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'''Is there any one technology that was more critical to the Union's technical advantages than anyone else?'''
[[File:Daniel_Craig_McCallum_by_The_Brady_National_Photographic_Art_Gallery.jpg|275px|Daniel C. McCallum]]
One of the great advantages the Union held over the Confederacy was only indirectly connected to technology. During the antebellum period a number of northern railroad companies owned track that covered over 150 miles long. To operate these businesses like the Pennsylvania, New York Central, or Erie railroads required the creation of a decentralized management system. Operating divisions and various subdivisions were formed along the line to deal with the daily problems of running the railroad—engine, track, and bridge repair, ticketing and accounting, carpentry and painting. A management scheme developed that allowed men at the lower levels and their supervisors enough autonomy and authority to demonstrate their talents and to make decisions without waiting hours or days for a reply from corporate headquarters.