The technological explosion of the nineteenth century was not a pacifistic endeavor. To a great extent the rise of American competitiveness in industry, science, and applied technology with the nations of Europe owes much to the growth of the arms industry in the United States
The Civil War is often called the first "modern" war, but it is more properly termed a war of transition. Fought on a magnitude of unexpected proportions, it greatly changed the concept and reality of war and set the stage for the battlefields of World Wars I and II. Weapons became more efficient. Strategy was modified and improved by such factors as an established railroad system, an expanding telegraph network, and the work of highly professional corps of signal and engineer officers on both sides.
Built on the hull of the ex-Union steam frigate Merrimack, the ironclad ram Virginia measured 262 feet in length, 51 feet in width, and 22 feet in draft of water. Its 195-foot-long casemate, angled on sides and ends at thirty-five degrees to better deflect projectiles, carried four inches of iron plate backed with two feet of wood. Within the casemate were ten guns: six 9-inch Dahlgren smoothbores and two 6.4-inch Brooke rifles in broadside, and a 7-inch Brooke rifle pivot-mounted at each end. A crew of 320 was required to operate Virginia.
THE DUEL BETWEEN THE IRONCLADS Monitor and Merrimack on March 9, 1862, remains a subject of animated controversy to this day. The disputes extend even to the proper name for the Confederate ship (the Rebels called it Virginia) and the outcome of the battle
"Every one was at his post, fixed like a statue," Paymaster William Keeler recalled. "The most profound silence reigned" on board the ironclad, and "if there had been a coward heart there its throb would have been audible, so intense was the stillness." All 58 men on board the Monitor had reason for the deepest foreboding. Their vessel, untested in battle, had barely survived its maiden voyage from New York to Virginia, where its Confederate foe, the former Merrimack, now reborn as the CSS Virginia, lay in wait.
Focuses on the usefulness of railroads during the United States Civil War. Economic importance; Railroad's involvement in several military operations and missions; Hazards encountered by the railroad system; Methods of preventing attacks on trains