This scarce early map of the Western & Atlantic Railroad is one of the earliest obtainable railroad maps of any part of the south. The map shows a large section of Georgia between Tennessee and the Chatahoochee River, extending nearly to Atlanta.
The Western & Atlantic Railroad of the State of Georgia was founded in December 1836, and operated between Atlanta and Chatanooga, Tennessee, making it one of the earliest operating railroads in Georgia. The line is perhaps most famous for its role in Andrews Raid. The Great Locomotive Chase or Andrews' Raid was a military raid that occurred April 12, 1862. Volunteers from the Union Army stole a train in an effort to disrupt the vital Western & Atlantic Railroad. They were pursued by other locomotives, and the raiders were eventually captured, with some being executed as spies.
The map represents one of the last maps by the important American explorer Steven Harriman Long (1784-1864). Long began his career as a surveyor and explorer with Lewis & Clark. Long became one of the most prolific explorers covering 26,000 miles in five expeditions. His first expedition was his most famous. In July 1819, he joined Gen. Henry Atkinson's "Yellowstone Expedition" bound from St. Louis to the Rockies on the steamboat "Western Engineer." This was the first steamboat to travel up the Missouri into the Louisiana Purchase territory. Long returned to the east coast, and in May 1820, his orders changed. Instead of exploring the Missouri, President James Madison decided to have Long lead an expedition up the Platte to the mountains and back along the border with the Spanish colonies. Exploring that border was vital, since John Quincy Adams had just concluded the treaty with Spain, which drew a new U. S. border to the Pacific. In his later years as an inventor, Long was responsible for a number of design advances for Steam Locomotives.
Published in Senate Doc. No.57, 25th Congress, 2nd Session.