“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Dickson in Dickson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Mile Post 42

The U.S. Military Railroad

Mile Post 42 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 24, 2013
1. Mile Post 42 Marker
Inscription.  The railroad in front of you was part of a vital transportation network for the Federal army during the Civil War. W.H.Crutcher had purchased 533 acres and constructed a sixteen-by-sixteen foot log structure here in December 1860. After occupying the region in the spring of 1862, Union officers needed a reliable, efficient transportation link between the steamboats docked at Johnsonville on the Tennessee River and the major Union base at Nashville. They seized the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad that ran to Kingston Springs with plans to extend the tracks to Johnsonville. They completed it two years later as a Federal military railroad.

Free blacks and former slaves impressed by the Union Army constructed the military railroad. The 12th and 13th U.S. Colored Troops Infantry Regiments defended the railroad from Confederate cavalry and guerrilla attacks. These 78 miles of rail became vitally important after Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan burned the south tunnel of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad in Sumner County, thus delaying southbound Federal supplies to Nashville.

Union Gen. William T. Sherman later stated,
Mile Post 42 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 24, 2013
2. Mile Post 42 Marker
Map as shown on the marker in the lower left side.
“The Atlanta campaign would simply have been impossible without the use of railroads.” After the military railroad was completed in 1864, army supplies were transported south by ship to the port facility at Johnsonville. From there, supplies were transferred from ships to railcars and transported through Mile Post 42 (present-day Dickson) to Nashville, Chattanooga and Atlanta.

Tennessee railroad map, from Civil War Atlas
Johnsonville Depot - Courtesy Library of Congress
Trestle, Sullivan’s Branch Bridge No. 2 Courtesy Tennessee State Library and Archives
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Railroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails series list.
Location. 36° 4.524′ N, 87° 23.328′ W. Marker is in Dickson, Tennessee, in Dickson County. Marker is on Frank Clement Place west of Center Avenue (Tennessee Route 48), on the right when traveling west. The marker is on the grounds of the Clement Railroad Museum. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Dickson TN 37055, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Civil War Railroad (a few steps from this marker); Frank Goad Clement
Mile Post 42 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 24, 2013
3. Mile Post 42 Marker
(a few steps from this marker); First National Bank (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 1950 Korean Conflict 1955/1964 Vietnam Era 1975 (about 700 feet away); World War II 1940-1946 (about 700 feet away); World War I 1917-1919 (about 700 feet away); Dickson, Tennessee,100 Years 1899-1999 (about 700 feet away); War Memorial Building (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dickson.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 1, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 574 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 1, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement
Jul. 7, 2020