Go Back


Living History

       By the 1860's, most major rail-roads, North & South, had adopted keeping a uniform system-wide. Time was then telegraphically transmitted from their own company head-quarters city or General Home Offices. Travellers generally had to observe what difference there was between rail-road time for any particular rail-road's timetable train operations and that which was determined by the position of the sun as observed at each particular locale along that road's route (often referred to as local time). All trackside arrivals and departures were thus arranged accordingly.

       During the war-years of 1861 and 1865, much co-ordination was needed for the special needs of supplies and troop movements. Signallists and telegraphers operating in the field would have observed local time whereas; telegraph operators at fixed right-of-way locations would have had to be cognizant of both local and rail-road time. The chart below was created prior to 1861 and is used here to help illustrate the challenges faced by field communicators, regional military campaign commanders and their quarter-master departments.


        Angusta, Ga. is 11:30 A.M.
        Baltimore, Md. is 11:50 A.M.
        Boston, Ma. is 12:12 P.M.
        Buffalo, N.Y. is 11: 40 A.M.
        Charleston, S.C. is 11:36 A.M.
        Cincinnati, O. is 11:18 A.M.
        Cleveland, O. is 11:30 A.M.
        Columbus, O. is 11:24 A.M.
        Detroit, Mich. is 11:24 A.M.
        Indianapolis, Ind. is 11:14 A.M.
        Louisville, Ky. is 11:14 A.M.
        New Orleans, La. is 10:54 A.M.
        Philadelphia. is 11:55 A.M.
        Pittsburg, Pa. is 11:35 A.M.
        Portland, Me. is 12:16 A.M.
        Richmond, Va. is 11:46 A.M.
        St. Louis, Mo. is 10:55 A.M.
        St. Paul, Min. is 10:45 A.M.
                IN EUROPE
        London. is 4:55 P.M.
        Madrid. is 4:40 P.M.
        Liverpool. is 4:44 P.M.
        Rome. is 5:46 P.M.
        Dublin. is 4:30 P.M.
        Hamburg. is 5:35 P.M.
        Edinburgh. is 4:43 P.M.
        Constantinople. is 6:51 P.M.
        Glasgow. is 4:44 P.M.
        Paris. is 6:51 P.M.