Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon


GENERAL SHERMAN. The General Sherman, the first railroad locomotive in Texas, was a small outside connected engine with one driving axle. It is believed to have been built by M. W. Baldwin and Company about 1837. The locomotive weighed between twelve and thirteen tons and had a maximum speed of thirty-five miles per hour. It was purchased used from a Massachusetts railroad company, probably either the Boston and Providence or the Boston and Worcester, by the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway Company in early 1852 and arrived in Galveston that November. The locomotive was named for Gen. Sidney Sherman, who was one of the founders of the railroad. It was placed in service at Harrisburg on December 24, 1852, and operated until 1870. By that time it was too old and too small to be of any use to the company, which was by then known as the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway Company. The locomotive stood in a derelict condition outside the roundhouse at Harrisburg until about 1899 when it was scrapped.


P. Briscoe, "The First Texas Railroad," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 7 (April 1904). Briscoe-Harris-Looscan Collection, San Jacinto Museum of History, Houston.

Andrew Forest Muir


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Andrew Forest Muir, "GENERAL SHERMAN," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 26, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.