Railroads in the Civil War #1
RAILROADS IN THE CIVIL WAR: Newsletter #1
Just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, the United States contained five percent of the world’s population. But, the country contained almost 50% of the world’s rail miles.
Northern railroads served the rapid growth of the industrial economy’s needs there. Thus, an enormous amount of capital was directed to the expansion of railroads. In the South, railroads served the agricultural economy’s seasonal needs. Most of the available capital there, went to the acquisition of land and slaves.
As you can see from the above railroad map most of the rail line served the United States in the mid-west and along the east coast. You can also see that because of the rail lines in the Mississippi Valley, rail centers like Nashville, Memphis. Chattanooga, Corinth & Vicksburg became important military objectives of the attacking Union forces.
I will continue the description/analysis of railroads in the Civil War in subsequent newsletters.