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The B&O Railroad found itself in a precarious position in the Spring of 1861. It was the only railroad in the East that crossed between the two shores of the Potomac River and would become the only Eastern road that would traverse the border between the United States and the Confederacy. In the early days of the war the railroad became an important part of the dance between the Confederacy and Maryland as the state considered secession. John Garrett found himself trying to keep his railroad running and in the good graces of the Lincoln Administration, the City of Baltimore, the State of Maryland and the government of the newly seceded Commonwealth of Virginia. This presentation will talk about what happened during those crucial weeks and how Garrett and the railroad were impacted by the decisions made during that time.
Nicholas Fry is the curator of the John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library . He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, as well as a Masters of Arts Degree in 19th Century US History from the same institution. He also holds a Masters Degree in Library and Information Sciences from Drexel University.
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