City Point Research Resources
Special Interest Groups
There is also a yahoo group in which the participants have been
doing a lot research and sharing a lot of information. This
URL is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Civil_War_RRs/.
Searching the archives, files, photos and links section of
this group can yield a lot of information.
Also some information can be found in the official records,
including year end reports and a summary of railroad operations of
the entire war. Both Cornell University and Ohio State
university have online searchable copies. The URLs are http://digital.library.cornell.edu/m/moawar/waro.html
For information on the Maritime aspects of City Point, also take a
look at the Official Naval Records, also available from the Cornell
web site. The naval division in charge in the area, was the
North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
Both the Library of Congress and National Archives have online
digitized photographs of City Point taken during the war. The
URLs for the online search engines are http://www.archives.gov/research/arc/
Be aware that finding useful search criteria can be
challenging at times and that some images are misidentified in terms
of date and location.
Books and Papers
The City Point story seems like it should be told in detail in a
book with a number high quality photographs reproduced within.
Most Civil War books I've seen have extremely poor
reproduction of the originals Many surviving civil war photos
actually have amazing resolution and contrast. Take a look at
the high resolution scans available for download from the Library of
Here is a detailed National
Park Service report on the buildings at City Point.
Great information for the City Point modeler. The bibliography
is worth checking out, also.
War Railroads & Models" by Edwin P. Alexander has a number
of photos of City Point. Most of these photos are from the
National Archives. Except for the jacket, the images are not of
great quality, but are better than the thumbnails found on the
National Archives site. The text is limited. I was able
to borrow this book through inter-library loan from my local library
and have scanned the City Point relevant pages for future
in the Trenches Grant at Petersburg" This is a Time-Life
picture book authored by William C. Davis. Though the text is
not of much value, there is a section on City Point, with images not
found online. Sources for these photos are identified and
include the Western Reserve Historical Society and the Boston
Anthenaeum. There are overall and detailed views of
Edward Lansom Henry's painting, "Headquarters of General Grant" in
this book. The painting was done a few years after the
war and shows what was going on in great detail. A detailed,
zoomable image of this painting can be found on the
War Weather in Virginia" by Robert K. Krick is invaluable, if
you are planning on modeling a particular date in Virginia.
Years with Grant" by Sylvanus Cadwallader has a
significant section recording the newspaper reporters view of what
was going on at City Point. It's funny that I have had this
book for years, but completely forgot about how it may have
interesting information on City Point, until reminded by the
bibliography in the National Park Service report.
Bernard Kempinski has put information about City Point and
several track plans into his book "Mid-Size Track Plans for
Realistic Layouts". It is available from Alkem Scale Models at
this link http://www.geocities.com/bkempins/ASMMain/TrackPlanBook.html.
I have searched through a number of regimental histories,
particularly those of the Sixth Corps, who passed through City Point
when going to and from the 1864 Shenandoah Valley. Sometimes
you can find the names of the transports used, and get an idea of
the number of transports it took to move units and learn a little
about how troops are loaded onto trains and ships. So far, the
best example that I have found, is this history of the Second
Connecticut Heavy Artillery. Most of the time, the
details of moving from one place to another by train or boat are
New Hampshire and a few other newly recruited regiments were
temporarily assigned to Benham's engineer brigade and assisted in
constructing the City Point defenses in the fall of 1864.
For a description of what it was like for troops to travel by train,
check out this short story by Henry
Hilton Wood, of the 121st New York Infantry.
I have found that other overview histories of Railroading during the
Civil War have limited usefulness, as far as modeling goes, but can
provide some good overall background information. Many
references to the hospital and hospital duty can be found, including
of a Civil War Nurse, letters from Cornelia Hancock, who
worked at the City Point Hospital.
Period colored lithographs of locomotives can be found on the Boston
The ultimate resource would be a trip to the National Archives
itself. Though I haven't made such a trip Bernard Kempinski
has provided some tips and information on his blog pages. The
URL for his blog is http://usmrr.blogspot.com/search/label/Archives.
There is a nice writeup on Civil War resources at this link: http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2011/summer/usmrr.html
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