The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000

Book Reviews

Galveston hurricane simply accelerated trends that were already underway.
Krieger appropriately discusses several important individuals who were involved in
both railroad and steamship lines in Texas, including Collis Huntington and
Charles Morgan; however, he does not cite in his bibliography one of the most
important books ever written on the subject of Gulf maritime and railroad activi-
ties-James P. Baughman's Charles Morgan and the Development of Southern
Transportation (1968).
As a general book on an important subject, Where Rails Meet the Sea has much to
recommend it. It discusses many important elements, such as railroad technology,
railroad car ferries, and loading/unloading machinery that facilitated the back-
breaking work of cargo loading. If this book's beautiful illustrations and terse text
remind the reader how important the connection between ships and trains was in
the past, they also suggest continuity. As Krieger's brief concluding section on
inter-modal container shipments demonstrates, the railroad and maritime inter-
face remains important today. Readers doubting this are advised to visit the
bustling port of Houston, or ports on the Atlantic, Pacific, or Great Lakes, to see
firsthand the continuing importance of Krieger's well-chosen subject.
The University of Texas at Arlington RICHARD V. FRANCAVIGLIA
Rescue by Rail: Troop Transfer and the Civil War in the West, 1863. By Roger
Pickenpaugh. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998. Pp. xvii+244.
Illustrations, maps, acknowledgments, epliogue, notes, bibliographic essay,
index. ISBN 0-8032-3720-0. $27.95, cloth.)
This appealing little book by Roger Pickenpaugh, an Ohio journalist and
teacher, argues convincingly that railroads became an important strategic
weapon during the Civil War. It is not a new argument, but by exploring the role
of railroads in the Chickamauga and Chattanooga campaign, Pickenpaugh
shows how they changed "forever the logistics of warfare" (p. 205).
Pickenpaugh examines both Union and Confederate troop transfers during
the campaign, but he is obviously more impressed by the Union achievement.
He devotes only a chapter to the movement of James Longstreet's corps, includ-
ing what remained of John Bell Hood's old Texas Brigade, from Virginia to
Georgia. This was the largest rebel transfer of troops by rail during war, and it
enabled Longstreet to help win the battle of Chickamauga; but what happened
next, Pickenpaugh believes, was even more dramatic. With the Army of the
Cumberland under seige in Chattanooga, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton
recommended a "rescue" operation that would transport thirty thousand men,
along with their animals, artillery, and equipment, nearly twelve hundred miles
in seven days to the Tennessee river town. This became the most ambitious of all
troop movements during the war.
The heart of Pickenpaugh's narrative describes the transfer of the Army of the
Potomac's XI and XII Corps. He provides personal vignettes of all major military
and government leaders involved with the movement. He explains the major poli-
cy decisions, the logisitical problems, all the bureaucratic and practical obstacles
they had to overcome. He traces the step-by-step transfer of very nearly each
brigade along the circuitous route that carried the men through seven states. But

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101220/. Accessed July 24, 2014.