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tv   American Artifacts BO Railroad the Civil War  CSPAN  December 24, 2017 10:00pm-10:31pm EST

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internet-interoperable, if a viewer wants to talk to them, it will come back to a broadcast signal. and there will be the opportunity to have far more engagement with your television broadcaster. in the political world, i wish this existed when i was on the ballot. but it will enable the ability of a broadcaster to provide political advertising for members of congress just to the people in the districts they represent. night at 8:00y eastern on c-span2. >> each week, american artifacts takes you to museums and historic places. mr. toomey: hi, i am dan toomey. a guest curator at the railroad museum. this is the largest civil war railroad exhibit ever presented.
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it coincides with the american civil war sesquicentennial. anduns for five years changes each year to address that your of the war. interesting aspect of our exhibit is the fact that we are one location that many of the events took place in these exact area. we have the very equipment used by the railroad in the civil war. we present a bottom up history of the b&o railroad. we present the technologies and the people involved guarding, destroying, building, and operating the railroad during the civil war years. this would be an entire area of activity. there were paint shops, carpentry shops, car shops. they were casting the rail. there were machine shops. they were building bridge parts. continuously loading things on trains. as the confederates would damage a section of track, or blow up a bridge, the repair crews would
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go out, pull out the damage, load it on a car and recycle it. i firmly believe that at the outbreak of the war, the first 90 days, the baltimore and ohio railroad was the first military and political objective of the war. the confederate states and the united states were playing good woobad cop who will -- to the state of maryland into the union or confederacy. robert e. lee gave specific instructions to his field commanders -- "do not harm the b&o railroad. we want it for ourselves." when it became apparent maryland would not leave the union things , then turned around and the b&o railroad became a continuous target for the confederate operations throughout the war. but no railroad, because of its geographic position -- the only railroad that serves the nation's capital until after the civil war -- no railroad was
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more important then the b&o . these information panels give technical information about the locomotives and rail cars. they also introduce you to the personalities that were the operating people of the railroad. each of these people have been documented. they actually existed. we have eight of these lifelike mannequins. seven of which have personalities. three of them have the actual faces of the characters we are portraying from the civil war period. this is john somer. he worked in the rail yard. he was a german immigrant. baltimore at the time of the civil war was the third-largest city in the united states, second only to new york city in immigration. the workforce of the b&o railroad was heavily laden with german and irish immigrants. he lived in the neighborhood and worked here. as a yard man, he had the most dangerous job on the railroad. at that time, there was a lincoln penn system.
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24 hours a day, seven days a week, the yard man had to stand between the locomotive and the rail car pulling and dropping , pins. these are people who lost hands, feet, and legs more often than anybody else. the characters portrayed in this exhibit are a collaboration of all the personnel at the museum. we were able to document specific people who had specific jobs during the war years or interacted with the railroad. as the baltimore and ohio railroad penetrated the allegheny mountains they came in , contact with what would become the state of west virginia. this became the number one commodity moved by the railroad in the pre-civil war years to to address that, the railroad invented these hopper iron railroad cars. this car was built in a properly approximately 1858 or it
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1860. is a civil war vintage car. there were hundreds of these in operation. hundreds of these work damaged during the war. by the time of the civil war, there were nearly 2000 in service. these were the cars that hauled forth and back and was so vital during the civil war. originally, the cars were would. they had a limited capacity. but the b&o making equipment here, fabricated these cars and virtually trains every day moved east and west along the main line of the b&o railroad. between baltimore, washington, and the mines in western maryland and west virginia. this is a view of martinsburg , west virginia, when it was virginia in 1859 showing the very cars carrying the call that was so vital to the be in does coalesh -- carrying the
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that was so vital to the b&o profitability. the south was greatly at a disadvantage in terms of number of railroads, rail miles of the 30,000 miles of track in the united states at the beginning of the civil war, one third were in the confederacy. some states had barely a few hundred miles of track. with different gauges, it made intermodal transportation or interstate transportation a challenge for the confederacy. we are standing now on the other side of the john hancock. this is a very small locomotive. situated in the yard with our yard man. railroad was probably one of the most efficient industries in one of the first to address recycling. nothing was thrown away. everything was recycled. at one time, this locomotive would have been the largest in service. sed, itdecades pas
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became too small for the loads to carry. it was relegated to yard work. after they became too small for yard work, the power system would be transferred to run a sawmill or water pump, or everything would be cannibalized and scrapped and made into new material. another personality you will meet today is captain thomas sharp. he was a railroad executive prior to the war. he worked in the quartermaster department in western virginia. in 1861, stonewall jackson captured 20 or 30 trains. unfortunately for the confederacy, there was no railroad that ran south from martinsburg until you got to strasburg. sharp and a team of experts came out to martinsburg and came up with the idea of moving the locomotives by road. they took off extra wheels, bells, whistles.
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and then they hooked up teams of horses. 30 and 40 horse teams and pulled locomotives from martinsburg, west virginia, 38 miles along the turnpike to strasburg , virginia. they were reassembled and used fortaken to richmond restoration and reconstruction. they were then used for the confederacy throughout the war. by the end of the fall of 1861, captain sharp and his crew had moved 14 locomotives and 83 railcars by horsepower from martinsburg to strasburg, virginia. to give you an idea of how important this was for the confederacy, the confederacy -- as we mentioned before was very much under industrialized. during the civil war along not a single locomotive was built at a southern railroad shop. the only way they could get new equipment was to capture it from union railroads. ironically, captain sharp then went on to run a number of other railroad operations after the
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war. at the end of the war, president garrett of the railroad sent a man throughout virginia, north carolina, to search, find and recover all of the pieces captured. miles of track, switches, and other equipment. at the end of the day, he was able to bring back 12 complete locomotives, part of a 13th one and the 14th one had been used as a power plant for a naval gunboat so we did not get the 14th locomotive back. a footnote to this story is captain sharp. after the war, he opened a machine shop in delaware. -- working with the be in go working with theme the end of -- working with the b&o, he helped recover the equipment area then, the master of transportation william prescott died. president garrett invited sharp
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to his headquarters and told him that any man that could steal $1 million worth of his equipment and move it down a dirt road was and use it on somebody else's railroad was the man he wanted to run his railroad. after the war, the same man that had stolen these trains was given the job of master of transportation for the baltimore and ohio railroad this timetable shows his signature. when the war began, garrett was the dynamic president of the baltimore and ohio railroad. he ran it throughout the war. he became a great friend of lincoln and stanton. it was no small trick to be a friend of stanton. they worked very well together. lincoln relied on him in any emergency. there were many stories that could be told about how the b&o railroad worked with the union army during the civil war. john garrett is without question the most important personality of our story throughout the five years. he was president of b&o railroad.
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some historians said the history of the b&o railroad can be written in three time periods. before garrett, during garrett, and after garrett. i probably agree with that summation. garrett was a fantastic businessman. he understood how to get things done. he was very demanding. working with his most able assistant, william prescott smith, master of transportation they provided the first support in bythe union war effort 1859 sending marines and robert e. lee and harper student to harpers ferry to counteract john brown's raid. they were instrumental in moving troops and supplies to and from washington. and then then maintaining the main line of the b&o throughout the war. one of the aspects that make the civil war the first modern war was the railroad and its application to moving supplies and troops. the united states army did not
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have a component until the civil war when it created the united states military railroad. part of that united states military railroad was the construction corps commanded by hermann howe. as the war progressed, he was given regiments of white troops to work as construction crew. they were whatever was handy. they were not interested in doing the work. they were short term anyway. they never learned the job very well. there were not interested. ex-slavese time, the began to pass through union lines. known as contraband, they were allowed to work for the union army. he seized on the ability of men used to hard work, willing to work, thrilled to be away from the slave owners, and they readily adapted themselves to railroad construction. by the end of the war, he employed approximately 10,000 x -- ex-slaves as part of his
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railroad production core. went to workband for the union army they , originally worked for free, but then they were granted pay, rations, and they were given used uniforms for clothing. they were given as much as possible. they were not part of the united states army. they were civilian employees ore discardedw uniforms. here we portray the damaging of a railroad. the ties were ripped up and the rail was heated and bent. most people look at this and say -- sherman's bow ties. the first instance of rail being heated and distorted like this was near cumberland, maryland, in when the confederates 1861 captured the bridge and
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ripped up a mile of track and wrapped it around trees. here at mount clara, was a massive industrial complex. probably by the turn-of-the-century, 400 or 500 acres to during the civil war, the b&o railroad built its own locomotives, railcars, cast its own rail, and built every kind of apparatus and piece of steam equipment. they prefabricated bridge parts. sections of equipment so that as the confederates would damage the mainline, they would simply send a repair train out and usually rebuild the damage faster than the confederates could inflict it. as a matter of fact during the , gettysburg campaign, one bridge was destroyed at sykesville, maryland, and the crew came and replaced it in 15 minutes. douglas, who wrote i wrote with
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stonewall, lamented in his memoirs it was almost not worth the effort for many occasions he saw hours and hours of labor for nothing as the repair train just came and put things back together again within 24 hours. this section of our exhibit exemplifies how the b&o railroad performed its civilian task. il, freight, and civilian tasks continued as long as the war did not interrupt service to here we meet alicia sterrett. she was found in the shenandoah valley when the war began. when her mother became ill she , met her father in martinsburg , virginia and traveled home to , see her sick mother. she wrote a letter describing the entire trip and how desolate was. south
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we have her associated with this very typical civil war passenger car. the railroad continued to function whenever possible and under its civilian time schedule and freight rates. in her account of the trip, she mentions moving up the valley, stopping in strasburg and having to pass through confederate lines and then the union lines. finally meeting her father in martinsburg waiting all night train, and then traveling to baltimore and north into new york. she was continuously impressed by the fact that the south was ravaged by war and the north was untouched. she later married a confederate officer. this is a typical civil war vintage passenger car. its capacity was up to it the people. the b&o had approximately 130 in service at the beginning of the civil war. for its time, accommodations were quite comfortable. you had padded seats, light, heat during the winter, and even
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a water closet in the rear of the car. to give you some idea how rare the railroad equipment on exhibit is today, there are approximately 30 pieces of known civil war locomotives and rail cars throughout the entire new united states. and we have eight. what you see is the largest collection of civil war rolling stock in the united states. here we have the highest ranking personality that we portray in our exhibit. general benjamin kelly. as with most of the people, all of the people in our exhibit for , 90% of the 200,000 people, they are totally unknown characters. however, as i mentioned before these are the people that were , civil war railroading. kelly was a pre-war employee. when the war began, he became colonel of the first virginia union regiment later the first , west virginia regiment. it was kelly's troops who drove
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the confederates out of grafton. ned the battle and was seriously wounded. upon his recovery, he was promoted to brigadier general. he was given command of the railroad division. kelly spent the entire war railroadthe b&o between the cumberland river and the ohio river. he was rewarded with a general's commission. because he did not fight in any famous battles, he is not known to the average civil war historian. but he is a great hero to us who know the b&o history. one of kelly's major problems was the composition of his defense force. during the civil war, soldiers learned on the go. many times, the first stop in any regiment before they went into field service was to temporarily guard railroad tracks. kelly was continuously being
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shifted in and out. troops that were new, untested, untrained, and as soon as they learned their job, they would be sent off to the battlefield. a number of his regiments were west virginia troops. the state of west virginia comes into play in 1863. when i refer to west virginia, i am also talking about the virginia counties prior to 1863. many of the regiments were west virginia troops. some were maryland troops. in 1864, there were a large number of regiments sent from ohio. they were known as the 100-day men. they came in to fill the gap as the union army needed to be recruited as the three-year enlistments ran out. a number of these 100-day ohio regiments guarded the b&o railroad. here we have the pioneer. it was built in 1851. it was owned by the cumberland
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valley railroad. it ran from just west of harrisburg down the cumberland valley to hagerstown, maryland. through chambersburg. as you can see, it was a small locomotive. it pulled two or three railroad cars. the problem was that the rail system of the cumberland valley the tracks and ties were poorly , constructed and it could not handle anything larger. rather than rebuild the tracks, they bought small locomotives. by the time the war began, they were upgrading their system, but this engine was still in service. in fact, in 1862 after the antietam campaign, jeff stewart made a cavalry raid into chambersburg and this little locomotive was severely damaged. it now belongs to the smithsonian institution and is on loan here. we of the many locomotives
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are stored in our restoration shop. as can be imagined, one of the primary missions of the bso railroad was hauling freight. by the end of the civil war, the railroad had over 1200 boxcars. when the war began, the railroad always on the leading edge of technology was experimenting with iron boxcars as opposed to wood. wood was lighter, but iron was more durable. these cars were used to haul gunpowder and ammunition during the war. they were built right here in the mount clare complex. there were approximately 140 of these type of railcars in service during the civil war. i had the privilege of giving the curator of the west point museum a tour and he was completely overwhelmed with the fact that this survived the war. it is remarkable that something of this nature was not damaged, recycled, or simply rusted away in history.
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but we are very pleased to show iron civil war boxcar. we come around now to the other side of this fairly rare boxcar. you see the business end of it . the doors are open. and it is an interaction between the express wagon and the railroad. adams express was the united parcel service of the civil war. you could ship anything by adams express or the railroad interacting -- mail, ammunition, bread, a dead soldier. this is a real adams express any -- company delivery wagon. during the civil war, it was the ups of the period. it interacted with other railroads, the u.s. mail. it has been restored. as you see here, a variety of
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cargo could be utilized for military supplies, ammunition. bread, nails, personal packages. and when soldiers died, they could be shipped home for burial. this particular exhibit portrays the troops guarding the railroad. you asked about the makeup of general kelly's troops, this is was in the second maryland home brigade. he was stationed at a town called mount airy, and maryland. ironically in 1864, he wrote a letter to his sister telling her he was guarding the railroad but there were no rebels anywhere in sight. and they probably never would be. this was one month or two before the famous battle. as you see in our scene, we try to make things as lifelike as possible. here, we have him at camp. in the backdrop we have , installed my favorite civil
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war railroad photograph. it is actually city point, virginia. the story is the same. you see the soldiers so closely camped out by the tracks. you can imagine what it was like as the locomotives whizzed through day and night belching steam and tooting their clankingand the cars and locking up. here we are posed in front of a davis campbell. built in 1869. shortly after the war. it represents the style of locomotive that was built here on site before and during the civil war. it was known as the camel. the locomotive was called a camel because the cab is on top of the boiler, not behind it. the idea was that the more weight you put over the drive wheels, the more traction you have. these big strong locomotives were specifically designed to haul freight trains over the allegheny mountains once you got past cumberland, maryland. normally in this spot we have , the william mason.
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the willy mason is the only fully operating steam locomotive from the civil war in the united states. it was the locomotive that took president lincoln to his inauguration in 1861. being a fully operating steam locomotive, it has to go in the repair shop. unfortunately, that is where it is. we have replaced its slot with a davis camel. this is the last section of our roundhouse exhibit. as we passed through, you have seen different topics presented by travelers, workers, soldiers guarding or attacking the railroad. lastly we look at the train , crew. the train crew had a very special task. an exciting job. a very dangerous job. trains were derailed. boilers blew up. confederates attacked them. it was quite a dangerous profession.
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it was also an exciting profession. what you have to appreciate about civil war railroading -- and this was only under ideal conditions -- the civil war locomotive could go 60 miles per hour. that was the fastest thing on earth. no ship, no person, no animal could travel half the speed or half the distance of the locomotive. if you were the crew of a locomotive, the conductor, the firemen, the engineer, you were the same as a shuttle crew. you were the same as an astronaut. you were looked up to. this was the highest skilled position on any railroad. we met a union soldier over there just recently. that union soldier made $13 per month. this locomotive engineer made per day. $4it was a skilled position. it was a highly respected position. it kind of summarizes the whole workforce of the b&o and civil war railroading in general. as i mentioned at the opening of our tour, almost all of our
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mannequins have personalities. and many of them have the right faces. we were able to gather the information on this particular locomotive engineer because his name is joseph henry toomey. my great-great-grandfather. and we used our family archives to substantiate the civil war story. unfortunately, while we have the documentation of his service railroad we were , not able to find an identifying photograph. the executive director here decided i would pose for the picture, so i am the dummy in the locomotive. ironically, i spent my entire business career in logistics. and so the idea of , transportation was quite familiar with myself. i have always been interested in maryland civil war history. i have written a number of books.
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just recently, i completed a" the war came by train." many people have said and i totally agree that the civil war was the last romantic war and the first modern war. the two technologies above all others were the telegraph and the railroad that changed warfare forever. combined, they conquered time and distance on the battlefield. large troop movements were capable. resupply was capable. many campaigns were planned around the logistics of the railroad. where they were and where they were not. it would have been impossible to sustain armies of hundreds of thousands of men without resupply by rail. the b&o railroad participated in a number of important troop movements during the war. one of the largest occurred after the battle of gettysburg in 1863. two army corps totaling 20,000 men were transferred from
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the army of the potomac in virginia by rail through a number of different states, different railroads and arrived , in tennessee within a matter of seven to 10 days. these troops were added to grant's army and used to break the siege of chattanooga. in the famous battles. at the end of january, and first week of february 1865, a reverse troop movement was used. this time, the 20th core was tennesseed back from through the dead of winter all the way to washington. they were added to grant's army for the final push against richmond and the ultimate surrender of lee at appomattox. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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>> you can view this and other american artifacts at our website. you can use the search engine to explore topics that interest you. >> c-span where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. it is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> historian gary gallagher talks with lincoln and civil war scholar ellen kelso. about his previous work on abraham lincoln and his current project on confederate general lee. he highlights esther lincoln's intellect and emphasizes the importance of religion during everyday life during the civil war era. the university of virginia's

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