Tuscumbia-Courtland & Decatur Railroad

Dublin Core


Tuscumbia-Courtland & Decatur Railroad


Colbert County, Alabama; Tuscumbia, Alabama; Railroad; Native American History; Trail of Tears.


The Tuscumbia-Courtland & Decatur railroad was established by a group of investors led by Benjamin Sherrod in 1841. Originally a two-train car, the railroad was established to allow ships to bypass the shoals of the Tennessee River. In 1843, the railroad line expanded to other towns including Courtland, Jonesboro, Leighton, and Decatur. After the completion of the railroad it would be eventually put to use during the Trail of Tears. The train played a prominent role during the forced relocation of the Native American tribes in Georgia. The train provided the means to transport a large number of Native Americans quickly to Tuscumbia Landing where they would then be shipped off to land allocated for their use west of the Mississippi. The primary tribe to be relocated on this train were the Cherokee Nation. The Creek Nation in Georgia had largely been moved out prior to the use of the train. The Cherokee Nation would travel to Decatur where they would board the train heading for Tuscumbia Landing.


Sam Keiser, University of North Alabama


Gail King, Historic Document Research, Geophysical Survey, Mapping, and Archaeological Inventory at Tuscumbia Landing, A Trail of Tears National Historic Trail site in Colbert County, Alabama (Aug 2011) pg. 109-143


Alabama Cultural Resource Survey