Category Archives: Weapons

Civil War Railroads – Conclusion

About three weeks ago – on October 19, 2018 – Emerging Civil War called “all-aboard” and chugged into the history of railroads during America’s defining conflict. It’s been a good journey with details about traveling by rail, trains during campaigns, … Continue reading

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Railroads – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad: Confederate Target, Crucial Union Lifeline

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (“B&O”) was chartered in 1828 as one of the first commercial railroads in the world. Construction began that year, connecting Annapolis, Maryland to Wheeling in the far northwestern corner of antebellum Virginia. The B&O eventually … Continue reading

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Railroads – The Virginia Central Railroad: A Target For Union Raids

The Virginia Central Railroad was chartered as the Louisa Railroad in 1836 by the Virginia Board of Public Works. The name was changed to the Virginia Central Railroad in 1850. It ran from westward from Richmond and ended in Gordonsville, … Continue reading

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Railroads: Management in the War

As with much in the war, it’s not just advantages of more resources, but how they’re applied, that is important. Better railroad management was a key in Union victory. Important advantages that the Union possessed included more railroad mileage (20,000 … Continue reading

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Railroads: The Louisville and Nashville Railroad

It is often underappreciated how the Louisville & Nashville Railroad’s status impacted the operations of Major General W.S. Rosecrans and the Army of the Cumberland. I discuss it in this except from my book about Stones River and Tullahoma: Throughout … Continue reading

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Civil War Railroads: An Overview

As we discuss Civil War railroads this month, let’s start out with some basic concepts. It is important to remember that this was new technology when war broke out. No general, North or South, had ever used railroads in wartime … Continue reading

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Civil War Railroads – Introduction

Railroad iron is a magician’s rod, in its power to evoke the sleeping energies of land and water. Ralph Waldo Emerson During the American Civil War, railroad iron evoked and moved more than natural energies. Along the iron tracks rattled … Continue reading

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Around We Go: In the Monitor Turret

Lieutenant Samuel D. Greene, USN, had a problem. He was encased within a dim, claustrophobic, metal drum—20 feet in diameter—behind eight layers of bolted and riveted 1-inch-thick iron plates in charge of two immense 11-inch Dahlgren shell guns, each 13 … Continue reading

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Unvexed Waters: Mississippi River Squadron, Part 2

Part I of this post introduced the unprecedented U.S. Army Western Gunboat Flotilla—soon to be reorganized as the U.S. Navy Mississippi River Squadron—and carried it through the victorious battles of Forts Henry and Donelson, Tennessee, in February 1862. The next … Continue reading

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Sea Power at Port Royal Sound: A Missed Opportunity?

On November 5, 1861, the Confederate Secretary of War established the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia, and East Florida as a military department, assigning one of his most senior and experienced officers, General R. E. Lee, to command it. No … Continue reading

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