Re: Reb RR trivia question
- Didn't Stonewall Jackson add to the Confederate rolling stock with a
rather ingenious ruse early in the war? IIRC, he allowed the
Federal trains (on the B&O?) to run at certain restricted times and
then, when they were all bunched together, went and seized them and
dragged them all away.
--- In civilwarwest@y..., "aot1952" <aot1952@y...> wrote:
> There were a couple of huge economic factors that seriously
> the Confederacy's rail capabilities. First at the beginning of the
> war the Southern railroads like almost all of the South's limited
> manufacturing were under-capitalized. The manufacturing sector was
> different than the southern agricultural sector it was CASH poor.
> significant cash reserves existed in most southern manufacturing
> In 1860 there was 1 billion dollars of capital invested in
> manufacturing concerns in America approximately 1/12th of that
> investment was in industry in states that left the Union. A
> of this lack of capital investment in railroading was that a very
> large number of the Southern railways were still laid with much
> lightweight, cheaper and less-reliable `U' rails instead of the
> expensive and durable `T' rails which predominated in the north.
> The Northern Rail rails had a huge advantage that the Southern
> railroads did not have once the war started. The Northern
> had a huge supply of never ending cash! The Federal government
> CASH for rail services and the CS government with no real cash
> reserves was required to pay in BONDS in exchange for rail
> The result of course was that Northern Railroads suddenly found
> they had a MAJOR new customer that was paying cash that they could
> turn use to re-invest in improvements and new rolling stock. The
> Southern rail roads on the other hand had a major new DEAD BEAT (I
> will gladly pay you 5 years from now for service today) customer
> placed more and more heavy and destructive demands on their
> non-replaceable rolling stock. Another less talked about factor in
> Northern Railroad development was that many well placed War
> Department officials were in places to do many of the rail roads
> of financial good. Lincoln's first Secrtary of War was Cameron and
> his ties to the up to the Civil War struggling Pennsylvania Rail
> Road have always been very interesting. General Fremont's rather
> generous dealings with several railroads has also always been an
> interesting source of speculation.
> Even assuming that Southern Railroads somehow could raise the cash
> needed to buy replacement equipment there simply was none to be
> or built in the confines of the Confederacy. No manufacturing
> facilities existed in the south to build a locomotive or even
> cars. Conversely the North had no less than five builders of
> types and sizes of locomotives:
> Baldwin and Company, Philadelphia
> Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Shops Baltimore
> William Mason, Tauton, Mass.
> New Jersey Locomotive Works, Paterson, NJ
> Tauton Locomotive Co. Tauton, Mass.
> By 1862 many of the Northern rail roads were running on a 50% cash
> profit margin- thanks in very large measure to the Union Army. On
> other hand no Southern railroad was making any cash - there was
> simply no cash to be had from the CS government. Also why ship
> to the ports since the blockade prevented sale to Europe? On the
> other hand Mid West Produce and grain had a European Market and
> ONLY way to get them to market until the Mississippi River was
> was the Northern Railroads.
> At the beginning of the war the three major railroads of
> Richmond were Virginia Central, Richmond Fredericksburg &Potomac
> the Manassas Gap had they a total of 47 engines and 597 cars. No
> locomotives or cars were added to the railroads stock for the
> duration of the war. Compare this to the Illinois Central, which
> between 1863 and 1865 increased its number of locomotives from 112
> 148 and its freight cars from 2312 to 3337!
> As far as many CW generals not understanding the importance of
> roads this is certainly true. However, I am not sure that many
> present day buffs really are much better. Although it is clearly
> Eastern Theater issue I can not remember the last time I heard any
> mention of the significance of Lee's breaking of the B & O
> in discussing either of his sorties into the Northern States.