After Reconstruction ended, the South began to rapidly construct railroads. Many different lines rose up, connecting all major cities. Competition arose between these lines. Although these railroads had cost advantages, the railways in the South experienced many financial crises. They increased the South's vulnerability to economic fluctuations, especially in the early 1890s.
On August 13, 1892, Memphis declared that the greatest rate war ever known among southern railroads had begun. The Memphis Passenger association nearly collapsed. Many southern railroads began announcing lower rates. This led to a cut-throat game for business among the railroads.
"At Cut Throat Rates," Birmingham Age-Herald, August 14, 1892.