Transportation During The Civil War Transportation played a huge role in the Civil War.

During the Civil War, transportation consists of steam boats, steam powered trains, horse back or horse drawn carriages, and marching. Each one of the different types of transportation had both pros and cons. Not only did transportation have a role in the Civil War, but the Civil War also had a role in the advancement of transportation. When a country goes to war, its factories begin to produce large amounts of supplies and goods that are needed in order to win that war. During the Civil War, factories began to produce new trains, carriages, and other necessary items needed during war. These new trains were a lot larger than previous trains, due to the role trains had in the Civil War. When this happens, factories began to think of new ways to make more efficient ways to create such products, and this is where steam powered transportation came in. Because of this, we now have more efficient ways to travel. For the first time in America, steam powered trains powered by coal, were used in the war. These trains came in handy when transporting large amounts of supplies. Not only train production increased, but coal production increased too. Since coal production increased, the price went down. ³Trains were often used to transport cannons, guns, ammunition, and large amounts of food to soldiers´ (Smith, 178). This alone was a good enough reason to use trains during the war. Another major advantage trains provided was speed. Nowadays we would look back at the trains used during the Civil War (or in the 1860¶s), we would consider them pretty slow, but back then trains were a way to quickly transport goods. Another benefit of having steam powered trains is that a large number of soldiers could be transported by it. Soldiers riding in the trains didn¶t have to exert energy and they also didn¶t need to cram into small and uncomfortable carriages.

Although there were many advantages of having steam powered trains during the Civil War, there were also disadvantages. One of the disadvantages was that trains were often raided by the enemy. Trains were pretty loud so it was hard to travel without being heard. Another problem would be if an enemy got hold of information about a train arriving with supplies. When the north would send out supplies and weapons to their soldiers, the trains carrying these items were often raided. This was a common event during the Civil War, and it led to many battles. One of the most famous battles during the Civil War occurred because of this very problem; it was caused the Battle of Gettysburg. Unlike the Union soldiers, the confederates did not have easy access to trains. ³Two-thirds of American railroads were in the northern states, clearly giving the Union soldiers an advantage.´(Kramer, 121). The Battle of Gettysburg occurred because the Confederate soldiers were in need of shoes. An army of soldiers walked for nearly two months, and their shoes were worn down to almost nothing. They were in need of new shoes, and coincidently, a shipment of shoes was being sent out to the Union soldiers. When the leader of the Confederate army found out, he led his men to Gettysburg, in hopes of raiding the train and acquiring shoes, but instead, they ran into the Union soldiers. ³On July 1, 1863, Lee¶s men ran into the Union army on the edge of Gettysburg, launching the most dramatic battle of the war.´ (King, 83). This is an example of how steam powered trains affected the Civil War. Steam powered ships was another efficient way to travel and deliver goods. Unfortunately just like steam powered trains, steam boats were not that quick. But on the plus side, traveling by sea enabled the passengers to travel safely without having to worry about being attacked. Also, steam boats could carry huge amounts of weapons, and other large items. Another use for the steam boats was battle. Steam boats were used a warship, and there were

many naval battles on the sea. Again, the north had an advantage; the Union soldiers were more readily supplied while battling at sea. One of the main reasons for this is because majority of the weapon factories were in the south, due to the fact that no one would trust the black slaves with creating and handling weapons. Since the weapon factory was in the north, the Union soldiers received better weapons. Another advantage the north had was the amount of ships they had. The north had almost twice the amount of naval ships that the south had. This is an example of how steamboats affected the Civil War. Horses are another way that people soldiers traveled during The Civil War. There were many advantages to traveling on a horse. One major reason horses were used in the Civil War is because they were useful in battle. Soldiers (mainly those with higher ranks), would ride on horses and shoot enemies. Horses were also used to pull carriages that the necessary supplies from one place to another. Although trains and steamboats are great to transport goods long distances, horses with carriages can carry the supplies short distances, and through terrain that a train could not travel, such as a forest. Other benefits that horse drawn carriages had was that there were ambulance wagons. Ambulance wagons were wagons equipped with medical supplies and they were used during battle to help soldiers who were dying or in serious nee of medical help. That is an example of how horse drawn carriages (wagons) affected the Civil War. Marching, or walking, is the last mode of transportation. The most common mode of transportation for soldiers was marching. Soldiers would walk for hours, carrying their gun and their backpack of supplies. A major problem about walking is footwear. As I mentioned before, shoes were very valuable during the Civil War. Since soldiers would walk from place to place on rocky terrain, their shoes would wear down quickly and they constantly needed to be replaced. One good thing about walking is that out of all of the modes of transportation, it is the

best when trying to sneak up on your enemy. Traveling on a steamboat, train, or horse can be pretty noisy, but if you are traveling on foot, you have a better chance at sneaking up on your enemy. All of these reasons contribute to the fact that transportation played a major role in the Civil War. If it weren¶t for the north¶s many advantages that had to do with transportation, the south may have successfully succeeded. If the south had had the advantage of transportation, life as we know it may have been different. Instead America having 50 states, it might have had only 30. If the south had successfully succeeded, Hawaii might have been taken by them. There are so many different possible outcomes that could have occurred. Transportation played a major role during the Civil War by affecting the outcome of the war.

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