Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 4, Number 1, January, 1994 Page: 34
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
operate a ferry at Columbus until it could complete a bridge (see The
Laws of Texas 1822-1897, volume 5, pages 431-432). The outbreak
of the Civil War almost certainly hampered construction efforts, but it did
not stop them. In July 1861, Whitfield reported that work was still
proceeding (see The Colorado Citizen, July 13, 1861), and in 1863, by
order of General John Bankhead Magruder, trees were cut to further
construction (see C. A. Schultz v. Columbus Tap Railway, Cause File
2300, Office of the District Clerk, Colorado County, Texas).
Meanwhile, during the war the charter granted the Columbus,
San Antonio and Rio Grande Railroad Company expired. Accordingly, on
October 6, 1866 the legislature passed an act that created a second
company with the same name and the same charter (see The Laws of
Texas 1822-1897, volume 5, pages 1309-1311). Again, however, the
company had to return to the legislature for an extension. On August
28, 1868, the legislature granted it, and changed the point of origin of
the railroad's track from Columbus to "Gonzales, or some practicable
point on the contemplated line of the Indianola and Austin Railroad" (see
The Laws of Texas 1822-1897, volume 6, page 56).
The B B B & C rather than the Columbus Tap built the railroad
bridge across the river on the east side of Columbus. On August 15,
1866, they hired Tait and Nathan Wheeler to build the bridge (see Bond
and Mortgage Book F, pages 150-152, Office of the County Clerk,
Colorado County, Texas). The bridge was under construction as early
as February 1867 (see The Galveston Daily News, February 9, 1867).
On June 20, 1867, John R. Brooks replaced Tait (see Bond and Mortgage
Book F, pages 150-152, Office of the County Clerk, Colorado County,
Texas). The bridge finally was opened the following November (see The
Galveston Daily News, November 15, 1867).
The B B B & C was authorized to purchase the Columbus Tap by
an act passed by the legislature on September 21, 1866 (see The Laws
of Texas 1822-1897, volume 5, pages 1256-1257). The B B B & C
changed its name to the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railway
Company and acquired the right to build track from Columbus to San
Antonio on July 27, 1870 (see The Laws of Texas 1822-1897, volume
6, pages 547-551).
No source for Zumwalt's cotton and population figures has been
located. The president of the G H & S A was Thomas Whitworth Peirce,
not Pierce. According to St. Clair Griffin Reed's A History of the Texas
Railroads (Houston: The St. Clair Publishing Co., 1941), Peirce became
president of the railroad sometime after November 30, 1872 (see page
192), and it reached San Antonio on February 5, 1877 (see page 194).
During the 80's a young man of enterprise and some energy made a canoe voyage of
discovery from a point up the river with the intention of continuing on to the sea. When
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 4, Number 1, January, 1994, periodical, January 1994; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151390/m1/34/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed April 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.