'After the Civil War' tells of stories of the industrialists
In his book, "After the Civil War: The Heroes, Villains, Soldiers and Civilians Who Changed America," author James Robertson reminds us that the industrialists did very well for themselves.
Grenville Mellen Dodge
Union general who built a rail line from Nashville, Tenn., to Decatur, Ala., and continued building railroads after the war. As chief engineer for the Union Pacific's renewed effort to build a transcontinental railroad he was in charge of surveying and selecting the route, giving him a prominent role in linking the east with the west in Utah in 1869.
Served one term as a congressman from Iowa while still working for the Union Pacific. Died in 1916. (Medium height, energetic, nervous, high-strung.)
Born in Scotland to poverty, immigrated to Pennsylvania as a boy and worked as a telegrapher. Served as a supervisor of telegraphic communications for the Union and helped establish the U.S. Military Telegraphic Corps. Hired substitutes to avoid serving in the army, a legal and common practice.
While working for the Pennsylvania Railroad, he invested in an oil company and in the iron industry. He designed an elegant sleeping car for overnight rail travelers. During a trip to Europe in 1882, he met an English inventor who had developed a process to turn iron into steel. Made a fortune and plowed profits back into business. Strikes and "scabs" did not help his reputation and he sold his privately owned business in 1901 to J.P. Morgan. That business became U.S. Steel Corp.