Wagon Train followed the trials and tribulations of pioneering families as they set out from the East to carve out a new life in the West soon after the American Civil War. For some of the travellers it was a happy ending, but not for all, which only heightened the drama along the way.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Wagon Train - Wagon - Netflix
A wagon (also alternatively and archaically spelt waggon in British and Commonwealth English) is a heavy four-wheeled vehicle pulled by draught animals or on occasion by humans (see below), used for transporting goods, commodities, agricultural materials, supplies and sometimes people. Wagons are immediately distinguished from carts (which have two wheels) and from lighter four-wheeled vehicles primarily for carrying people, such as carriages. Wagons are usually pulled by animals such as horses, mules or oxen. They may be pulled by one animal or by several, often in pairs or teams. However, there are examples of human-propelled wagons, such as mining corfs. A wagon was formerly called a wain and one who builds or repairs wagons is a wainwright. More specifically, a wain is a type of horse- or oxen-drawn, load-carrying vehicle, used for agricultural purposes rather than transporting people. A wagon or cart, usually four-wheeled; for example, a haywain, normally has four wheels, but the term has now acquired slightly poetical connotations, so is not always used with technical correctness. However, a two-wheeled “haywain” would be a hay cart, as opposed to a carriage. Wain is also an archaic term for a chariot. Wain can also be a verb, to carry or deliver, and has other meanings. A person who drives wagons is called a “wagoner”, a “teamster”, a “bullocky”, a “muleskinner”, or simply a “driver”.
Wagon Train - Wagon train - Netflix
In migration and military settings, wagons were often found in large groups called wagon trains. In warfare, large groups of supply wagons were used to support traveling armies with food and munitions, forming “baggage trains”. During the American Civil War, these wagon trains would often be accompanied by the wagons of private merchants, known as sutlers, who sold goods to soldiers, as well as the wagons of photographers and news reporters. Special purpose-built support wagons existed for blacksmithing, telegraphy and even observation ballooning. In migration settings, such as the emigrant trails of the American West and the Great Trek of South Africa, wagons would travel together for support, navigation and protection. A group of wagons may be used to create an improvised fort called a laager, made by circling them to form an enclosure. In these settings, a chuckwagon is a small wagon used for providing food and cooking, essentially a portable kitchen.