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Mahone

Mahone

Mahone, William, 1826-95, Confederate general in the American Civil War and Virginia politician, b. Southampton co., Va. He was president, chief engineer, and superintendent of the Norfolk-Petersburg RR when the Civil War broke out. Mahone joined (1861) the Confederate army and fought in most of the campaigns of the Army of Northern Virginia. He distinguished himself particularly at Petersburg, where on June 30, 1864, he repulsed the Union assault at "the Crater." For this he was immediately promoted to major general. After the war he resumed his railroad activities and entered politics. Mahone became the leader of the Readjusters, Virginia Democrats who advocated the partial repudiation of the state debt and popular social and economic reforms. He led them to victory in the state elections of 1879 and 1881, and was himself elected (1880) to the U.S. Senate. By allying himself with the Republicans there, Mahone was able to build a powerful machine that controlled Virginia Republican politics for several years.

See biography by N. M. Blake (1935).

(born Dec. 1, 1826, Southampton county, Va., U.S.—died Oct. 8, 1895, Washington, D.C.) U.S. politician and railroad magnate. After graduating from the Virginia Military Institute, he studied engineering while teaching. He joined the Norfolk–Petersburg Railroad as an engineer in 1851 and became the company's president 10 years later. In the American Civil War he was appointed quartermaster general of the Confederacy but served with the army of northern Virginia, rising to major general. After the war he resumed railroading, becoming president of the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Ohio (later Norfolk & Western) Railroad (1867). He built a political base through railroad patronage but lost control of the railroad in the 1870s. Unable to win the Democratic Party nomination for governor (1877), he organized a coalition of African Americans and poor whites to form a political party, the Readjusters (1879), which succeeded in enacting reforms. He served as a Republican in the U.S. Senate (1880–87).

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(born Dec. 1, 1826, Southampton county, Va., U.S.—died Oct. 8, 1895, Washington, D.C.) U.S. politician and railroad magnate. After graduating from the Virginia Military Institute, he studied engineering while teaching. He joined the Norfolk–Petersburg Railroad as an engineer in 1851 and became the company's president 10 years later. In the American Civil War he was appointed quartermaster general of the Confederacy but served with the army of northern Virginia, rising to major general. After the war he resumed railroading, becoming president of the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Ohio (later Norfolk & Western) Railroad (1867). He built a political base through railroad patronage but lost control of the railroad in the 1870s. Unable to win the Democratic Party nomination for governor (1877), he organized a coalition of African Americans and poor whites to form a political party, the Readjusters (1879), which succeeded in enacting reforms. He served as a Republican in the U.S. Senate (1880–87).

Learn more about Mahone, William with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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