Mile Post 42

Mile Post 42 (HM1B0G)

Location: Dickson, TN 37055 Dickson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 4.524', W 87° 23.328'

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The U.S. Military Railroad

The railroad in front of you was part of a vital transportation network for the Federal army during the Civil War. W.H.Crutcher had purchased 533 acres and constructed a sixteen-by-sixteen foot log structure here in December 1860. After occupying the region in the spring of 1862, Union officers needed a reliable, efficient transportation link between the steamboats docked at Johnsonville on the Tennessee River and the major Union base at Nashville. They seized the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad that ran to Kingston Springs with plans to extend the tracks to Johnsonville. They completed it two years later as a Federal military railroad.

Free blacks and former slaves impressed by the Union Army constructed the military railroad. The 12th and 13th U.S. Colored Troops Infantry Regiments defended the railroad from Confederate cavalry and guerrilla attacks. These 78 miles of rail became vitally important after Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan burned the south tunnel of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad in Sumner County, thus delaying southbound Federal supplies to Nashville.

Union Gen. William T. Sherman later stated, "The Atlanta campaign would simply have been impossible without the use of railroads." After the military railroad was completed in 1864, army supplies were transported south by ship to the port facility at Johnsonville. From there, supplies were transferred from ships to railcars and transported through Mile Post 42 (present-day Dickson) to Nashville, Chattanooga and Atlanta.

Tennessee railroad map, from Civil War Atlas
Johnsonville Depot - Courtesy Library of Congress
Trestle, Sullivan's Branch Bridge No. 2 Courtesy Tennessee State Library and Archives
HM NumberHM1B0G
Series This marker is part of the Tennessee: Tennessee Civil War Trails series
Placed ByTennessee Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 11th, 2014 at 7:32am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 464991 N 3992381
Decimal Degrees36.07540000, -87.38880000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 4.524', W 87° 23.328'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 4' 31.44" N, 87° 23' 19.68" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)615, 931
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 106 Frank Clement Pl, Dickson TN 37055, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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