This southwestern Georgia line was incorporated on December 3, 1880 as the Buena Vista Railroad Company. Its name was changed to Buena Vista & Ellaville Railroad Company in September 1885. The eastern terminus of the line was originally intended to be Oglethorpe; it was later changed to Andersonville.
The BV&E was controlled by the Central of Georgia, which in 1887 built a connection from LaCrosse, about six miles east of Ellaville, to Americus. Because this made the Andersonville-LaCrosse section mostly redundant, it was abandoned within a few years. In mid-1888, the Central consolidated the BV&E, along with six other railroads, into the new Savannah & Western Railroad.
In 1889, the BV&E was operating one locomotive and two passenger cars. Freight equipment was furnished by the Central. In the same year, the Central gained complete ownership of the railroad and extended it west from Buena Vista to Columbus.