Gordon, a Wilkinson County town of 2,158 in middle Georgia, was named for William Washington Gordon, the first president of the Central Railroad and Banking Company. The town was Station No. 17 on the railroad.
The first depot here was constructed in the 1840s, around the time the Central was completing its pioneering line out of Savannah.
Gordon saw significant military action during the Civil War. A nearby Georgia Historical Marker summarizes the events:
In July, 1864, Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman's Army [USA] closed in on Atlanta. Finding its fortifications "too strong to assault and too extensive to invest." He sought to force its fall by sending Maj. Gen. George Stoneman with three cavalry brigades (2112 men and 2 guns) to cut the Central of Georgia R.R. by which the city's defenders [CSA] were supplied. On the 27th, Stoneman left Decatur, crossed the Ocmulgee (Yellow) River near Covington (69 miles NW), and turned down the left bank toward Macon.
On the 30th, at Clinton (16 miles NW), Major F. M. Davidson, 14th Illinois Cavalry, was detached with 125 men to destroy railway facilities. Here at Gordon, he "burned a large brick depot filled with army supplies, destroying 11 locomotives, and burned 11 trains of cars consisting of 40 passenger cars, 80 box-cars, filled with commissary and quartermaster stores, and 20 open cars loaded with machinery, also burned a large building stored with tools and machinery belonging to the railroad company, and 1 cotton factory: destroyed the telegraph office, with several instruments, capturing the operator, and tore up half a mile of railroad track."
After the war the railroad was rebuilt, with the first trains running the entire route between Savannah and Macon in early 1866. By 1890 the line had become the main stem of a 2300-mile system.
More information and photos at Middle Georgia Railroad Association