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Engines of RedemptionRailroads and the Reconstruction of Capitalism in the New South$
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R. Scott Jr. Huffard

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469652818

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469652818.001.0001

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Reunited with Bands of Iron

Reunited with Bands of Iron

(p.17) Chapter One Reunited with Bands of Iron
Engines of Redemption

R. Scott Huffard Jr.

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter details how white southerners used the economic and cultural power of the railroad to reunify with the North and to move beyond the sectional tensions of the Civil War. For white southerners, the memory of the war and the destruction of the region’s railroads inspired calls for new development. Travel narratives and arguments from boosters like Henry Grady show how these elites saw the railroad as critical to idea that a New South would rise. The chapter then goes into a discussion of how northern railroad corporations like the Illinois Central and Louisville & Nashville pursued southern expansion strategies after the Civil War. Finally, the chapter discusses a key moment of reunification in 1886, when southern railroads shifted the gauge of thousands of miles of track to match the northern standard gauge.

Keywords:   Civil War, Civil War Memory, Reconstruction, Redemption, Reunion, Civil War Veterans, New South, Henry Grady, Railroad Gauge, Standard Gauge

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