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book reviews271 The editor has also included correspondence with George Bancroft concerning the draft of the first message to Congress, endless arguments about the fate of Jefferson Davis, family letters from nephews, and material bearing on relations with Native Americans. If there are few letters from Johnson himself and none from his wife or children, the absence of such documents explains the omission. As a whole, the volume furnishes further evidence that the publication of the Johnson papers is still in good hands, and that in Paul H. Bergeron LeRoy P. Graf and Ralph W. Haskins have found a worthy successor. Hans L. Trefousse Brooklyn College and Graduate Center, CUNY The North Carolina Railroad, 1849-1871, and the Modernization of North Carolina. By Allen W. Trelease. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991. Pp. xvi, 486. $37.50.) The North Carolina Railroad extended in an east-west arc across central North Carolina from Goldsboro through Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, and Salisbury to Charlotte. It was important at its inception as the backbone of the state's east-west transportation system, offering farmers a choice of markets via connecting railroads at Wilmington, Norfolk, or Richmond. It was important in the Civil War as the major supply line from the lower South to Lee's army in Virginia. And it is important now as part of the Norfolk Southern system, the Greensboro-Charlotte segment being part of the former Southern Railway's Washington-New Orleans mainline and route of Amtrak's Southern Crescent. The state government of North Carolina supplied V* of the original capital representing shares that it still owns under terms of the Southern Railway lease. It was built to standard gauge making it compatible with railroads north and east of it, but not with the wide-gauge (5') roads to its south and west. Construction began in 1851 using mostly slave, but some Irish, labor. The line was completed and through-service began early in 1856. It was North Carolina's largest enterprise at the time. At the outbreak of the Civil War, the road was used to rush troops to suppress Unionist activity in Randolph and Davidson counties south of Greensboro. After that, until the last two weeks of the war, there were no hostilities in its vicinity. It was a lifeline of foodstuffs for Lee's army, so vital that it was given locomotives and cars from roads in Virginia that had fallen into Union hands. Bottlenecks did develop. The road and its key connections south and north were put under military control, and passenger service was severely curtailed. Military necessity finally quashed opposition to the construction of the Piedmont Railroad that closed the forty-eight-mile gap between the NCRR at Greensboro 272civil war history and the Richmond & Danville at Danville, completed in May 1864 (and which would be crucial in its evolution as a trunk railroad after the war). In April 1865, as Sherman moved toward Raleigh, the NCRR was clogged with the property of panicked North Carolinians in his path, hoping to send it west for safety. Stoneman's Raiders struck in the west on April 11, burning bridges south of Greensboro. The Confederates tore up track east of Greensboro to slow Sherman. Most of the panic shipments, including state records and the gold from the state treasury, disappeared in the chaos. Generals Johnston and Sherman used the NCRR part way to a meeting near Durham on April 18, 1865, when surrender terms were laid down. In the last two weeks of fighting, the road suffered major, if not cataclysmic, destruction. The next two years would be the only unprofitable years of its history. Professor Trelease's principal source was the NCRR records at the North Carolina Archives in Raleigh. He has included extensive sections on management and labor and on freight and passenger operations before , during, and after the war. The book deals more with business and transportation topics than the Civil War, but its wartime role was significant enough to be of interest to war historians. It is one of the bestresearched and best-written histories of pioneering railroads to come along in many years. Richard Saunders Clemson University The Confederate High...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 271-272
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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