Northern Illinois University Press

Southern Railroad Man

Conductor N. J. Bell's Recollections of the Civil War Era

Edited by James A. Ward

"Those interested in a view of railroading practiced more than a century ago ... will find much of interest here."National Railway Bulletin

"A rich picture of southern travel, tradition, and culture of a century ago."Lexington Quarterly

"An invaluable record of changing operational procedures, the development of technology and, above all, the conditions of work of railway staff in the formative years, the Civil War era from 1861 to 1865 and the boom and slump years of the post-war period."Journal of Transport History

"I was in town that evening when the engine whistled; it looked like everybody in town ran for life, especially men and boys, to the spot where the engine would stop, myself with the rest. I saw horses and mules running in every direction, but never once thought of the one I had ridden to town, until I went to the rack where I had hitched it and found it gone." Bell remembers the first engine in Marietta, Georgia

Nimrod J. Bell worked as a conductor for several southern railroads in their formative period, from 1857 to 1894. After his career was cut short by an accident, he wrote his memoirs detailing his first glimpses of some of the earliest trains in the South and his thirty-eight years as a conductor. Published in Atlanta in 1896, his book offers a firsthand account of working conditions on the railroads, operational procedures, wartime railroading, and passenger travel during Reconstruction.

(1994) 220 pp., illus.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-184-1
cloth $26.50

Table of Contents

Introduction by James A. Ward
1. My First Recollection of Railroad Talk
2. On Western and Atlantic Railroad, 1846-1862
3. East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad, 18621863
4. A Trip Back to Georgia, 1863
5. Through South and North Carolina, 18641865
6. After General Lee Surrendered, 18651868
7. Alabama and Chattanooga Railroad, 18681871
8. Operating the Alabama and Chattanooga Railroad
9. South and North Railroad of Alabama, 18711872
10. Back on the Alabama and Chattanooga Road, 18721876
11. East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad, 18761895
12. Railroads and Employees
13. Passenger Trains and Conductors
14. Old Stories and Other Things Connected with Railroads
15. Right and Wrong Notes

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-184-1
cloth $26.50