Richmond & Danville Railroad

Richmond & Danville Railroad (HM18VV)

Location: Danville, VA 24541
Country: United States of America

N 36° 35.129', W 79° 23.067'

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Reconstruction Period

When Confederate President Jefferson Davis was informed April 2, 1865, that Petersburg had fallen and Federal armies were approaching, he used the Richmond & Danville Railroad to evacuate his government to Danville.

Ten days later, after Davis' refugee government continued south, the rail bridge crossing the Dan River barely escaped demolition orders issued by Confederate Gen. Lunsford L. Lomax.

Danville Mayor J.M. Walker protested the order as a useless and unjustified sacrifice of public property and asked that the order be suspended.

On April 27, 1865, the Union Sixth Corps arrived in Danville. An entire division of 8,000 soldiers was moved from Danville to Burkeville May 2-5.

Eighteen thousand men made the trip to Manchester on the Richmond and Danville, May 10-22. By June more than 800 soldiers a day, some Union moving north, some paroled prisoners moving south, used the road. Total soldier traffic reached 15,600.

In 1894, the Richmond & Danville and dozens of its associated lines were absorbed by the new Southern Railway Company, becoming part of a rail empire expanding to more than 8,000 miles. Even though automobiles, buses and airplanes have swallowed the declining passenger lines, and the signs at the stations on the old Richmond & Danville now read: "Freight Service Only," the railroad of Whitmell P. Tunstall still performs a vital role in the system that serves the South.

"It requires courage and patriotism to achieve a great enterprise. Ignorance and vulgarity may abuse it. The prize is before you; to win it, you have only to will it. - Despise it; ther are others eager to clutch it." - Whitmell P. Tunstall, 1850
HM NumberHM18VV
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 at 7:29am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 644527 N 4050104
Decimal Degrees36.58548333, -79.38445000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 35.129', W 79° 23.067'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 35' 7.74" N, 79° 23' 4.02" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)434
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 401-519 Riverwalk Trail, Danville VA 24541, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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