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Class Year

2018

Abstract

The Civil War was a defining moment in American history. What began as a sectional debate over states’ rights transformed itself into a bloody odyssey that would alter the national character itself. Within the wide scope of this conflict, scholars have sought to answer the multifaceted question of how the Union triumphed, often citing the proficient management of the railways as a key contribution to victory. Within this logistical network of rails, the Louisville & Nashville Railroad served as a vital mode of transportation for supplies and troop mobility through the heartland states of Kentucky and Tennessee. The Union exploited this advantage, thus making the Louisville & Nashville Railroad a case study in the field of Military History of successful: defensive strategy, offensive strategy, tactical efficiency and establishment of secure logistical lines. Doing so helped them secure the strategically important border state of Kentucky, which in turn became a launching pad into Tennessee and ultimately, the Deep South itself. Hence, the Louisville & Nashville Railroad significantly helped the Union win the Civil War.

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