Railroad Resources

Bull’s Gap, originally called Rogersville Junction, was an important location for railroad transportation in Hawkins County.

In 1858, the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad used slave labor to lay the first tracks through the area.  During the Civil War the strategic location of the tracks made Bulls Gap the frequent scene of fighting between Union and Confederate forces, though the railroad and Bulls Gap remained under Federal control throughout the war.  In the postwar period the railroad dominated the economic life of the town.  At the turn of the century the Southern Railway System gained control over the lines passing through Bulls Gap and built a small maintenance center and railroad yard.  [Source:  http://www.hawkinscountytn.gov/]

The following links provide information that may be of use to those researching railroads in the area.

TN & OH Railway Company records, 1885-1889

in Virginia Tech University Special Collections
The TN&OH RR assumed control of Rogersville and Jefferson RR, which went from Rogersville Junction to Rogersville and was controlled by ET, VA & GA RR; later controlled by Southern RR

Holston River Railway Company records, 1906-1908

in Virginia Tech University Special Collections
The company built a railroad from Rogersville to the VA state line
Rail-Road Advocate Newspaper

Original source unknown

A newspaper supporting development of railroads in the United States, the Rail-Road Advocate, was published in Rogersville from 1831-1832.  It was possibly the first railroad-related newspaper in the United States.

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