Tuscumbia, Courtland, and Decatur Railroad
Northern Alabama's Tuscumbia, Courtland, and Decatur (TC&D) Railroad was an important transportation route used by the Cherokee during Removal. This railroad was built in 1830-31 to circumvent the dangerous Muscle Shoals (strong current) of the Tennessee River, known as a hazard to boat traffic. The TC&D was the first railroad in Alabama and the first railroad built west of the Appalachian Mountains. This report was the result of a 2007 Challenge Cost Share Program agreement between the NPS and the Southeastern Anthropological Institute; its compilation was directed by Gail King, with substantial input from Lamar Marshall, Larry Smith, and Marty King. In amassing this report, the authors unearthed much archival information that had long lain dormant. The report describes the line’s construction, its role during the 1838 Removal, its route (both original and in subsequent years), and its role during the Civil War and in later years.
North Alabama’s Tuscumbia, Courtland, and Decatur Railroad and Its Role During Cherokee Emigration/Removal Beginning in 1837, June 2009 (21 MB pdf)