Alexander Wilson b. 1864 was son of Major J.W. Wilson who built the railroad through the NC Mountains near Morganton. Alex moved to Gainesville, Ga lived in Rabun County when he first moved to Ga from NC. He married Ethel P. He is listed as a railroad engineer in the census 1910, 1920 and 1930. I don't know a lot about Alexander as I just now traced this link. I do know the story of Major Wilson which is quite interesting. Through oral history it is told that at the end of the civil war, he was sent back to NC to Salisbury to save the railroad from the plundering union army. He was a brilliant engineer who graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and quite a strategist. As there were only 7 engines left in Salisbury, one out of commission, he came up with a trick to send an engine pulling passenger cars to the east to draw the Union Army in the wrong direction. At the same time he hooked up the remaining engines and sent them towards Old Fort, near Morganton hooked together. By the time the union army searched the errant train and realized they had been duped, they turned around to chase the fleeing engines. They chased them through the NC mountains and almost caught them at a river. They had to find a place to cross so they went downriver a few miles, During that time, Major Wilson stopped the engine in the head of the line and quietly rolled the train of engines back down into a gorge and hid there while the army searched in vain. Thus the NC railroad was saved. This is a story told to me by some folks associated with the NC railroad museum at Old Fort near Morganton. Here's a link that tells a little more about his involvement. He was indeed quite notorious in the 1870s.


Aly Wilson Curtis



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