Civil War Railroad Papers

USS ALASKA

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Stumbled onto quite a few papers about Civil War Railroads. Thought I would start a thread to collect them to have as a reference.

Will begin with one that is often used and quoted here...

Collection: Combat Studies Institute (CSI)
Title:
Rails to Oblivion: The decline of Confederate railroads in the Civil War.
Author:
Gabel, Christopher R.
Abstract: This
study is a companion piece to "Railroad generalship" by the same author, and shows that neither brilliant generals or valiant soldiers can, in the long run, overcome the effects of a neglected and deteriorating logistics system. Moreover, the cumulative effect of mundane factors such as metal fatigue, mechanical friction and accidents in the civilian workplace can contribute significantly to the outcome of a war.
Series:
Combat Studies Institute Press Publications
Publisher:
Fort Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute, US Army Command and General Staff College,
Date, Original
2002
Release Statement: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Repository: Combined Arms Research Library
Library:
Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library

"Military professionals need always to recognize the centrality of logistics to military operations. In this booklet, Dr. Christopher R. Gabel provides a companion piece to his "Railroad Generalship" which explores the same issues from the other side of the tracks, so to speak. "Rails to Oblivion" shows that neither brilliant generals nor valiant soldiers can, in the long run, overcome the effects of a neglected and deteriorating logistics system. Moreover, the cumulative effect of mundane factors such as metal fatigue, mechanical friction, and accidents in the civilian workplace can contribute significantly to the outcome of a war. And no matter how good some thing or idea may look on paper, or how we delude ourselves, we and our soldiers must live with, and die in, reality. War is a complex business. This booklet explores some o t he facets of war that often escape the notice of military officers, and as COL Jerry Morelock intimated in his foreword to "Railroad Generalship," these facets decide who wins and who loses."

September 2002 LAWYN C. EDWARDS
Colonel, Aviation
Director, Combat Studies Institute

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USS ALASKA

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Dr. Gabel's companion piece to post #1

Collection: Combat Studies Institute (CSI)
Railroad generalship: Foundations of Civil War strategy.
Author:
Gabel, Christopher R.
Abstract:
According to an old saying, "amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics." any serious student of the military profession will know that logistics constantly shape military affairs and sometimes even dictate strategy and tactics. This excellent monograph by Dr. Christopher Gable shows that the appearance of the steam-powered railroad had enormous implications for military logistics, and thus for strategy, in the American Civil War. Not surprisingly, the side that proved superior in "railroad generalship" or the utilization of the railroads for military purposes, was also the side that won the war.
Series:
Combat Studies Institute Press Publications
Publisher:
Fort Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute, US Army Command and General Staff College,
Date, Original
1997
Release Statement: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Repository: Combined Arms Research Library
Library:
Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library
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Collection: School of Advanced Military Studies Monographs
Title:
Effects of railroads on the emergence of operational art during the American Civil War, 1861–1865.
Author:
Manner, Michael C.
Branch/Country:
United States Army
Abstract: The
American Civil War has been called the first modern war. Despite the multiple books on the subject and historical study dedicated to the Civil War, little has been written on the impact of the railroad on the emergence of operational art. Moreover, even less has been written about the management of the railroad itself being a contributing factor to the successful application of the railroad to support operational art. The general picture most historians have is that the railroads were a tool to be used to support operations. But without the proper management of the railroads they would not have been able to support the war effort. The Union was able to apply operational art to the use of railroads consistently throughout the war by doing two things. First, they put the management of the railroads under one supervisor and, secondly, they consistently paid the railroads for their services. Conversely, the Confederates never consolidated management of the railroads and did not consistently pay the railroads for their use, ultimately leading to their downfall. This monograph examines how both sides in the Civil War utilized railroads, how this affected the emergence of operational art, and how the proper management of the railroads supported the demands that the Army placed upon them.
Publisher: Fort Leavenworth, KS : US Army Command and General Staff College
Release statement: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of the student-authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College or any other governmental agency. (References to these studies should include the foregoing statement.)
Repository : Combined Arms Research Library
Library:
Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library
Date created:
2013-09-04
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wausaubob

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The issue is bigger than this.
When the northern areas did not have a railroad network in 1850, they backed down and accepted some compromises.
By 1861 the northern areas not only had a railroad network, they had a railroad industry. They produced their own rails, engines and cars. They had their own managers, engineers and mechanics.
The increase in railroad competency between 1850 and 1860 was revolutionary. The improvements in civil engineering, mechanical engineering and industrial engineering went far beyond anything the Confederates could comprehend.
The momentum of the railroad industry was about to change the structure of time.
 

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The US had a insurmountable advantage in steam ships and gunboats. But the difference between railroads and steamships is that the railroad can go anywhere. That proven in the building of the transcontinental railroad. The civil engineers could build the railroad over mountains, through deserts and across wilderness.
 

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It was the management systems in the United States railroads that were important. The ability to breakdown complex tasks into defined pieces in which performance could be assessed created accountability. The concept of accountability spread into the army. Concepts such as celerity, and efficiency were constantly coming up.
 

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It was the management systems in the United States railroads that were important.
One of the major changes / improvements railroads brought to the execution of corporate leadership was communications and the distance of those comms. Unlike a large mill or mine or anything else in a small geographic area, railroads had infrastructure and people spread out over vast distances. Control of assets and operations across their corporate 'landscape' was something that had to be learned, a lot of which by trial and error. Those that didn't learn, disappeared. Even trans-oceanic shipping lines could not and did not have comms like the railroads - at least before the advent of the 'wireless'.
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Railroads and Urban Rivalries in Antebellum Eastern Virginia
Peter C. Stewart, Old Dominion University
Document Type: Article
Publication Date: 1973
Publication Title: Virginia Magazine of History and Biography
Volume: 81
Issue: 1

Abstract: Railroad construction provided a focus for the acceleration of economic rivalry between Richmond, Petersburg, and Norfolk from the 1830's through the 1850's. Richmond's place as a political center provided legislative leverage and attracted able promoters and sufficient capital. Richmond outdistanced its rivals handily, with Petersburg gaining little more than Norfolk. The rivalry left an enduring legacy. Based on railroad archives, manuscripts, and newspapers; 60 notes.

Original Publication Citation: Stewart, P.C. (1973). Railroads and urban rivalries in antebellum eastern Virginia. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 81(1), 3-22.

Repository Citation: Stewart, P.C. (1973). Railroads and urban rivalries in antebellum eastern Virginia. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 81(1), 3-22.

This Article is brought to you for free and open access by the History at ODU Digital Commons. It has been accepted for inclusion in History Faculty

Publications by an authorized administrator of ODU Digital Commons. For more information, please contact digitalcommons@odu.edu.


https://digitalcommons.odu.edu/history_fac_pubs/3/?utm_source=digitalcommons.odu.edu/history_fac_pubs/3&utm_medium=PDF&utm_campaign=PDFCoverPages
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wausaubob

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Its an important subject. The United States began the war based on muscle power in the operational zone. Grant and McCellan quickly switched to steamship and steamboat logistics, to eliminate as much of the livestock as possible.
But the United States did not remain tied to steamship logistics.
Railroad logistics in October of 1863 demonstrated new strategic possibilities. Both Grant and Sherman utilized what had been demonstrated.
Grant's plan demonstrates trying to protect the wagon trains and make them more efficient. McClellan's ideas were incorporated, and then a MMRR was added.
 

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Collection: Fort Leavenworth History
Title:
Use of railroads in war.
Author:
Reichmann, Carl

Abstract: A
lecture delivered before the class of officers at the U.S. Infantry and Cavalry School, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Dec. 17, 1984. Discusses the history of using railroads to transport troops and supplies, advantages and disadvantages of such use, and strategy and influence in military operations.

Publisher: Fort Leavenworth, KS : United States Infantry and Cavalry School,
Date: Original 1895
Date: Digital
2008
Release statement: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Repository: Combined Arms Research Library
Library: Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library
Date created:
2008-11-13
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Collection: General Military History
Title:
Supply of Sherman's army during the Atlanta Campaign.
Author:
Major, Duncan K., Fitch, Roger S.

Abstract: This
work is mainly made up of quotations from original orders, letters and reports, found in the official records of the Union and Confederate armies and relating to the supply of General Sherman's army during the Atlanta Campaign.

Subject: Atlanta Campaign, 1864 / Military supplies.
Publisher:
Fort Leavenworth, Kan. : Army Service Schools Press,
Date, Original
1911
Date, Digital
2006
Call number: 355.8097 3 M234s
Release Statement: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Repository: Combined Arms Research Library
Library:
Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library
Date created
2007-02-12
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wausaubob

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I think the railroad capabilities were one of two major reasons the Confederates miscalculated. They willfully ignored the United States' naval superiority. Perhaps they thought they could win the war in the first summer, or they may have incorrectly anticipated the British intervening in the war.
The other factor was the railroads, which created a capability to sustain armies, and to project ground forces over great distance. Since railroads had never been used for that purpose, it is easy to see how the capability was not part of the initial calculations.
 

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Railroads and Economic Growth in the Antebellum United States

Rui M. Pereira / William J. Hausman / Alfredo Marvão Pereira

Abstract

We measure the overall impact of railroad investment on economic growth in the antebellum period in the United States using a bivariate dynamic time series methodological approach, based on the use of a vector autoregressive (VAR) model. We find bidirectional causality between railroad infrastructure investment and GDP. Our estimates suggest that railroad investment had a substantial impact on economic growth in the antebellum United States. The elasticity of output with respect to railroad investment is 0.048 with a corresponding marginal product of 4.2. The marginal product figure indicates that one dollar invested in railroads yields a $4.2 accumulated increase in GDP over the long-term. This corresponds to a 7.5% rate of return when considering a 20–year lifetime for railroad capital. While the bulk of the estimated effect of railroad infrastructure investment, nearly two thirds of the total, stems from supply side effects, the short run demand side effects of these investments are substantial.

http://economics.wm.edu/wp/cwm_wp153.pdf
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https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/1883656.pdf

There was a war coming, either a hot war, or a cold war based on economic growth. Either way, Chicago and Illinois, and the areas connected to them, were going to win the war. The value to the people sponsoring these Midwest railroads more than met their expectations.
As for the post war railroads, the Pacific railroad was more or less a bribe to keep California quiet and to keep Iowa and Missouri committed. The payoff was not a dollars and cents item, it was military victory.
 

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Collection: Master of Military Art and Science Theses
Title: Logistics in warfare: the significance of logistics in the Army of the Cumberland during the Tullahoma and Chickamauga Campaigns.
Author:
Galuszka, Douglas H.

Abstract: This
is a study of the logistical system that supported the Union armies in the Civil War, focusing on the Army of the Cumberland under the command of Major General William S. Rosecrans in 1863. It begins with a description of the logistical bureaus in the War Department in Washington, D.C. and the challenges they had in developing the national logistical support structure in the first years of the war. Next, the support structure in the Department of the Cumberland is described, to include the challenges in maintaining the rail link from Nashville, Tennessee, back to Louisville, Kentucky. Finally, the performances of the commanders and logisticians in the field during the Tullahoma and Chickamauga Campaigns are explored, with an emphasis on the problems with transportation. This study concludes that the logisticians overcame enormous problems to create a logistical system that allowed the commanders to win the war. In the Army of the Cumberland, the support was exceptional when compared to the challenges that were faced. Logistics became a limiting factor because of the senior leaderships poor planning, disregarded orders, and unrealistic expectations which doomed both the Tullahoma and Chickamauga Campaigns from achieving decisive results even before they had begun. This study attempts to put the rarely explored, but extremely significant, field of logistics in its proper place of importance in the study of military history. Logistics is inextricably tied with strategy and tactics; without logistics, victory is not possible.

Series:
Command and General Staff College (CGSC) MMAS thesis
Publisher:
Fort Leavenworth, KS : US Army Command and General Staff College,
Date: Original
2005-06-17
Date: Digital
2005-06-17
Call number: ADA 436669
Release statement: Approved for public release; Distribution is unlimited. The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of the student-authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College or any other governmental agency. (References to these studies should include the foregoing statement.)
Repository: Combined Arms Research Library
Library: Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library
Date created:
2005-09-28
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Railroad Investment Before the Civil War

This PDF is a selection from an out-of-print volume from the National Bureau of Economic Research

Chapter Title: Railroad Investment Before the Civil War
Chapter Author: E. R. Wicker
Chapter URL: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c2488
Chapter pages in book: (p. 503 - 546)

In this paper I re-examine the basic data on railroad investment before 1860. The project was designed initially to improve our understanding of the quantitative aspects of the role of the railroad in the economic development of the United States during the period. Our statistical knowledge is confined almost exclusively to Henry Varnum Poor's and Armin Shuman's annual data on total railroad mileage and net mileage added since There are serious weaknesses in the series, not the least of which is the fact that they give a distorted picture of the amount of railroad investment in specific years...

http://www.nber.org/chapters/c2488.pdf
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Collection: Master of Military Art and Science Theses
Title:
Role of Union cavalry during the Atlanta Campaign.
Author:
Leach, Robert B.

Abstract: This
study is a historical analysis of the effectiveness of Union cavalry during the Atlanta Campaign of the American Civil War. In a campaign noted for the highly skilled maneuver conducted by General William Tecumseh Sherman, the effective employment of the cavalry was essential. The Union cavalry had the missions of providing security to the flanks of the army and protecting the supply lines by guarding the railroad and by striking against the Confederate cavalry. Later in the campaign, the Union leadership introduced the task of destroying Confederate railroads as a cavalry mission. The Union cavalry failed to perform these missions adequately. First, this work investigates the tradition of the Union cavalry and the state of Sherman's cavalry at the beginning of the campaign. Secondly, an analysis of the cavalry operations breaks the use of cavalry into three phases and focuses on the various missions which were attempted. Finally, the study addresses the lessons learned and what the applicability is for modern operations. This study concludes that although the Union cavalry was well manned and well equipped, improper employment and deficient senior leadership caused it to play an unsuccessful and detrimental part in the overall campaign.

Series: Command and General Staff College (CGSC) MMAS thesis
Publisher:
Fort Leavenworth, KS : US Army Command and General Staff College,
Date: Original
1994-06-03
Date: Digital
2007
Call number: ADA 284554
Release statement: Approved for public release; Distribution is unlimited. The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of the student-authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College or any other governmental agency. (References to these studies should include the foregoing statement.)
Repository: Combined Arms Research Library
Library: Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library
Date created:
2007-08-29
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Development of the American Railroad Network During the Early 19th Century: Private versus Public Enterprise
By Clifford F. Thies Professor of Economics and Finance

For presentation at Session H00-2 Topics in Public Economics of the 52nd Conference of the International Atlantic Economic Society Crowne Plaza-Philadelphia Center City 4 p.m., Friday, October 12, 2001

ABSTRACT
The article reviews the history of state intervention in banking, canals and other transportation industries during the early part of the 19th Century. This history concluded in failure, and – in many states – in state constitutional amendments that restricted state borrowing and investments in banking and industry. The article also conducts an econometric analysis of the development of the railroad networks in 28 states, finding that state borrowing contributed to little if any additional miles of railroad, but that adoption of constitutional amendments codifying the principles of laissez-faire contributed significantly


http://www.independent.org/pdf/working_papers/42_development.pdf
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RAILROAD INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE ANTEBELLUM UNITED STATES
by RUI MANUEL PEREIRA, ALFREDO MARVÃO PEREIRA AND WILLIAM J. HAUSMAN *


College of William and Mary, USA

We measure the overall impact of railroad investment on economic development in the antebellum period in the United States using a vector autoregressive approach. Our results can be summarized as follows. First, we find bidirectional causality between railroad infrastructure investment and GDP. Second, we estimate a marginal product of $4.2 for railroad investment which corresponds to a 15.5% rate of return when considering a 10–year lifetime for railroad capital. While about two-thirds of this effect stems from the supply side, short run demand side effects also are substantial. Third, given the low effective tax rates practiced in the 1830s and the magnitude of the effects of railroad investment we estimate, it is very likely that these investments were not self-financing and may, therefore, have contributed to the high levels of public indebtedness observed in the period

JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 1 Volume 42, Number 3, September 2017


http://www.jed.or.kr/full-text/42-3/1.pdf
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