The Mobile & Ohio Railroad in the Civil War

The Struggle for Control of the Nation’s Longest Railway


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About the Book

The Mobile & Ohio Railroad was the longest line in the nation when it was completed in spring of 1861—the final spike driven a few weeks after Confederate artillery shelled Fort Sumter. Within days, the M&O was swept up in the Civil War as a prime conveyor of troops and supplies, a strategic and tactical asset to both Confederate and Union armies, who fought to control it. Its northern terminus at Columbus, Kentucky saw some of the earliest fighting in the war. The southern terminus in Mobile, Alabama was the scene of some of the last. U. S. Grant, William T. Sherman, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Newton Knight of the “Free State of Jones” and others battled over the M&O, the Federals taking it mile-by-mile. This book chronicles the campaigns and battles for the railroad and the calamity endured by the civilians who lived along it.

About the Author(s)

Dan Lee has degrees in history from Murray State University and Western Kentucky University. He lives in Hardin County, Kentucky.

Bibliographic Details

Dan Lee

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8972-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4711-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Chapter One. The Politics of Secession 5
Chapter Two. The Two Gibraltars 12
Chapter Three. Columbus Is Ours 27
Chapter Four. Corinth 40
Chapter Five. Iuka and Second Corinth 56
Chapter Six. Van Dorn in Mississippi, Forrest in Tennessee 80
Chapter Seven. Mobile, 1863: A City and Its Lifelines 97
Chapter Eight. The Meridian Campaign 114
Chapter Nine. Fort Powell, Paducah, and Brice’s Crossroads 135
Chapter Ten. Tupelo and Memphis 153
Chapter Eleven. Grierson and Hood on the M&O 170
Chapter Twelve. Last Stop: The Fall of Mobile 184
Epilogue 205
Chapter Notes 207
Bibliography 221
Index 229

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Clearly demonstrates the great degree by which this vital logistical artery shaped how and where major western theater military campaigns were conducted over the entire length of the war.”—Civil War Books and Authors

• “An exceptionally well written account that will be a welcome addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library American Civil War collections”—Midwest Book Reviews