Photo of the Day: Old Orange & Alexandria Railroad Roundhouse in Carlyle

This photo, via the Library of Congress, shows the roundhouse and depot of the old Orange & Alexandria Railroad during the Civil War. The depot and roundhouse would have been located here in the Carlyle/Eisenhower East area. If you head down Jamieson Ave toward Old Town and you come to the cemetery, there is a piece of track from the old Orange & Alexandria Railroad down there.

The Orange & Alexandria Railroad played a substantial role in enhancing Alexandria’s significance as a port city in the mid-nineteenth century.

Via The National Archives

By May 1862 the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, which ran from Alexandria southwest toward Orange, Virginia, was an important supply line, as was the Manassas Gap Railroad, which covered the territory between Manassas Junction and Front Royal and Strasburg.

By the end of the war, the U.S. Military Railroads had, at different times during the war, used parts of 17 railroads as military lines in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania and 23 in Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, and North Carolina. In addition, the small Construction Corps grew from about 300 men in 1863 to nearly 10,000 men by the end of the war.

The railroad would have run from the waterfront, up the Wilkes Street tunnel, across Hooff’s Run Bridge, through Carlyle, down to Van Dorn and out to Springfield and points in the Southwest. There are historical markers located around Virginia where the Orange & Alexandria railroad once operated. Check them out at this link.