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Southwest Virginia's Railroad
Kenneth W. Noe
Alabama Univ Press
ISBN or Item #
Date Listed:
2007-01-26 11:11:09
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Southwest Virginiaメs Railroad
Modernization and the Sectional Crisis in the Civil War Era

by Kenneth Noe.

Softbound, 232 pages, b/w illustrations, maps, 6 x 9".

"A close study of one region of Appalachia that experienced economic vitality and strong sectionalism before the Civil War.

"This book examines the construction of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad through southwest Virginia in the 1850s, before the Civil War began. The building and operation of the railroad reoriented the economy of the region toward staple crops and slave labor. Thus, during the secession crisis, southwest Virginia broke with northwestern Virginia and embraced the Confederacy. Ironically, however, it was the railroad that brought waves of Union raiders to the area during the war.

"By concentrating on a small region, a short chronological scope, and a certain form of industrialization, namely the earliest railroads of southwest Virginia, [Noe] is able to illusttrate the slice such an innovation makes in the total cross-section of a society: its politics and culture as well as its economic outlook and achievement." —American Historical Review

"[Noe argues] that both slavery and secession sentiment were far more prevalent in the mountains of southwestern Virginia than usually thought. He contends that the railroad...tied the region to the state of Virginia and was a big factor in dertermining that the region would not become part of the new state of West Virginia." —CHOICE

"The importance of this book lies in both the breadth and the narrowness of its scope. It addresses an array of issues about economics, politics, and social structure that most other scholars have approached separately, and it focuses upon a section of Appalachia that is well-defined both by contemporary and current usage and which...has not previously received much attention from revisionists." —Appalachian Journal

"Kenneth W. Noe is Draughon Professor of Southern History at Auburn University and author of The Civil War in Appalachia.