Railroads and the Civil War

This is Dr. Christopher Gabel, a member of the Department of History of the US Army’s Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  From the description:  “Christopher Gabel talked about the importance of railroads and steam-powered locomotives to the Union and Confederate armies during the U.S. Civil War. Professor Gabel explained how railroads made the scale of the Civil War possible and described how and why the Confederacy’s powerful railroad system broke down as the war progressed. The Kansas City Public Library hosted this event.”




  1. Bob Nelson · · Reply

    Another really fine presentation, Al, but then I’ve always been very interested in railroading during the CW, due in part no doubt to the fact that my grandfather was an engineer on the C.B.&Q. R.R. during the 1920s and 30s. He operated a pile driver that set the pilings for bridges and also used the boom to clear wrecks. This one was so good I watched it twice. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Bob Nelson · · Reply

    For anyone wishing to delve deeper, there are a number of good books on railroading during the Civil War. Two of the best IMO are “The Northern Railroads in the Civil War” by Thomas Weber (1999) and “The Railroads of the Confederacy” by Robert Black and Gary Gallagher (1998). It’s a fascinating topic and one of the primary reasons (if not THE primary reason) that the North won and the South lost. Unfortunately, it’s also a topic that generally gets short shrift in discussions of the CW.

  3. Rosemary · · Reply

    It was a great talk.
    Kinda frustrating that camera did not show graphics speaker was referring to, But- great talk.

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