From an elevated perspective, A. J. Russell made this photograph overlooking the Union Army's plentiful supply of iron rails. Rows of barracks and a train of boxcars fill the background. Between the tall, neatly stacked rails rests a train of flatbed cars loaded with more rails. During the American Civil War, the frequent destruction of railroads required a large supply of replacement rails. According to one report, the Union's. Military Railroad purchased over 21,000 tons of track between 1862 and 1865.