Friday, June 7, 2013

Gallatin, TN - South Tunnel - The Lady in White

In the 1840s, railroads were becoming very important in the US. Most railroads were located in the North and the West, but there were a number in the South as well. One of these is the railroad which now cross through Sumner County, TN, near Portland and Gallatin, which would connect Louisville and Nashville. These railroads were partially the result of a visionary named George Rodamore. He believed that the small community he lived in had potential to grow and prosper, and that establishing a railroad through the area was the best way to do this.

With Rodamore's influence, plans were soon underway to establish a set of tracks through the area. They were surveyed and built during the 1850s. Through a ridge in the area, a tunnel was constructed. It was this tunnel that gave the town of South Tunnel its name. By 1859, the railway was completed, and began being used. It appeared that the town of South Tunnel was well on its way to becoming a major stop on the railway. Tragically, other events would prevent this from coming to pass.

In April 1861, the Civil War had broken out, and Tennessee had joined the Confederacy. During the war, the Union went right to the Confederacy's railways, and destroyed as many as possible. These were the lifeways of the Confederacy,  and without them, the South stood little chance of winning the war. However, Union forces had now occupied Nashville, and were using the railway as a supply line. On August 12, 1862, the Confederate Army, under the command of General John Hunt Morgan, destroyed the tunnel by crashing a locomotive into a barrier. This was successful as it temporarily stopped the flow of supplies to the U.S. Army in Nashville, but it simply delayed the inevitable.

Today, South Tunnel is a small community in rural Sumner County. The railway still exists, but is not as vital as it once was, and as a result, South Tunnel has gone the way of many railroad communities. South Tunnel does, however, have a resident spook. This enigmatic figure is known as the Lady in White. She has been seen wandering around the railroad tracks late at night, and into the woods and yards of those who live near the tracks. No one is really sure of her origin. She has been captured in pictures, and appears as only an orb, or a glowing light. No one knows who she is. Perhaps she is a remnant of the once flourishing railroad town of South Tunnel.