Civil War Driving / Walking Tour

The Rutland Railroad Complex

During the war years, the town of Rutland was the rail center of southwestern Vermont, with lines north to Burlington, south to Bennington, southeast to Bellows Falls, and west to Troy, N. Y.

Connections with affiliates of the Rutland Railroad and lines of other carriers provided a network of rail transportation all over the northeast. This was one of many examples of industrial and technological development arriving just in time to support the war. (Twenty five years earlier, there were few railroads.) The railroad provided transportation for troops, officials and family-members, travelling to and from battlefields and central command locations (e.g. Washington, D.C.). The railroad also transported war-related materials to their destinations.

The present-day Amtrak tracks and station are all that remain to remind us of the huge rail complex that existed before, during and after the war.

The Bookends

In 1867, Jefferson Davis passed through Rutland on the Rutland Railroad, en route to safe haven in Canada. Davis’s family made the same journey the following day. Together with the incident regarding John Brown’s body in 1858 (see Bardwell House), the two events constitute the “bookends” of Rutland’s experience in the Civil War.

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Rutland Railroad Station (pre-1868)          Rutland Amtrak Station (2017)