petersburg depot and taken to lie in state on the third floor of the Capitol in the room "recently fitted up for the occupancy of the Confederate Senate"
Richmond Dispatch 2/17/1862; RYRRR offering special train for in-bound visitors to inauguration
Richmond Dispatch 2/19/1862; VCRR adv for "section master" from Manassas to Centreville
Richmond Dispatch 2/25/1862; Wind storm: slate blown off steeple of Broad Street M. E. Church, also adjacent scaffolding; 100 yards of Petersburg RR bridge track and flooring blown into the river; 50 old pines at Howard’s Grove fall – smash into half dozen houses formerly used by 57 VA; tin roof at Greanor’s Factory (future Castle Thunder), 18th St., blown off.
Richmond Enquirer 3/6/1862; locomotive explodes on the Orange and Alexandria railroad
Richmond Dispatch 3/8/1862; locomotive hauled through the city streets to RF&P depot with considerable difficulty
Richmond Dispatch 3/14/1862; slide on Richmond and York River Railroad repaired
Richmond Dispatch 3/22/1862; 14 year old boy run over by train on RF&P tracks near Brook Road
Richmond Dispatch 3/22/1862; 77 Unionists from Loudon County arrive via VCRR & incarcerated in “military prison on Main street.”
Richmond Dispatch 3/25/1862; RYRRR repaired after rain damage
Richmond Dispatch 3/27/1862; 4 Yankee POWs arrive via the VCRR
Richmond Dispatch 4/5/1862; B&O RR engine taken from RF&P depot via Broad St. to RYRRR Depot
Richmond Dispatch 4/16/1862; new superintendent for the Richmond and York River Railroad
Richmond Enquirer 4/18/1862; man pardoned from the Penitentiary after serving time for placing obstructions on the Central railroad
Richmond Dispatch 4/22/1862; 14 Yankee POWs arrive via the VCRR
Richmond Dispatch 4/28/1862; slave whipped for stealing corn, VCRR depot
Richmond Dispatch 5/5/1862; unusually large shipments of sick soldiers taxes city transportation
Richmond Dispatch 5/5/1862; railroad tracks on 9th and Broad sts for the “street railway” taken up for use elsewhere
Richmond Dispatch 5/9/1862; car on city railway collapses, Main betw 13 & 14 - horsedrawn
Richmond Dispatch 5/27/1862; Va. Central RR given permission to lay temporary track from its depot to RF&P depot
Richmond Enquirer 5/27/1862; City Council meets to allow the Va. Central Railroad to erect a temporary track up Broad street to connect it with the Fredericksburg depot
Richmond Dispatch 5/28/1862; track connecting RF&P w/ Va Central commenced immediately once permission granted
Richmond Enquirer 5/28/1862; Va. Central RR is building their temporary track up Broad street to connect with the RF&P
Richmond Enquirer 5/31/1862; temporary track of the Va. Central RR has succeeded in removing their engines to the RF&P depot
Richmond Dispatch 6/2/1862; citizens urged to go to RYRRR depot with supplies, mattresses, etc
Richmond Enquirer 6/3/1862; anyone with furniture wagons or buggies should bring them to the York River depot to transport the wounded
Richmond Dispatch 6/4/1862; Dibrell’s Warehouse near RYRRR impressed into hospital duty
Richmond Dispatch 6/4/1862; long article on RR accident in city, on 8th st - two injuries, canal bridge damaged, etc. On tracks connecting R&P w/ RF&P. Also boy run over on Broad, on connecting tracts between RF&P & Va. Cent. Byrd Island Hospital and Spotswood Hotel mentioned.
Richmond Enquirer 6/5/1862; description of accidents involving freeloading boys on the new connecting railway between the Central road and the RF&P up Broad street.
Richmond Enquirer 6/7/1862; accident at the Petersburg RR depot - man's leg maimed by incoming train. Taken to Bird Island Hospital
Richmond Dispatch 6/10/1862; temporary tracks on Broad street, connecting the RF&P and VA Central RRs are doing good work
Richmond Dispatch 6/19/1862; member of A9Ala shot at R&P RR bridge in scuffle with picket
Richmond Enquirer 6/19/1862; drunk Alabama Sergeant attempts to cross the Petersburg RR bridge and is arrested - resists arrest, shot, and sent to Kent & Paine Hospital
Richmond Dispatch 6/20/1862; "the" city rail car breaks down "at the turning on Main street."
Richmond Dispatch 7/2/1862; ambulance committee using omnibuses from Petersburg railroads
Richmond Dispatch 7/2/1862; important article on RYRRR Bridge over the Chickahominy
Richmond Dispatch 7/3/1862; Richmond Railway stables near corner 24th and Main adv for lost horse
Richmond Whig 7/3/1862; article describing the destruction along the Richmond and York River RR following the Seven Days.
Richmond Dispatch 7/4/1862; body of dead CSA soldier on RYRRR depot platform for two days
Richmond Dispatch 7/8/1862; RR engine, VCRR, slips off Broad St. connector track. Notes that the VCRR’s operations will be resuming now that the Federals are gone.
Richmond Dispatch 7/9/1862; RF&P RR adv for 20 negro men to repair RR between Richmond and South Anna
Richmond Enquirer 7/9/1862; Description of an accident on the connecting tracks of the Central RR up Broad street
Richmond Dispatch 7/10/1862; update on Va. Central RR damages – bridge over the Chickahominy is being rebuilt, and the engine that fell down Broad street is still there, but will soon be moved.
Richmond Dispatch 7/10/1862; Good description of the Danville Railroad Hospital (GH#28)
Richmond Dispatch 7/10/1862; adv from RF&P for 50 carpenters & hewers to work on bridges, & also to purchase timber
Richmond Examiner 7/11/1862; Spottswood Hotel and Danville RR shop to be used as hospitals
Richmond Dispatch 7/14/1862; Yankee Surgeons to be exchanged, except those at Savage's Station
Richmond Dispatch 7/14/1862; 2 cooks and 3 laundresses needed at Central Depot Hospital
Richmond Dispatch 7/14/1862; 10 gallons of milk needed daily at Central Depot Hospital
Richmond Dispatch 7/15/1862; RDRR wants to extend up Virginia Street. J. Johns, Medical Purveyor, protests. Also, Mr. Crutchfield introduces a bill about “weighing of long forage in the Second Market.”
Richmond Dispatch 7/16/1862; list of wounded POWs brought in from Savage’s. Libby Hospital too full. Had to spend night at RYRRR depot
Richmond Dispatch 7/18/1862; VCRR cars to resume travel to Staunton. RR finally repaired
Richmond Dispatch 7/18/1862; VCRR to have special car between Louisa C. H. & Richmond to accept donations from citizens for Richmond hospitals
Richmond Dispatch 7/18/1862; 20 laborers wanted for work on RYRRR
Richmond Enquirer 7/19/1862; mortality among wounded prisoners is very great - 20 died at the York River RR depot
Richmond Dispatch 7/21/1862; 2 empty freight cars escape down Broad Street, crash into VCRR buildings at foot of hill
Richmond Dispatch 7/21/1862; adv from RDRR for runaway negroes
Richmond Dispatch 7/21/1862; 20 men needed to work, RYRRR
Richmond Dispatch 7/25/1862; Central Hospital is now vacant
Richmond Dispatch 7/26/1862; VCRR brings back repair machinery – had been sent away as a precaution
Richmond Dispatch 7/28/1862; 1100 WIA POWs sent away over the weekend. 300 more arrive from Savage’s. Talbott & Bonn’s Factory, 18th Street, still has officers. Other factory prisons now empty. Libby will soon be empty
Richmond Dispatch 7/30/1862; RFPRR adv for timber & carpenters
Richmond Dispatch 8/9/1862; prisoners from Lynchburg are arriving in Richmond, preparatory to exchange
Richmond Dispatch 8/18/1862; the last of the Salisbury prisoners have arrived in Richmond, preparatory to exchange
Richmond Whig 8/29/1862; several hundred prisoners arrive at the Central depot, and have to lie on the streets for several hours, until they are marched off to Camp Winder
Richmond Dispatch 9/1/1862; 60 POWs arrive at Central depot
Richmond Dispatch 9/4/1862; 30 mules dragging captured railroad engine on Cary street
Richmond Dispatch 9/10/1862; City report on expenditures, fiscal year ending 2/28/1862. Spent $30,409 on Alms House, $567 for painting roof of Seabrook’s Warehouse, $509 for improvements at Oakwood Cemetery; VCRR gets permission to use temporary Broad Street tracks to connect RF&P RR with VCRR – wish to transfer 40 freight cars & five passenger cars to VCRR; city council wonders why armory for volunteer companies of the city, 9th between Main & Cary, not yet completed
Richmond Dispatch 9/18/1862; Two Yankee RR engines at RYRR Depot – nice details
Richmond Dispatch 9/26/1862; Mrs. Jones, 25th between Main & Cary, has son badly injured by cars at R&YRRR depot
Richmond Dispatch 9/29/1862; Dr. B. A. Curtis, GH#1, selling his farm in New Kent County on RYRRR
Richmond Dispatch 10/1/1862; details on the Soldiers’ homes – the barrack next to the Central Depot is “broken up” and the remaining soldiers’ homes (Conrad & Crew’s Factory & “the Franklin street barrack”) are often strained to capacity.
Richmond Dispatch 10/1/1862; 150 ANV wounded arrive on VCRR – sent to GH#1
Richmond Dispatch 10/2/1862; negro boy run over by “street railway car,” Main below 20th
Richmond Enquirer 10/21/1862; man garroted near the Central depot and robbed of his possessions - mention steps leading down into the valley from Broad street
Richmond Dispatch 10/28/1862; VCRR now runs “ambulance train” from Richmond, Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Richmond Dispatch 11/1/1862; R&P RR adv sale of 3 omnibuses. Described.
Richmond Dispatch 11/7/1862; VCRR train from Gordonsville deposits 2MANA wounded at GH#9
Richmond Whig 11/18/1862; accident on the City Railroad – horses run off the track at 19th or 20th street
Richmond Whig 11/18/1862; 110 prisoners brought to Richmond on the Central railroad along with a “number of sutlers”
Richmond Whig 11/18/1862; George M. Savage’s house burns down, formerly used as a Yankee hospital during the Seven Days (Savage’s Station)
Richmond Dispatch 12/17/1862; Maxcy Gregg’s body arrived 12/15 – placed in Provost Marshal’s office. City Battalion & Public Guard, with full band, escorted it to R&P RR depot 12/16 afternoon. Route of parade given. No Hollywood.
Richmond Dispatch 12/17/1862; wounded men laying around untended at RF&P RR depot
Richmond Dispatch 1/15/1863; freight train accident near Ashland on the RF&P RR
Richmond Dispatch 1/23/1863; captured Yankee railroad engine has been re-gauged and assigned to the Danville RR
Richmond Dispatch 1/28/1863; workmen are tearing up the connecting tracks on Broad street (connecting the RF&P and the Central RRs)
Richmond Sentinel 3/20/1863; body of John Pelham has been brought to the Capitol to lie in state - the body of Major Puller (ancestor to the famous USMC General "Chesty" Puller) has passed through Richmond on the York River Railroad
Richmond Sentinel 3/23/1863; Danville RR cars bring in over 1000 prisoners, some officers named. At present, there are 180 officers in Libby Prison
Richmond Enquirer 5/12/1863; detailed description of the arrival of Gen. Stonewall Jackson's remains and the subsequent procession to Capitol Square
Richmond Dispatch 5/12/1863; detailed description of the arrival in Richmond of Stonewall Jackson's remains and the procession through the city
Richmond Dispatch 5/14/1863; Stonewall Jackson's remains were taken from the Capitol to the Central RR depot
Richmond Enquirer 5/14/1863; description of the removal of Jackson's remains to the Central RR depot
Richmond Sentinel 5/14/1863; Public guard escorts the remains of General Jackson to the Central Depot for transportation to Lexington
Richmond Sentinel 3/8/1864; The body of Ulric Dahlgren has been brought to Richmond - indicates that he was not exhibited, though the public clamored for views
Richmond Whig 3/8/1864; the body of Col. Ulric Dahlgren is on display at the York River depot; describes the corpse and mentions that it was buried in an unknown place
Richmond Whig 3/28/1864; boy is decapitated after attempting to jump onto the Fredericksburg train on Broad street
Richmond Dispatch 4/5/1864; Patient at Chimborazo maims himself on Richmond and York River RR to escape service.
Richmond Whig 4/5/1864; Patient at Chimborazo maims himself on Richmond and York River RR to escape service.
Richmond Examiner 5/21/1864; 4,419 admitted to GH#9 between 5/6 & 5/20
Richmond Examiner 5/31/1864; 1100 POWs from Libby are to be sent to Andersonville
M346 Richmond & Danville RR file 7/5/1864; Richmond and Danville Railroad needs to charge the government more for transportation due to the higher prices for cars and locomotives
National Archives, M346 7/8/1864; CS Govt. will pay the RF&P RR 50% more to assist them in making repairs to damage done to it during the recent raids
Richmond Sentinel 8/5/1864; items from the Mayor's docket: two negro girls are thrashed for calling a white man "poor white trash;" a boy escapee from the Alms House is sent back there after stoning a man at the Petersburg depot
Richmond Whig 9/17/1864; description of the arrival of Gen Morgan's remains via the Danville train, their lying in state in the Capitol building and burial in Hollywood cemetery
Richmond Sentinel 9/19/1864; train guards will be examining passes, and none without proper papers will be allowed to pass through Richmond
Richmond Sentinel 9/28/1864; locomotive traveling up the connector track on 8th street, gets out of control near the Spotswood and falls back down into the canal bridge
Richmond Whig 9/28/1864; locomotive traveling up the connector track on 8th street, gets out of control near the Spotswood and falls back down into the canal bridge
Richmond Sentinel 10/3/1864; Mr. Harvie, President of the Richmond and Danville Railroad, collides with an oncoming train while operating a handcar in Manchester and is injured
Richmond Sentinel 10/27/1864; negro boy is killed after trying to jump on to the Fredericksburg train on Broad street; appeal for this practice to be stopped
Richmond Whig 10/27/1864; negro boy is killed after trying to jump on to the Fredericksburg train on Broad street; appeal for this practice to be stopped

Richmond Sentinel

11/15/1864; car shed for the Danville railroad burns up, along with ten railroad cars.

Richmond Sentinel

12/12/1864; a conductor on the Fredericksburg railroad is shot by a criminal and dies at the "officers’ hospital (City Alms House)." Gives a list of the doctors who treated him

Richmond Whig 4/4/1865; excellent account of the evacuation and burning of Richmond
New York Herald 4/5/1865; Details on the Federal occupation of Richmond - notes that much railroad stock was captured at Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/11/1865; appeal for a city railroad to replace one the CS built to transport iron to Rocketts
Richmond Whig 4/12/1865; idea of city railway has been adopted by Northern capitalists
National Tribune

8/17/1899; “A Union Man in Richmond;” part five of serial account. Describes the scene in Richmond in early to mid-1863. Mentions hedonistic activity at the Exchange, Ballard and Spotswood hotels; prostitution and gambling flourishing in Richmond around the Exchange Hotel; trying to get a pass out of Richmond from Gen. Winder; and subsequent trip to Staunton on the railroad

Page last updated on 07/17/2008