Photo Record

Object Name Print, Photographic
Catalog Number 2013.006.039
Collection Livingood Collection
Description Photograph of the military bridge across the Tennessee River in Chattanooga. It is worth noting that the National Archive record indicates this river as the Cumberland. This rickety bridge was one of the earliest bridges built because it was not until the Civil War when Union forces occupied Chattanooga that a permanent bridge was built across the river. Construction of the bridge began early in 1864 under the direction of U.S. Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs. The wooden arch bridge was located at the foot of Market Street. Its length was 1,000 feet and its floor width was 40 feet. It comprised 90 ft. spans resting on pens filled with stones and braced with trestle bents between the wooden piers. It was constructed almost entirely of green oak timbers cut on the northern bank; the only iron used was for spikes and strap hinges. When the army of occupation left Chattanooga in the spring of 1866, the U.S. Government gave the already rotting bridge to the city. It became an even greater liability when 25 mules stampeded over the drawbridge and drowned in the river, causing a damage suit to be brought against the city.

National Archives Identifier: 524709; Local Identifier: 111-B-290; Creator(s): War Department. Office of the Chief Signal Officer. (08/01/1866 - 09/18/1947). From: Series : Mathew Brady Photographs of Civil War-Era Personalities and Scenes, compiled 1921 - 1940, documenting the period 1860 - 1865. Record Group 111: Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, 1860 - 1985. National Archives.
Date 1864 circa
Print size 8.00" x 10.00"
Copyright National Archives: public domain
Related Publications This photograph is in "Cities Under the Gun: Images of Occupied Nashville and Chattanooga," by James A. Hoobler, on page 198; and is referred to as photograph 277.
Accession number 2013.006