December 31, 2015

A Day of Operation on the USMRR Aquia Line - 2 March 1863

A few years ago I went to the National Archives and copied many documents relating to the USMRR. I have not had time to fully digest the material. Tonight I decided to do a bit of analysis of operations on the Aquia Line. I picked March 2, 1863 as I have multiple records for that day. It looks like a fairly typical day compared to other days.

The following is a transcribed version of the Log of Arrival and Departure of Trains at Falmouth Station, March 2, 1863. The handwriting on this log is very difficult to read and doesn't follow a strict format.


W.W.W. S.Y.
     Train     No. 1 Engine Lion arrived at 7:20 A.M.
      Ex (tra)  "   1    "       Osceola  "     "  7:35   "   Cheney
W.W.W. S.Y.
     Train     No. 2  Engine Lion left at      7:50 A.M.
      Ex (tra)  "    2    "        Osceola  "     "  8:00   "   Cheney
W.W.W. S.Y.
     Train     No. 3  Engine Leach arrived at 10:15 A.M.
         "          "   4    "        Leach  Left      "  10:45   "  Cheney
W.W.W. S.Y.
     Train     No. 5  Engine Fury arrived at      1:30 P.M.
        "          "    6     "       Fury  Left      "      1:45    "  Cheney
W.W.W. S.Y.
     Train     No. 7  Engine Leach arrived at      4:35 P.M.
       Ex.          "  7     "       Lion   arrived  "       4:40    "
     Train     No. 8  Engine Leach left  at            4:45 P.M.
       Ex.          "  8     "       Lion   left   "            4:50    "  Cheney
W.W.W. S.Y.
     Train     No. 9  Engine Fury arrived at      7:45 P.M.
        "            "  9       "        ''     arrived  "       7:55    "      Cheney
W.W.W. S.Y.
      Engine Leach arrived at 11PM
      Engine Leach  Left      "  11:15PM    Cheney

Note the W.W.W. stands for William Wierman Wright, Superintendent of the Aquia Line. The S.Y. may mean Superintendent.

This next document is the Log of Cars Received at and Forwarded from Falmouth, March 2, 1863

No Time Engine Conductor No of Cars Contents Consignee


Cars Received At Falmouth Mar 2, 1863


1
7:20
Lion Perine
1191
Passengers Agent

"
"
1242, 1183
Mil Goods Pierce

"
"
" "
1258, 1094, 1252, 31, 1171, 1114, 133, 1147, 1141, 1234, 1136, 1075
Forage Pierce

1 Extra
7:35
Osceola Doyle 146, 131, 169, 1159, 1234, 1124, 122, 1162, 1169, 1133, 1244, 119 Forage Pierce Note car 1234 is duplicated. Could be a typo
3
10:15
Leach Smith 1100, 1067, 160,147, 1091, 1053,  Coms. Stores Winchester

"
"
" “ 
1156
Passengers Agent

5
1:30
Fury Clinton 1081, 162,  Mil Goods Pierce

"
" 1135, 1243 Passengers Agent

7
4:35
Leach Smith 1036, 1165 Coms Stores Winchester

"
"
" " 13, 102 Stores Pierce

"
"
" "
231
Ord Stores Pierce

7 Extra
4:40
Lion Perine 1256, 1104, 1253,1132, 1139, 1074, 1077 Forage Pierce

9
7:45
Fury Clinton 1100, 101, 1072, 1110 Forage Pierce

Extra
11:00
Leach Smith 169, 1267, 1188, 1232, 1239, 1159  Forage Pierce










Cars Forwarded from Falmouth March 2, 1863
Destination

2
7:50
Lion Perine 186, 1135, 1257, 4146, 1110,  troops Aquia

2 Extra
8:00
Osceola Doyle 1243, 1044, 1148, 1189,  Empty Aquia

"
"
" " 124, QM Stores,  12th U.S. Inf Stonemans

4
1045
Leach Smith 146, 181, 169, 1239, 119, 1124, 1244, 1133, 1169, 1162, 122, 1183, 1191, 1234, 1141 , 1147, 133, 1114, 1288, 1171  Empty Aquia

"
"
"
"
1250, 31, 1094, 1136, 1095 Mail Mail and Passengers W Boat

6
1:45
Fury Clinton 1243, 1053, 1067, 1011,1091, 147, 160, 1156 Empty Aquia

8
4:45
Leach Smith 1081, 162, 1135, 1243 Empty Aquia

8 Extra
4:50
Lion Perine Nil Empty Aquia

10
7:55
Fury Clinton 1104, 1253, 1132, 1077, 1074, 1256, 1139, 13, 102, 231, 1036, 1165, 1136, 1094 Empty Aquia

Extra
11;15
Leach Smith Nil Empty Aquia


There are couple things to note by analyzing these data.

A total of 60 cars arrived at Falmouth and 61 cars left on March 2. Most cars that left went to Aquia empty, but one was sent to Stonemans. (Note  three cars were sent to other stops from Falmouth on March 3rd. Look at the original document to verify that, it is not in the transcribed table.)  Note that "W Boat" is the daily steamboat to Washington, DC. It leaves from the wharf.

The longest train was 4 with 25 cars, next was 1 with 15 cars. Two engines ran light back to Aquia.

Note that some cars stayed at Falmouth overnight, while others got delivered in the morning and departed that same day.  For example 1141 and 1147 arrived on Train 1 with forage and departed empty on train  4 three hours later. Similarly, car 1191 brought passengers, but left empty on 4. Other cars like 1110 and 101 came in on 9 but stayed the night. Car 1110 left Falmouth on Train 2 and returned at 7:45PM on Train 9.


The make up of the incoming and outgoing trains is not the same. This implies that a fair amount of switching was going on at Falmouth.  Conductor Smith was busy as he ran three trains that day.

No trains met trains coming in the opposite direction during this day. This matches the schedule I have from 1864, where there are no scheduled meets. The extras ran on the time of their scheduled train.

Overall it's not too complex an operation, but there is a lot more switching going on than I expected. That should make my crews happy. I don't have a train register for all stations, so I can not create a "as-run" string diagram.  I also do not have copies of any of the train orders for 2 March. But I suspect there are some at the NARA. I need to recheck those. There were so many train orders there, that I got tired of copying them on the day I visited.

Pierce is shown as a consignee on some of the cars. The NOAA Map shows a place called "Capt Pierce" just south of Falmouth. I suspect this was the HQ for Capt Pierce, a Quartermaster officer, but I am not sure.

I have previously posted the roster of USMRR cars at this link.  However, it's pretty easy to tell what number is what kind of car. The flat cars are numbered with 1 to 3 digits. The box cars start at 1000 and go up. There are 30 stock cars in the 2 and 3 digit range, interspersed among the fact car numbers. Most of the cars are 28 ft long with 10 ton capacity. I do not have any further information differentiating the types of cars, so I have to rely on photographic evidence to see how many arched, peaked, combination, etc. cars there were.   

Here are copies of the original documents in case you want to check my transcription. Some of this handwriting is hard to read.




4 comments:

  1. An amazing amount of information.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Bernie,

    A really interesting blog post and some fantastic information about the nuts and bolts of Civil War era operations. Could you say more about the USMRR rolling stock numbering system and what types or classes of rolling stock were assigned certain numbers.

    Happy New Year!!!

    Best,

    Gerard

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I answered your question in the post as the info might not be readily seen in the comments.

      Delete
  3. Didn't relive they had the internet back in 1863… what with all the "WWW" entries and all!
    Seriously - cool data - nice to have such detail primary sources.

    ReplyDelete