The Wilmington and Weldon Railroad:
Originally chartered in 1835 as the Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad, the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad name began use in 1855.
At the time of its 1840 completion, the line was the longest railroad in the world with 161.5 miles of 4ft 8in gauge track!
As a central rail link along the Atlantic Coast, it carried heavy traffic during the Civil War and made a considerable profit (in Confederate currency) for its owners.
Because the W&W had its own facilities for re-rolling iron rails and did not lie in the path of military action until the very end of the war, it suffered somewhat less than many other roads of the region and entered the Reconstruction period dilapidated but intact.
At its terminus in Weldon, North Carolina, it connected with the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad (to Portsmouth, Virginia) and the Petersburg Railroad (to Petersburg, Virginia).
The railroad also gave rise to the City of Goldsboro, North Carolina, the midpoint of the W&W RR and the railroad intersection with the North Carolina Railroad.
The railroad played a key role in the Siege of Petersburg during the American Civil War.
Among the early employees of the W&W RR was assistant engineer William G. Lewis. The future Civil War general began his railroad career in 1858. From 1854 to 1871.
S.L. Fremont was Chief Engineer and Superintendent who had Fremont, North Carolina named in his honor.
In 1872, the railroad was leased by the Wilmington, Columbia and Augusta Railroad, but this lease ended in 1878 when the WC&A went bankrupt.
Eventually the W&R was merged into the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad on April 21, 1900.
The Wilmington and Manchester Railroad:
The Wilmington and Manchester Railroad was a railroad that served South Carolina and North Carolina before, during and after the American Civil War. It received its charter in 1846 and began operation in 1853 from Wilmington, North Carolina, extending west to Camden Crossing, South Carolina.
The line was devastated at the end of the Civil War, when Union Gen. William T. Sherman dispatched some 2,500 federal troops from the South Carolina coast to locate locomotives and rolling stock that the Confederates were hiding in the state’s hinterland.
In April 1865, the force, under Gen. Edward E. Potter located nine locomotives and approximately 200 cars, many belonging to the Wilmington and Manchester, near Manchester, South Carolina, and destroyed them.
Gen. William MacRae took over as superintendent in January 1866 and helped get the line back in operating order. However, the Wilmington and Manchester declared bankruptcy in 1870.
The railroad was reorganized as the short-lived Wilmington and Carolina Railroad and again as the Wilmington, Columbia and Augusta Railroad.