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By Tom Fitton
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Cornelius Vanderbilt
The History Channel recently concluded "The Men Who Built America," a mini-series about the former titans of industry -- Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Morgan and Ford. These men built America from the ground up in the 50 years following the Civil War.
For more than a century, Americans have romanticized about railroads. The railroad industry played an exceedingly important role in this country's early history. Travel became easier, people were more connected, and new communities sprang up across this land.
During the Civil War, steamships and steamboats often exploded and were involved in numerous other accidents, many of which occurred on the Potomac River. On Aug. 13, 1862, 77 soldiers, three soldiers' wives and a 6-year-old boy drowned when the steamship West Point sank after colliding with the George Peabody.