Ruins of the C & N Railroad Bridge across the Tennessee River at Running Water, between Bridgeport and Chattanooga

Object Number: 
1945.580.26
Date: 
19 September 1863
Medium: 
Brown watercolor and graphite on paper
Dimensions: 
Overall: 7 1/4 x 9 5/16 in. (18.4 x 23.7 cm) mat: 11 x 14 in. ( 27.9 x 35.6 cm )
Inscriptions: 
Inscribed along lower edge inside image in graphite: "Desn.[?] R. R. across Running Water ? C. & N. R. R. / between Bridgeport & Chattanooga --"
Description: 
Civil War Drawings Collection. Drawn by an unnamed engineer with Maj. General Bragg's staff. Engraved for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 19 September 1863 (XVI:416):408, as "The War in Tennessee--Ruins of the Railroad Bridge at Running Water." The railroad bridge at Running Water Creek was a vital strategic link between Nashville and Chattanooga. In September 1863, Confederates destroyed the first bridge to prevent the Union from using it to transport supplies. Hooker, who had been given orders to prepare for his movement from Bridgeport into Lookout Valley sent engineers to repair the bridge over Running Water. 'Baldy' Smith, an engineer and general, immediately began studying options and on October 19, 1863, he determined it would be possible to build a bridge over the Tennessee without Hooker's force controlling the valley. Federal engineers constructed an engineering marvel, an almost 100-foot high wooden trestle bridge, and soon reopened the railroad. Confederate cavalry discovered the work in progress on the 26th and reported it to Braxton Bragg but he and Longstreet could not prevent the Union advance over the repaired bridge. Federal troops occupied the area, protecting the bridge for the remainder of the fighting.
Credit Line: 
James B. Wilbur Fund
Provenance: 
John T. Kavanaugh Collection, Rutherford, New Jersey, 1945
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group