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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Farmville in Cumberland County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

High Bridge Trail State Park

 
 
High Bridge Trail State Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, April 18, 2010
1. High Bridge Trail State Park Marker
Inscription. The "High" Bridge

"There have been higher bridges not so long and longer bridges not so high, but taking the height and length together, this is, perhaps, the largest bridge in the world."
C.O. Sanford, South Side Railroad's chief engineer, 1852

In 1854 the South Side Railroad was completed from Petersburg to Lynchburg. To cross the Appomattox River east of Farmville, High Bridge was constructed. The bridge, 2,400 feet in length and ranging from 60 to 125 feet in height, was built on 21 brick piers. The original wood bridge had a pedestrian walkway beside the tracks and a wagon bridge below.

On April 6 and 7, 1865, the bridges were of strategic importance to the armies of General Robert E. Lee and General Ulysses S. Grant as they moved westward from Richmond toward Appomattox Court House. On April 6th following the Battle of Sailor's Creek, a small group of Union infantry and cavalry attempted to destroy the bridge but were deterred by Confederate horsemen who arrived on the scene.

On the morning of April 7th, quick marching Union troops came upon High Bridge as the Confederates were setting fire to it after crossing. Using the lower wagon bridge to continue their pursuit, Grant's men pressed on eventually coming in contact with Lee's army around nearby Cumberland Church.
 
Erected by
High Bridge Trail State Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, April 18, 2010
2. High Bridge Trail State Park Marker
Virginia Department of Natural Resources.
 
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 37° 18.871′ N, 78° 19.393′ W. Marker was near Farmville, Virginia, in Cumberland County. Marker could be reached from River Road (County Route 600), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Located on the High Bridge Trail, within the High Bridge State Park, just northeast of Farmville. Marker was in this post office area: Farmville VA 23901, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. The High Bridge (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named The High Bridge (approx. half a mile away); African-Americans at High Bridge (approx. 0.6 miles away); Camp Paradise (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named High Bridge (approx. one mile away); Cavalry Battle at High Bridge (approx. 2.7 miles away); a different marker also named High Bridge (approx. 2.7 miles away); a different marker also named Cavalry Battle at High Bridge (approx. 2.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Farmville.
 
More about this marker. In the center of the marker is a photo of the original bridge as built in 1854. On the right side of the bridge you can see
High Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, April 18, 2010
3. High Bridge
Looking from the north bridge abutment across the bridge. The railroad no longer operates, and the bridge is not open for pedestrian traffic currently. The iron bridge dating to the early 20th century stands, but pillars of the wartime bridge, to the right of the trusses, remain.
a wagon bridge below. The steel bridge you see today was constructed in 1914.
On the lower right is a post Civil War photo: It would not be until late September 1865 that High Bridge was repaired and the railroad could resume its use. In the upper right are portraits of Generals Lee and Grant.

This marker was replaced by a new one named The High Bridge (see nearby markers).
 
Also see . . .
1. High Bridge State Park. Virginia Department of Natural Resources site detailing the park. (Submitted on April 19, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Opening Day of High Bridge. The bridge was reopened to foot and bike traffic in April 2012. (Submitted on April 15, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Railroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil
 
High Bridge Trusses - after the Bridge Reopened image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, April 11, 2012
4. High Bridge Trusses - after the Bridge Reopened
Bridge after Restoration image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, April 11, 2012
5. Bridge after Restoration
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 19, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,758 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 19, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4, 5. submitted on April 15, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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