The Journey: Virginia at last

“Tuesday [July 16, 1861] Cloudy and raining in the evening,” Hill’s diary continues. “We left Chattanooga on the E. Tennessee and Georgia R.R. Stopped two hours at Cleveland, Tenn. Crossed the Tennessee River for the 3rd time at Louden [sic], Tennessee at 6 p.m.”

Sickness had continued to plague the regiment and many of the debilitated were left behind in Chattanooga, with others detailed to stay and attend to them.

The regiment arrived in Knoxville, at 4 a.m. Wednesday. A railroad hub and “a very pretty city in the center of rich country,” Hill wrote, “situated on the Holston River which is navigable by steamboats….The Union feeling is said to be strong in this portion of Tennessee. We arrived at Bristol, Tennessee at 10 p.m.”

Bristol’s main street straddled the Tennessee-Virginia state lines. They switched trains to the Virginia and Tennessee railroad and left at 8 a.m. Thursday for Lynchburg, VA, through “very broken and mountainous” country. “There are a great many deep cuts and several tunnels on this road.”

They stopped in the small town of Liberty, VA, at 11 p.m. “where the citizens had prepared a nice collation” and got down to stretch their legs after the all-day ride.

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
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