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Historic Railroad Map of the Southern United States - 1839

Code:
1W-SS-GA-1839-S-P
Shipping Weight:
2.00 pounds
Starting at $29.95

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Map of the Georgia Railroad and the several lines of railroad connecting with it.

This outline map showing routes used by the Georgia Railroad was published in 1839 by J. Edgar Thomson. It shows place names, relief and drainage. Railroads are labeled, with the Georgia Railroad highlighted in red. Canals are highlighted in blue. Remarks printed at the lower right inform us that:

"The Georgia Railroad extends from Augusta, GA. The head of navigation on the Savannah River to the Western & Atlantic Railroad, which it joins near Decatur. Length 165 miles. Length of the Western & Atlantic Railroad 130 miles, making the total distance from the navigable waters of the Atlantic to those of the Mississippi 295 miles. The greatest rise on this route is 36 feet per mile and no stationary power required on the whole line."

The Georgia Railroad was chartered in 1833. The broad gauge (5ft) line originally intended to connect Augusta with Athens, with a short branch to Madison. Its company was reorganized in 1835 to include banking services. Subsequently the railroad extended its Madison branch northwest to a location where it could connect with the Western & Atlantic Railroad which was being built west from Savannah. The site of the junction was called Terminus. The Georgia Railroad adapted standard gauge rails in the 1880's.

The banking side of the Georgia Railroad Company became quite prosperous. The company’s chief engineer, and publisher of this map, J. Edgar Thomson rallied in the 1840's for the junction town, originally named Terminus, then Thrasherville, and since 1842 as Marthasville, to be renamed Atlantica-Pacifica. Thomson had lofty ideas about transportation. His Georgia Railroad was completed from Augusta to Marthasville in 1845, becoming the longest railroad in the world. Atlantica-Pacifica was shortened to Atlanta and incorporated as so two years later.

Thomson was also responsible for surveying and designing the Augusta Canal which was completed in 1847. He later obtained control of the Montgomery & West Point Railroad and helped built the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad before moving back to his home state of Pennsylvania and managing the Pennsylvania Railroad until his death in 1874.

During the American Civil War, Atlanta's population swelled from about 9,000 to over 22,000 as industries there boomed with efforts to supply the Confederate army with munitions and supplies. The Georgia Railroad was a major transporter of war materials during the war.

Atlanta was a critically important transportation and distribution center to the South at that time. Atlanta also became an obvious target for Union forces. On July 20th, 1864, Union troops under the command of General William T. Sherman began an aerial bombardment against the city that lasted over a month. Many civilians were killed and Atlanta was badly damaged. Sherman's troops captured the city on September 2, 1864 and ordered the remaining residents to evacuate. On November 15, 1864, Union soldiers destroyed the city's public buildings before departing on their "Savannah Campaign". Careless in their haste to depart, many buildings and residences that were not intended for destruction were destroyed by fire.