Clarksville Tennessee is about midway between Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee, at a distance of either city. [Remember that this article was written in 1875. Some other trivia for you. The Civil War had ended only 28 years earlier. Remember all the controversy surrounding the removal of the Confederate battle flag from atop Memphis City Hall? That had happened just five years before this article came out!
We have come a long way.] So if you want to travel by railroad, let us say that you are going to “Nashville,” then would it not be better for you to take the train first to Clarksville and then proceed on the C., M. & St L Railroad (the name given to what used to be called the Clarksville Branch) to Nashville?
By this route, you have a considerable saving in distance over going by rail directly to Nashville. It is true that one must go further southward before turning northward, but this is made up for by much better railroad service. This road has no grade in either direction exceeding 70 feet per mile (that’s right – I calculated it myself). The average grade and curves are much less than this.
A very pleasant trip may be had without any change of cars between Clarksville and Nashville. And then there is another advantage: You may travel at your own leisure. The trains are not crowded, so you do not have to be in a hurry. If you should like to visit one of the towns on the way, there is no rush. One can stop and get out whenever he wants to without causing any inconvenience or confusion to others. [And if anyone criticizes you for taking too long on your vacation, just laugh at them and tell them that they aren’t even close.] So why would anyone go ‘the long way’ (i.e., the direct route) when going from Clarksville to Nashville?
The main reason might be entertainment along the road if one likes variety, but another much more important reason would be connections with other lines leading into our beautiful city. The Nashville & Decatur Railroad is a very important line, and it connects with the M., C. & St. L at two points–Clarksville and Trenton (just north of Columbia). At Clarksville there are also connections by steamboat on the Cumberland River to Nashville, making it possible for one to proceed directly from Clarksville to our fair city without changing cars by rail…
What! Do you know that the three main railroads in this section converge at Memphis? And then they again divide into several lines to the north, south, east, and west? From there every point is reached by changing cars or passing them over other roads connecting with these three main lines… What a web this railroad spider spins in the South!