Cover image for Railroads in the Civil War : the impact of management on victory and defeat
Railroads in the Civil War : the impact of management on victory and defeat
Clark, John Elwood, 1940-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xv, 275 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.
Introduction: development of an American transportation system -- The challenge of war management: Union and Confederate government responses -- The Confederacy: crisis and decision -- Southern railroads and the Longstreet movement: the effect of confederate mismanagement -- "A serious disaster": the federal government responds to defeat at Chickamauga -- The 11th and 12th corps movement: the success of northern management -- The failure of Confederate war management -- Appendix: units of Longstreet's corps and the 11th and 12th corps.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E491 .C58 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This book argues that the mismanagement of logistics in the Civil War railroad movements contributed more significantly to Confederate defeat in the war than previously acknowledged. Presenting in-depth studies of the Longstreet and 11th and 12th Corps movements, Clark drives the point that as the war became longer, both sides had to adjust to the demands of an increasingly long-distance logistics-driven conflict. The Union, he argues, successfully marshaled its industrial base to serve the war effort and made especially good use of its railroads, whereas the Confederacy did not organize logistics effectively.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In comparing the Confederacy's movement of Longstreet's forces by railroad to aid Bragg before the battle of Chickamauga with the movement, also by rail, of Union forces in the east to aid Rosecrans at Chattanooga in response to Union defeat, Clark (Garrett Morgan Transportation Academy, New Jersey) contrasts how the two sides of the Civil War managed their railroads. The North had the industrial plant, resourceful managers (men like Garrett, Haupt, and McCallum), and determined executives in Lincoln and especially Stanton. The South had none of these. It had a decrepit rail system, managers of little vision and limited resources and, in Jefferson Davis, a man who lacked the will to demand the best from what was available. Throughout its war the South struggled to keep the wheels rolling. In the North, the railroad companies rose to the occasion and through their management skills ensured that henceforth railroads would figure significantly in warfare. As Clark says, the Civil War was "the Confederacy's war to win. It managed to lose it." A new, compelling analysis that will find wide readership. All levels. R. B. Clay formerly, University of Kentucky