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Weldon in Halifax County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Wilmington & Weldon RR Trestle

Lee's Lifeline

 

—Confederate Lifeline —

 
Wilmington & Weldon RR Trestle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, July 17, 2010
1. Wilmington & Weldon RR Trestle Marker
Inscription. Located on the Roanoke River, the town of Weldon was one of the South's major transportation hubs at the beginning of the Civil War. By 1861, the town served as an important stop for steamboats and canal boats, and it was the junction of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, and Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad. Confederate commanders readily recognized the strategic significance of the town and its single railroad bridge across the Roanoke River. Weldon consequently became the headquarters of the Department of Eastern North Carolina. Large quantities of war materials and supplies were stored in town, and extensive fortifications were built on both sides of the river to protect the railroad bridge.

The Wilmington and Weldon Railroad was the most important of the railroads that intersected in Weldon. From Wilmington, the South's last open seaport, this railroad became an increasingly vital supply corridor for the Army of Northern Virginia during the last years of the war. After blockade runners slipped into Wilmington, their cargoes were transported by rail through Weldon to the besieged Confederates in Petersburg, Virginia. Recognizing the vital importance of this route, Gen. Robert E. Lee called it "the Lifeline of the Confederacy." Despite the bridge's importance as a Federal military objective, it survived the war unscathed.

"Should
Wilmington & Weldon RR Trestle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, July 17, 2010
2. Wilmington & Weldon RR Trestle Marker
Inset caption- Fortifications protected Weldon's railroads; 6 training camps were located here, and 13 in Garysburg.
Col. Sumner succeed in reaching the Weldon (Rail) Road, he will be instructed to do all the damage possible... It might be practicable to destroy any accumulation of supplies the enemy may have collected south of the Roanoke."
- Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, March 27, 1865
 
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 25.784′ N, 77° 35.54′ W. Marker is in Weldon, North Carolina, in Halifax County. Marker is on U.S. 158, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Weldon NC 27890, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Roanoke Canal (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Railroad (approx. ¼ mile away); Weldon Railroads (approx. ¼ mile away); Wilmington and Weldon Railroad (approx. 0.3 miles away); Rockfish Capital of the World (approx. 0.4 miles away); Benjamin S. Turner (approx. 1.8 miles away); a different marker also named Roanoke Canal (approx. 4.3 miles away); a different marker also named Roanoke Canal (approx. 4.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Weldon.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Wilmington & Weldon RR Trestle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, July 17, 2010
3. Wilmington & Weldon RR Trestle Marker
Roanoke River bridge (US-158) visible in background.
Wilmington & Weldon RR Trestle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, July 17, 2010
4. Wilmington & Weldon RR Trestle Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dave Twamley of Durham, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 717 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Dave Twamley of Durham, North Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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