Strike The Tent...
16 January 2012
  Civil War Rails by the Numbers
21,300: Railroad mileage in the North

9,022: Railroad mileage in the South

45,000: Miles of telegraph wire in the North

5,000: Miles of telegraph wire in the South

$800 Million: The estimated cost of the U.S. Military Railroad in today’s dollars.

419: Number of USMRR locomotives, mostly 4-4-0’s

6,330: Total USMRR rolling stock throughout the war.

2,105: Mileage operated by the U.S. Military Railroad.

1,769: Maximum mileage operated by the USMRR at any point, April 1865.

23,500: Number of men in USMRR service at the end of the war.

4: Number of times the 1,470-foot Nashville & Chattanooga bridge at Bridgeport AL was destroyed and replaced in the war.

4.5: Number of days (working 24 hours a day) it took USMRR crews in July 1864 to erect a temporary bridge 800 feet long and 100 feet high over the Chattahoochee River on the Western & Atlantic just outside Atlanta, GA.

$10,000: Average wartime cost of a new 4-4-0 in the North (roughly $200,000 today).

100,000: The size of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s armies as he approached Atlanta in the summer of 1864.

473: Length in miles of the single-track railroad from Atlanta to Chattanooga, Nashville, and Louisville that supplied Sherman’s Atlanta campaign.

10,000 to 16,000: The mileage a wartime USMRR locomotive might run in one year.

35 to 75: Range of cost in cents per mile for USMRR during the war. (Roughly $7 to $15 per mile in 2010 dollars.)

6: Number of railroads serving Richmond, VA, the Confederate capital.

0: Number of railroads that interchanged with each other in Richmond, VA.

31,000+: The largest number of men moved largely by rail in a single transfer: Confederate General Braxton Bragg’s army relocating from Tupelo, MS to Chattanooga, TN July 1862.

60: Pounds per yard of mainline rail in the Civil War era.

10: Average capacity, in tons, of American freight cars during the war.

100: The generally accepted average capacity, in tons, of a Civil War freight train in the North.

220,000: Average production (in tons) of railroad rail in the North at the war’s beginning.

26,000: Average production (in tons) of railroad rail in the South at the war’s beginning.

0: Effective annual production of rail in the South after the war began.

4,000: Approximate mileage of new railroad built in the North during the war.

400: Approximate mileage of new railroad built in the South during the war.

451: New locomotives completed in 1860 by builders in the North.

19: New locomotives completed in 1860 by builders in the South.

0: New locomotives completed by the South during the war.

$15: The cost of a new cast iron wheel from a Southern foundry in 1861.

$500: The cost of a new cast iron wheel from a Southern foundry in 1865.

15,000: The approximate number of railroad employees (including slaves) on Southern railroads at the beginning of the war.

9,000: The approximate number of railroaders on Southern railroads at the end of the war, based on the Confederate Congress’ “Conscription Act of 1864,” which permitted Southern railroads no more than one employee per mile of railroad.

2: The per-mile rate, in cents, major Southern railroads charged the Confederate government per person for transportation. The rate was paid in Confederate bonds without an inflation factor.

2: The per-mile rate, in cents, Northern railroads negotiated to charge the U.S. government per person for transportation, payable in gold. Northern roads also received a premium rate for transporting government freight.

4.7: The average speed, in miles-per-hour, of a Confederate train conveying a corps of artillery.

36,567: The U.S. census count of American railway employees in 1860.

16,215: The total of officers and men serving in the U.S. Army in 1860.

1,000,000: The approximate size of the Union Army in 1865

50,509: Average dollar investment, per track-mile, in Pennsylvania railroads at the war’s start.

19,709: Average dollar investment, per track-mile, in Georgia railroads at the war’s start.

35: Number of important railroads in the South at the beginning of the war.

13: Number of track gauges in the North at the beginning of the war. Three of them accounted for the vast majority of the critical mileage.

112,000: Peak number of Union soldiers guarding railroads from Confederate raiders.

22,000: Approximate number of Confederate soldiers raiding Union railroad lines.
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