East Tennessee & Georgia Railroad Co. Scrip

Chattanooga Railroad E TN & GA Scrip Quick find - List Bibliography

East Tennessee & Georgia Railroad Overview
The East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad, 1836-1860 by James W. Holland from
East Tenn. Historical Society's Publications, Jan. 1931.

In 1839 the construction of the Hiwassee Railroad (the predecessor to the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad) was entirely suspended, after 66 miles had been graded and a bridge built over the Hiwassee River at Calhoun because of the high cost of the initial section of road and the Panic of 1837. (See details in the Hiwassee Railroad Overview)

The Hiwassee Railroad company was re-chartered by the state February 4, 1848 under the name of the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad and the completion was extended to 1860. Also, the railroad was authorized and empowered with the consent and authority of the Legislature of the State of Georgia to connect with the Western and Atlantic Railroad at Dalton.

After Duff Green, the initial construction contractor, failed, the company entered into a contract for completion of the road with William Grant and Company. This firm completed the railroad from Dalton to Calhoun. Another contract followed this, now with J. G. Dent and Company, who made rapid progress in the construction of the road. Before August 10, 1852, the railroad was plying daily between Dalton and Blair's Ferry. The train left Dalton at 2:30 PM and arrived at Blair's Ferry by 6:35 PM.

By the end of 1852 the stockholders were beginning to realize profits on their investment. The net profits for that year were $22,004.72. The profits increased to $51,613.22 in 1853 and $79,301.74 in 1854.

In 1854, the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad Company acquired the charter of the Chattanooga, Harrison, Georgetown and Charleston Railroad Company and by virtue of that acquisition became empowered to build a branch line from Cleveland to Chattanooga. A contract was entered into with John D. Gray for the entire grading and masonry of this thirty-mile railroad.

Throughout the winter and early spring of 1855 the work on the section of road between Blair's Ferry and Knoxville was steadily pushed forward. In June of 1855, the first train ever to enter Knoxville came puffing into that city over the East Tennessee and Georgia rails. This completion gave Knoxville a direct rail connection to Dalton, Georgia, there connecting with the Western and Atlantic, and thorough its connections, with Charleston, Augusta, Atlanta, Savannah and Montgomery. Within one month track laying was to start at Knoxville on the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad.

The branch line form Cleveland to Chattanooga, having weathered the Panic of 1857, was completed in the following year. This gave East Tennessee and Georgia ingress to Chattanooga, then a point of reshipment of goods coming up the Tennessee River. At Chattanooga, the East Tennessee and Georgia connected with the Nashville and Chattanooga, which joined the Memphis and Charleston Railroad at Stevenson, Alabama near Chattanooga and the Western and Atlantic.

In 1858, also, the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad was completed. This railroad connected at Knoxville with the East Tennessee and Georgia, and at Bristol, Tennessee- Virginia, its northeastern terminus, with the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, which was a link in connections to Washington, D. C. New York City and other eastern cities. It also connected the Cotton South and the Southwest with Virginia -- a feature which made it of almost inestimable strategic importance in the great civil conflict which was soon to come.

The East Tennessee was used as a direct route from Chattanooga to Richmond. The line is currently part of the Southern System.

Chattanooga Railroad E TN & GA Scrip Quick find - List Bibliography

E-mail Questions or Comments