Fleming's Army

By Jay Underwood

Fleming's Army
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The book's history context is the period of the mid-1800s, when railway technology projects were viewed as making (or breaking) a community -- 'making' if the railway came to 'our' town, or hamlet, or even passed near our field -- 'breaking' if it did not, for our community ... Read more


Overview

The book's history context is the period of the mid-1800s, when railway technology projects were viewed as making (or breaking) a community -- 'making' if the railway came to 'our' town, or hamlet, or even passed near our field -- 'breaking' if it did not, for our community would surely suffer, wither, maybe even die if passed by. The new technology was still in its infancy, with much 'learning as we go'-- and it was expected that the railway would bring prosperity to its developers, cash to its contractors, fame (and re-election) to its politicians ? and perhaps a little, or lots, of silver over the palms of those who supported the railway?s establishment, rights-of-way choices, and it civil engineers. The building of the Intercolonial Railway opened the opportunity for all kinds of excitement, greasing of palms, and outright fraud involving those who paid the bills to those who did (and often didn?t) do overseeing of the construction work. Once completed, the Intercolonial Railway became a vital transit corridor, carrying thousands of people and tons of merchandise, with ICR eventually becoming one of the key components of Canadian National Railways.

Jay Underwood

Jay Underwood is a graduate of the journalism program of Holland College of Applied Arts and Technology in Charlottetown, PEI. Jay began his career in newspapers as a nightshift proof reader and obituary writer with the Charlottetown Guardian-Patriot. He then moved to the New Glasgow, Nova Scotia Evening News, as a reporter-photographer, and to the Truro, Nova Scotia Daily News as city editor. Briefly serving as city editor at the Timmins, Ontario Daily Press, he returned to Nova Scotia as editor and publisher of the Springhill-Parrsboro Record, and the Enfield Weekly Press, before joining the staff of the Halifax Daily News as senior copy editor and a member of the editorial board. Disabled by complications of diabetes that took most of his sight in 1999, Jay focused on his love of history and railways, producing Ketchum's Folly in 1995, and Full Steam Ahead: The life and locomotives of Alexander Mitchell in 1996 (Lancelot Press), and, more recently, from Railfare*DC Books: Built for War: Canada's Intercolonial Railway' in 2005, From Folly to Fortune in 2007, and Ghost Tracks in 2009. Now in his third term as president of the Nova Scotia Railway Heritage Society, Jay and his colleagues were successful in preventing the historic 1905 vice-regal railway car Alexandra from being scrapped, and the car is now being relocated to a museum site at Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia for restoration and public display. He is a frequent contributor to Canadian Rail, the journal of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association.

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