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Little Billy Mahone: Soldier, Railroader, Readjuster
“Short in stature, but every inch a soldier,” is how one writer described William Mahone (1826-1895). Born in Southampton County, Virginia, “Little Billy” survived Nat Turner’s Rebellion and Norfolk’s Yellow Fever epidemic to become one of the premier railroad men in antebellum Virginia. As Quartermaster General of Virginia’s military forces, he helped to capture Gosport Navy Yard in April 1861, then took command of one of Norfolk’s crack militia units, and over the next four years rose to major general and became one of Robert E. Lee’s most trusted lieutenants in the Army of Northern Virginia. After the war, “Little Billy” built a railroad empire that stretched across the state, becoming arguably the most politically powerful individual Virginia has known before or since. An irascible and polarizing figure during his lifetime, Mahone left his fingerprints on nearly every facet of postwar Virginia’s political and economic landscape, yet he is largely forgotten today. Please join us via Zoom on Wednesday, 13 July at 7:00 PM, when historian Charles Knight will address that oversight and tell you more about this important 19th century Virginian.

Jul 13, 2022 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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