South Side Railroad in Farmville
Original Author: Timothy H. O'Sullivan
Created: April 1865
Medium: Wet collodion glass-plate negative; one half of stereograph

South Side Railroad’s High Bridge

This 1865 photograph shows South Side Railroad's High Bridge, an impressive structure over 2,400 feet long that was the site of the last Confederate victory in Virginia. On April 6, 1865, Confederate forces fended off a Union attempt to take over the bridge near Farmville; within days, however, Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered his army at Appomattox Court House. The South Side Railroad, completed in 1854, was one of the most important supply routes in southern Virginia during the American Civil War (1861–1865). With tracks laid east to west across the state, the railroad began at City Point in Hopewell on the James River and extended westward through Petersburg, Burkeville, Farmville, Appomattox Station, and finally Lynchburg, covering roughly 130 miles. The photograph itself is from the right half of a stereographic pair.