It will help if you have access to a map of Alabama and a time line of events during the Civil War. Mobile remained in Confederate hands until surrendered on April 11, 1865, Blakeley being captured on April 9th. Travel from Mobile was over water to Blakeley to Pollard, a railway station and Confederate encampment raided by Federal forces on Dec. 14-15, 1864. From there the rail line ran north to Montgomery to a station on the south side of town. Federal forces entered Montgomery for the first time on April 12, 1865.
Let me assure you, the rail line between Pollard and Montgomery remained in operation until the raid mentioned. As your witness, let's consult Major Frank Moore, commander of the 2nd Illinois Cavalry Regiment.
No. 95. Report of Maj. Franklin Moore, Second Illinois Cavalry, of operations March 18-28.
CAMP SECOND ILLINOIS CAVALRY, March 29, 1865.
SIR: In pursuance of orders received I make the following report of the part my regiment took in the late expedition commanded by Colonel Spurling:
Ordered to report to Colonel Spurling by General Steele at Barrancas, Fla., 18th of March. My regiment arrived at Creiglers Mills the 19th of March. 21st of March, broke camp at 7 a. m. Nothing of importance transpired. Passed Andalusia 23d of March. Crossed the Conecuh River, Pigeon Creek, and Sepalter River on the 24th of March. Arrived at Gravel Station, being ordered with a portion of my command to destroy the railroad, which I did effectually; my pioneers remaining until the train ran off the track, capturing twelve prisoners. Remained near Gravel Station with my regiment and a portion of the Second Maine Cavalry, while Colonel Spurling continued march to Evergreen, my regiment and Second Maine still waiting for the train expected from Montgomery. I placed a portion of my command between the train already captured and Montgomery to place obstructions on the track to prevent the retreat of the train in case of discovery of the wrecked train, which was done. The train arrived and was captured with 170 prisoners, a portion of which were citizens and paroled soldiers, which were afterward released by order of Colonel Spurliug. The rebels fired on my regiment, killing one horse and wounding another. My regiment returned the fire, killing one man who was trying to make his escape. The train was loaded with clothing, grain, horses, mail, tobacco, &c. Burned everything and resumed march; joined Colonel Spurling at Evergreen at 11 a. m., one company of my regiment guarding the prisoners until my arrival at brigade.
Official Records of the Union and Confederate armies; Series 1, Vol. 49, Part I, p. 312.