The 13th Mississippi’s train trip to Virginia sounds exhausting. From Iuka, MS, on the afternoon of July 14 (a Sunday) in 1861, they passed through Tuscumbia, AL, at dusk. They crossed the Tennessee River at Decatur, AL, at 11 p.m., passed through Huntsville, AL, at 3 a.m. Monday and arrived at Stevenson, AL, by 9 a.m.
Stevenson was a three-hour stop, time to get down out of the box cars with their wooden benches and stretch your legs and find a place to relieve yourself before the Memphis and Charleston train moved on, recrossing the Tennessee River at Bridgeport, AL.
“The scenery on this part of the R.R. is very fine,” Quartermaster clerk William H. Hill wrote in his diary. “The road is excavated from the side of a mountain and runs so near the water that you could drop an apple in it from the cars. And on the opposite side the mountain rising perpendicular above you for several hundred feet.”
By 4 p.m. that Monday, July 15, they were in Chattanooga, “a very thriving town on the bank of the Tennessee River. Lookout Mountain is in full view of the town about 3 miles distant….The people along our line of travel thus far have received us very kindly and freely furnished everything we needed.”