In its peak years the canal employed 75 deck boats, 66 open boats, 54 batteaux, 6 passenger or packet boats, 425 horses, and 900 men.
"The batteaux...charmed my young eyes more than all the gondolas of Venice." George William Bagby, c. 1830
In addition to commercial barges and batteaux, passenger boats, called "packets," ran along the James River and Kanawha Canal between Richmond and Lynchburg. At night, the lower deck was divided into two sleeping compartments - one for men and one for women - but some chose to remain above and contemplate the stars.