Civil War Railroads #3
Civil War Railroads
Miles of Track:
In 1861, there was 21,300 miles of track & 45,000 miles of telegraph wire in the North. By 1865 the North had the largest system in the world.
In the South, there was 8,947 miles of track & 5,000 miles of telegraph wire when the war began. Virtually the entire system was destroyed by war.
Railroad Act of 1861
Both North & south passed legislation allowing governments to take over control of railroads for military purposes.
N – In the North railroads connect all major cities and 88% of farmers were no more than five miles from a railroad.
S – In the South railroads were built to connect cotton centers to navigable rivers & ports. Pre-war private capital was invested in land & slaves not railroads.
N – All one track gauges were used.
S – Four tract gauges were used.