Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Mackey, Thomas C., 1956-

Author's Keywords

Social sciences


Railroads--Virginia--History--19th century; United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Transportation; Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865


This thesis is an examination of the Virginia railroad system during the Civil War. Using extensive and primary secondary sources, the thesis argues that the Virginia General Assembly, the Confederate Government under Jefferson Davis, and the superintendents of Virginia's carriers inadequately utilized one of the state's, and subsequently, the Confederacy's, primary assets. This thesis consists of five chapters. Chapter one focuses on the limited historiography of Civil War railroads. Chapter two examines the Confederacy's attempts to find a government-level railroad chief. The efforts by Virginia's railroad superintendents to keep their lines operating during a time of civil war are examined in chapter three. Chapter four is a case study of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the only Civil War railroad to operate in the Confederacy and the Union. Chapter five consists of conclusions.