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LOCOMOTIVES UP THE TURNPIKE ヨ THE CIVIL WAR CAREER OF QUARTERMASTER CAPTAIN THOMAS R. SHARP, C.S.A
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David Bright 124 pages softcover.

When the Civil War began, the railroads of the Confederate States had the immense job of collecting the men, supplies and equipment needed to create a government and its armed forces. Railroads had never been used in the direct support of a war and the new nation soon learned that its railroad resources were far short of what would be needed. Thomas R. Sharp, a young Richmond based railroad superintendent was tapped by the new national government to haul to the Confederate railroads the cars and locomotives capture by the future Stonewall Jackson from the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad near Martinsburg, Virginia (now West Virginia). Mister/Captain Sharp hired dozens of men and hundreds of horses and wagongs to haul the rolling stock south on the Valley of Virginia Turnpike, from Martinsburg and Harper's Ferry to Winchester to Strasburg. Other rolling stock was hauled from Leesburg to Strasburg and from Mount Jackson to Staunton. Seventeen locomotives and well over 100 cars were hauled over the country roads to intersections with the Manassas Gap Railroad and the Virginia Central Railroad, then on to Richmond. The locomotives had been burned before Captain Sharp could begin to haul them, and he had to essentially take them apart to reduce the weight to be hauled. This lead to Sharp being assigned to repair the locomotives, as well and haul them. While some repairing was accomplished in Richmond, most was done in the Confederate Locomotive Shop, in Raleigh, created and run by Captain Sharp. By the summer of 1863, Captain Sharp had been assigned to be the superintendent of the Charlotte & South Carolina Railroad, a critical road in the supply chain supporting Richmond and the main Confederate army. Later, Captain Sharp was given responsibility for coordinating the railroad transportation of all of central and western South Carolina. As General Sherman approached in 1865, Captain Sharp assisted in the evacuation of Columbia, and then worked to improve the railroads between Charlotte and Salisbury, NC. Captain Sharp's story has never been told before and is a unique adventure. Lima1

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