Days Gone By - stories from the past

Blue Mountain in Calhoun County, Alabama was once a supply and training center for Confederate soldiers

Blue Mountain is located in the northern suburbs of Anniston, Alabama, 2 miles from the center of the city. It was one of the cotton-mill and iron-mining sections of the city of Anniston. The population in 1910 was 528. In 2003, part of the town of Blue Mountain was annexed into the city of Anniston, while the remaining portion of the town reverted to unincorporated Calhoun County.

Settled by the Hudgins family

The locality was settled by the Hudgins family in the late thirties and for years was the terminus of the Selma, Rome & Dalton Railroad, being the shipping station for the Oxford furnace.

During the War, the Confederate Government operated both the railroad and the furnace, the iron being shipped to Selma to make “Ironclads” for the Confederacy.

“Thousands of Confederate soldiers trained at the Blue Mountain rail depot and training camp, the group’s members say. Historians and Civil War experts say the site, where industrialists later built the textile mills that became Blue Mountain Industries, was home during the war to a Confederate supply depot and training camp.” 1

mrs-william-longshore-as-a-child-with-her-father-in-blue-mountain-alabama-alabama-department-of-archives-and-historyMrs. William Longshore as a child, with her father in Blue Mountain, Alabama ca. 1860s (Alabama Department of Archives and History)

“Leading up to the Civil War’s beginning in the spring of 1861 and through the duration of the Civil War, the camp grew to extend from the railroad tracks near the site of the old textile mill all the way to slopes of Blue Mountain, southeast of where Kmart stands today north of downtown Anniston. The site included a hospital, a prison, and a place for organizing regiments, according to Alexandria resident Mac Gillam.”2

The town was burned in 1864 and its future looked bleak. Finally, Blue Mountain was reestablished as with the advent of the textile industry. Residents in Blue Mountain were employed for decades in the town’s mill but when the textile economy suffered, Blue Mountain declined.

A trust has been formed to preserve the historic site. Interested in the project? Contact Gillam at 256-225-4442 or email [email protected] Contact Starnes at [email protected], or Henderson at 256-310-3910.

1 Anniston Star – Blue Mountain site appeals to Civil War Buffs

2 Anniston Star – Blue Mountain site appeals to Civil War Buffs



  1. History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Volume I – BY THOMAS McADORY OWEN, LL.D. Lawyer, Founder and Director Alabama State Department of Archives and History, and author of numerous historical and bibliographical publications
  2. Armes, Story of coal and iron in Alabama (1910), pp. 180-182, 206.
  3. Blue Mountain site appeals to Civil War buffs
  4. Anniston Star – Blue Mountain site appeals to Civil War Buffs

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Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. Wayne Bagwell

    Sue Goodman. Close to your home place ?

  2. To supplement the story, Blue Mountain was the terminus of the Alabama and Tennessee River RR at the halt of its construction with the advent of the Civil War. The “community” of Anniston didn’t spring up until after the war, and Oxford, several miles to the south, was the closest village until then. Blue Mountain was an important source of iron ore to be shipped by rail to Confederate munitions plant at Selma during the war, and was therefore a target of the Northern army late in the war.
    After the war, the A&TR RR was incorporated into a new company, the Selma, Rome and Dalton RR, and then extended to Dalton, Georgia, rather than to Gadsden, the earlier planned terminus.
    (By coincidence, I have recently been doing study of early Alabama RRs.)

  3. Janice Bailey-Mobley

    In my teen years we lived in 2 different houses on a short street in Blue Mountain I think it was 31st or 33rd — it was about as far away from AHS as I could get!! – they were factory houses similar to “shotgun” houses one had the toilet on the backporch in a claoset and the other had a real bathroom Yay! They sat on rocks!! lol

  4. […] Source: Blue Mountain in Calhoun County, Alabama was once a supply and training center for Confederate soldi… […]

    1. William E Barnard

      Thank you Jackie !! Love the history!!!

  5. Mike Tucker

    My 2nd great grandfather, Walter McFry, enlisted in The War at Blue Mountain.

  6. Greg Williams

    Jim Hicks, this is something you and I have talked about before….. I can only imagine what that encampment site looked like………

    1. Jim Hicks

      Greg, your guess is as good as mine. Being the terminus of the RR, I bet there were a number of warehouses and sheds. Didn’t realize the camp spread as Far East as it did! From what I’ve read, the local residents fled to the mountains when the Yankee cavalry came to destroy it. There were supposedly lots of boxcars, etc., full of shells & ammo sent there from the Selma Arsenal and were stuck at the end of the line. A fire was set and things started exploding. It made quite a fireworks show for the folks hiding in the hills!

  7. Charles Harold Martin

    I was born in Blue Mountain in the large two story building on the hill by the barber shop. It burned some years ago. I worked at the cotton mill while attending Jax State.

  8. I was in the last second grade class that attended the old Blue Mountain School before it closed. It closed at the end of that school year and if I remember right, it was 1983. It was torn down a few years later. I had to go to Saks for the third grade. Not sure if anyone here knew her or not, Dorothy Ward babysat me and my brother in those same years. I remember her and her late husband, Woodrow Ward owned and operated and service station/café not even a mile from where the school was on Alexandria Rd. I would really love to find that schools history if anyone could help me. Thanks in advance.

  9. Went to blue mountain school Mrs Landers was first grade teacher Mrs Paddy was grade 5 teacher Mrs Dishman was 4 grade teacher can not recall any more was in early 50s

  10. I really think it would have been more appropriate to turn the old school into a civil war museum. It would be great to be able to walk in and see exhibits of all sorts pertaining to the history of Blue Mountain and the school.

  11. i went to the school before they close it .i remember we would play out back under the steps just stay warm in the winter .a real bad storm came through an we sometimes would walk home for lunch because we couldnot aford lunches .one day we went home an there was abig killing next door an mama wouldnt let us walk home for lunch no more.

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