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Tuscumbia, Courtland, and Decatur Railroad

Northern Alabama’s Tuscumbia, Courtland, and Decatur (TC&D) Railroad was an important transportation route used by the Cherokee during Removal. This railroad was built in 1830-31 to circumvent the dangerous Muscle Shoals (strong current) of the Tennessee River, known as a hazard to boat traffic. The TC&D was the first railroad in Alabama and the first railroad built west of the Appalachian Mountains. This report was the result of an agreement between the National Park Service and the Southeastern Anthropological Institute; its compilation was directed by Gail King, with substantial input from Lamar Marshall, Larry Smith, and Marty King. In amassing this report, the authors unearthed much archival information that had long lain dormant. The report describes the line’s construction, its role during the 1838 Removal, its route (both original and in subsequent years), and its role during the Civil War and in later years.



Chapter 1: Introduction (pg 1)

Chapter 2: The First Railroad West of the Appalachian Mountains (pg 5) 
Land Boom in the Tennessee River Valley A Solution to the Muscle Shoals Problem The Tuscumbia Railway Company The Tuscumbia, Courtland, and Decatur Railroad (TC&D Railroad) TC&D Railroad Board of Directors and Staff David Deshler Benjamin Sherrod The Demise of the Tuscumbia, Courtland, & Decatur Railroad Documents of the Tuscumbia, Courtland, & Decatur Railroad Stock Certificate Money Certificate Shipment of Cotton Receipts Court Case – Benjamin Sherrod vs. Henry W. Rhodes TC&D Railroad Land Records

Chapter 3: Route of the Tuscumbia, Courtland, & Decatur Railroad (pg 90) 
Decatur Landing to Tuscumbia Landing TC&D Railroad Depots, Warehouses, and Associated Structures Minute Book 1833 Engineer’s Report 1836 Engineer’s Report Newspaper Accounts Waypoint Map of Tuscumbia, Courtland, & Decatur Railroad Route Photos of Route Extant Structures

Chapter 4: Events Leading to the Cherokee Removal on the TC&D Railroad (pg 208)
Cherokee Removal and the Americans Presidential Policies and Indian Removal The Cherokee Nation: Its Formation The Splintering of the Cherokee Nation Ridge (Treaty) Faction and Ross (National) Faction

Chapter 5: Pro-Treaty Group Removal: The Ridge Party (pg 236)

Chapter 6: The Army Roundup: Cherokee Forced Removal (pg 258)
Deas Detachment – June 1838 Whiteley Detachment – June 1838 Troop Movement on the TC&D Railroad

Chapter 7: Summary and Conclusions (pg 294) 
The Fate of the TC&D Railroad

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