The city of Nashville was founded in 1779.
Chattanooga, located along the Tennessee River, prospered early due to manufacturing interests, and transportation; first by riverboat, and then using railroads.
Tennessee’s premier railroad was the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis. It was built in the 1850's between Nashville and Chattanooga, and eventually served as a major connection of the south.
During the American Civil War the railroad was often fought over. Constant sabotage was charged against both sides, as the train was used to carry supplies for Union troops and Confederate forces, at different times.
During the Civil War years, Chattanooga and vicinity experienced much fighting as the town was located at a critical battle point.
In a Supreme Court case in 1885, the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railroad was found to be not responsible for returning postage lost on mail not delivered during wartime.
In 1867 Chattanooga was nearly washed away as the Tennessee River rose to a level of 58 feet.
The Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis originally used the typical southern 5 foot gauge rail. The line adopted the U.S. standard gauge of 4 ft 8 1/2in in 1886, when it was mandated that railroads switch to be compatible.
This map of the United States was published in 1889 by W.L. Danley. It shows relief, drainage, cities, towns, counties, and railroads. The railroad network shows stations and labeled railroad lines of 1889 emphasizing Tennessee.
Inset maps are of Chattanooga, Nashville and West Nashville, and Mexico and the West Indies.