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What Civil War General who Founded a Railroad

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I didn't know the answer to this question but it intrigued me so I Googled it and found the answer.

Since that might be considered cheating  ;D I won't give the answer, but I did find other information about other Generals that went on to railroad history.

4 Generals that became Presidents of railroads.

1 Major that invented a railroad device that is still used today.

1 General that helped build a railroad

1 General that became general counsel for a railroad

1 general that served as an engineer for two railroads.

It was interesting reading about what became of other Generals and various military personnel of the Civil War.

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Come on Hawk, google is legit.

Off the top of my head, McClellan was president of a railroad before the war.  Palmer was president of the D&RG and the D&RGW (two different railroads in those days) after the war.  Can't think of any others.

Confederate Major Janey invented the coupler still in use today.

Major General Dodge helped build the Union Pacific and a couple other railroads.

Can't think of any generals, but Lincoln was general counsel of a railroad before the war.

Major General Dodge again was the chief engineer for the Union Pacific and a couple of other railroads.  Before the war, quite a few military men had been survey engineers for railroad lines, so this one could have a lot of answers.

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Well, OK!  ;D

It was Maj. Gen. William Mahone that founded the Norfolk & Western Railroad.

Brig. Gen. E. Porter Alexander was a President of a railroad. No mention of which one.

Gen. P.G. T. Beauregard became president of two railroads. Again - no mention of which ones.

Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest became president of the Selma, Marion & Memphis Railroad

Brig. Gen. Williams Carter Wickham became president of the Virginia Central Railroad, and later the Chesapeake & Ohio railroad.

Brig. Gen. John B. Gordon helped build the Florida East Coast Railroad, along with Henry Flagler.

Brig. Gen. William Henry Fitzhugh Payne became general counsel for the Southern Railway

Brig. Gen. Thomas Rosser became chief engineer of the Northern Pacific and Canadian Pacific Railroads.

I got this info at this link:  http://www.floridareenactorsonline.com/confedcont.htm

Interesting stuff. Thanks for starting this thread.  :)

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Interesting stuff.  A few of those I should have known, or at least been able to guess.  I did know about Beaurgard.  One of his was actually a street car line connecting New Orleans to the present area of Meterie (west of New Orleans, and the general vicinity of the airport)..

The Medal of Honor winner was William Jackson Palmer of Denver & Rio Grande fame.

Stuff like this beats arguing about politics.

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I was thinking of years past.

I guess there could be many woman in todays world that run a railroad.

The lady I was thinking of, in her time she was the only one.  She has been dead for a number of years and the railroad she ran was located in California East of Sacramento.  Even this narrow gauge Railroad is gone now.

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The lady railroader was Sarah Kidder.  There is a story that goes with her and her RR.

John Flint Kidder was hired as construction superintendent in 1875 by the promoters for the 22 mile Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Company.  The promoters were mostly mine owners.  John built and than ran the railroad.  In 1884 John purchased a 75% controlling stock interest in the RR.  He became president and George Fletcher continued on as the RR's Secretary.

In 1901 John was sick in bed and missed a board meeting where the attending minority members voted to examine the books.  They cried foul.  They had found that the railroad had purchased a mine for $40,000.  Later this was declared a legal purchase and the mine was profitable.  During the audit George Fletcher died and was shortly followed by John Kidder.

John had willed all his stock to Sarah.  She became the President.  George's two sons claimed that their dad owned half of the Kidder stock.  Sarah found that a notation had been made in the books by someone that George owned the claimed stocks. Sarah won in court since there was no other documentation that showed how George acquired the stocks.

It was said that Sarah did a better job of running and keeping the RR alive as times got rough.  When the trees owned by the RR along the right-of-way were used up, she switched the locomotives to oil.  She installed automatic couplers and air brakes on all equipment.  She reduced grades and took out curves. She gave dividends amounting to 48%.  John only managed to gave a total of 05% in dividends. When the roundhouse burned she bought extra equipment and locomotives from the SP RR. 

Sarah was getting old, so she sold the railroad in 1913.  The railroad was in such good shape it lasted until 1942 when the rails were worth more for scrap then they were worth as part of the railroad.  The last locomotive fire was put out.

One of the last locomotives was saved and is owned by a movie company at least it was 48 years ago.

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Here is a link to the Mountain RR, that I couldn't remember the name of, that was called the crookest RR in the world.

But, then it seems a lot of RRs were called the crookest.

It has an interesting picture of San Francisco after the big earth quake.  I knew the damage was great but not that great.



A more in depth link.


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Interesting story about the NCRR.  There are some vague references in some of my Colorado, Utah and Nevada narrow guage books about a vague plan to construct a narrow gauge transcontinental railroad.  The Nevada County is mentioned as a possible link in that line.  This is circa around 1880-1885.

I'm thinking one of the engines at Knott's Berry Farm in Anaheim came from the Nevada County.

Thanks for sharing.

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