Railroads in the Civil War
The Impact of Management on Victory and Defeat
By John E. Clark, Jr.
Softcover 6x9", 275 pages, 16 halftones, 6 maps. 2004.
"Despite popular depictions in film and print, soldiers in the American Civil War did not always travel by horse, wagon, or foot. Advances in railroad systems in the decade before the war allowed the movement of large numbers of troops via railway even though railroads had not yet matured into a truly integrated transportation system. Gaps between lines, incompatible track gauges, and other vexing impediments remained in both the North and South. As John E. Clark Jr. explains in this compelling study, the skill with which Union and Confederate war leaders dealt with those problems and utilized the rail system to its fullest wartime potential reflects each side’s overall war management ability as an essential ingredient for ultimate victory.
"After providing an excellent overview of Union and Confederate railway capabilities and effectiveness at decision making, Clark details two specific rail movements as case studies in logistical management. Using exciting stories found in diaries and letters as well as official records and telegrams, Clark explains how the Union wisely and confidently organized and directed the massive undertaking and how the Confederacy, having failed to properly mobilize its rail system for war, did not.
"Certain to spark debate among Civil War enthusiasts and interest among business readers, Railroads in the Civil War demonstrates why railroads qualified as the first modern management systems in America.
"John E. Clark Jr. teaches American history at the Garrett Morgan Academy for Transportation and Technology, Paterson, New Jersey, Public Schools."