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America's Great Locomotive Chase Story
Canada Free Press ^ | April 11, 2011 | Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.

Posted on 04/12/2011 2:18:29 PM PDT by BigReb555

It took about two weeks for the Confederates to capture the Union spies. Some of them made it as far as Bridgeport, Alabama.

(Excerpt) Read more at canadafreepress.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: confederate; railroads; union
Tuesday, April 12, 2011, marks the 149th anniversary of the "Great Locomotive Chase" that made "The General" famous. Jefferson Cain, an employee of the Western and Atlantic Railroad, was Engineer of The General. At 4:15 on the morning of April 12, 1862, Cain pushed the throttle of The General and drove the engine out of Atlanta, Georgia for Chattanooga, Tennessee as a cool spring rain fell on the city.

During the spring of 1862, the peaceful town of Big Shanty (now Kennesaw) was paid not so peaceful a visit by Union spies led by James Andrews, who brought with him plans to disrupt Confederate supply lines. Andrews and his men boarded the train at Marietta, Georgia. They had spent the previous night at the Fletcher House now (Kennesaw House). Twenty boarded the train while two were left behind.

The next stop was the Lacy Hotel in Big Shanty for a twenty minute breakfast break. That's where The General was stolen in full view of "Camp McDonald" a drill camp and home to many Confederate officers and enlisted men. There was no telegraph there, which was one reason Andrews chose the site.

Andrews, A Kentuckian, had made a name for himself by smuggling much needed quinine through Union lines for the benefit of Confederate soldiers and civilians. There were with him three experienced engineers, William Knight, Wilson Brown and John Wilson. When asked where they were from, they replied by saying, "I am from Fleming County, Kentucky." They also said that they were on their way to join the Confederate Army.

The official plan to steal The General was approved by Union General Ormsby Michael. The plan was to take the locomotive north on the Western and Atlantic Railroad and destroy tracks, bridges and tunnels along the way. General Michael agreed that he would take Huntsville on April 11, 1862, and then would wait on Andrews before moving into Chattanooga, Tennessee.

"Someone.....has stolen my train, " William Fuller, conductor on the General said in amazement as the train was pulling away from the Big Shanty train depot. Men of the Western and Atlantic railroad almost immediately began the chase with engineer Jefferson Cain, William Fuller, and machine foreman Anthony Murphy close behind. With no telegraph at Big Shanty, the men ran north along the railroad tracks to Moon Station and procured a platform handcar; then went on until they found "The Yonah." The next train used was the "William R. Smith." The last locomotive used in the chase by William Fuller was the famous "Texas" that was heading South. The Texas is now housed in Atlanta, Georgia's Cyclorama at Grant Park. With no time to spare, the Texas was run in reverse through the entire chase.

James Andrews and his Raiders were slowed down by southbound trains that had to pass before they could continue. With the telegraph out of service, Fuller was fortunate to catch telegraph operator Edward Henderson. Fuller gave the young Henderson a hand up on the train, as it was in motion, and gave him a message for General Ledbetter that Henderson sent from Dalton.

Andrews and his men failed to destroy the bridges over Georgia's Chickamauga Creek, Etowah River and Tunnel Hill. They also failed to slow down the pursuers by setting up the cars of The General on fire and sending them back down the railroad tracks. The end came when they ran out of wood and lost power about 18 miles south of Chattanooga.

It took about two weeks for the Confederates to capture the Union spies. Some of them made it as far as Bridgeport, Alabama. Eventfully, all 20 of Andrews Raiders were captured. James Andrews and six of his men were hung in Atlanta, eight escaped, and others were paroled.

The United States Congress created the Medal of Honor in 1862 and it was awarded to some of the raiders. James Andrews was not eligible because he not a part of the military service.

William Fuller was recognized by the Confederate Government, Georgia Governor Joseph Brown and the Georgia General Assembly for his act of heroism.

See: http://confederateheritagemonth.com

1 posted on 04/12/2011 2:18:32 PM PDT by BigReb555
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To: BigReb555

It made a great Disney movie back in the 50’s I am pretty sure Fess Parker ( Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone) was in the movie.


2 posted on 04/12/2011 2:23:32 PM PDT by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: BigReb555

I remember seeing a show about this on the history channel. A great story from the war.


3 posted on 04/12/2011 2:28:14 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: cripplecreek
With a happy ending as well...

James Andrews and six of his men were hung in Atlanta...

4 posted on 04/12/2011 2:32:42 PM PDT by Martin Tell (ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it)
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To: BigReb555
The General is on display in Kennesaw.
5 posted on 04/12/2011 2:34:08 PM PDT by fireforeffect (A kind word and a 2x4, gets you more than just a kind word.)
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To: BigReb555
There is a great movie (very funny) made by Buster Keaton (he did all the stunts) about this episode! View it here.

The General - Buster Keaton - silent movie

6 posted on 04/12/2011 2:36:02 PM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: fireforeffect

The silent movie “The General” with Buster Keaton(?) is a favorite of my kids. I didn’t realize how closely the film matches the actual events.


7 posted on 04/12/2011 2:38:58 PM PDT by 21twelve ( You can go from boom to bust, from dreams to a bowl of dust ... another lost generation.)
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To: BigReb555
(I hope this formatting holds up)
The Raiders
Rank Name Unit Date of Medal of Honor award Notes
James J. Andrews (c. 1829-1862) No award Ineligible for the Medal of Honor as a civilian; hanged
Private William Bensinger (1840-1918) 21st Ohio March 25, 1863 Exchanged; later promoted to captain
Private Wilson W. Brown (1837-1916) 21st Ohio September 17, 1863 Escaped; later promoted to 2nd lieutenant
Private Robert Buffum (1828-1871) 21st Ohio March 25, 1863 Exchanged; later promoted to 2nd lieutenant
William Hunter Campbell (1839-1862) No award Ineligible for the Medal of Honor as a civilian; hanged
Corporal Daniel A. Dorsey (1838-1918) 33rd Ohio September 17, 1863 Escaped; later promoted to 2nd lieutenant
Corporal Martin J. Hawkins (1830-1886) 33rd Ohio September 17, 1863 Overslept and did not participate; escaped; later promoted to sergeant
Private William James Knight (1837-1916) 21st Ohio September 17, 1863 Escaped
Corporal Samuel Llewellyn (1841-1915) 33rd Ohio No award Did not participate; enlisted in a Confederate unit before reaching Marietta; later promoted to sergeant
Sergeant Elihu H. Mason (1831-1896) 21st Ohio March 25, 1863 Exchanged; later promoted to captain
Private Jacob Parrott (1843-1908) 33rd Ohio March 25, 1863 Exchanged; later promoted to 1st lieutenant
Corporal William Pittenger (1840-1904) 2nd Ohio March 25, 1863 Exchanged; later promoted to sergeant
Private John R. Porter (1838-1923) 21st Ohio September 17, 1863 Overslept and did not participate; escaped; later promoted to 1st lieutenant
Corporal William H. Reddick (1840-1903) 33rd Ohio March 25, 1863 Exchanged; later promoted to 2nd lieutenant
Private Samuel Robertson (1843-1862) 33rd Ohio September 17, 1863 Posthumous; hanged as a spy
Sergeant Major Marion A. Ross (1832-1862) 2nd Ohio September 17, 1863 Posthumous; hanged as a spy
Sergeant John Morehead Scott (1839-1862) 21st Ohio August 4, 1866 Posthumous; hanged as a spy
Private Charles Perry Shadrack (1840-1862) 2nd Ohio No award Hanged as a spy; ineligible for the Medal of Honor due to serving under an assumed name (real name Phillip Gephart Shadrach)
Private Samuel Slavens (1831-1862) 33rd Ohio July 28, 1883 Posthumous; hanged as a spy
Private James Smith (1844-1868), born Ovid Wellford Smith 2nd Ohio July 6, 1864 Did not participate; enlisted in a Confederate unit before reaching Marietta, but was held prisoner in Swims Jail during the Raid;[1] later promoted to corporal
Private George Davenport Wilson (1830-1862) 2nd Ohio No award Hanged as a spy
Private John Alfred Wilson (1832-1904) 21st Ohio September 17, 1863 Escaped
Private John Wollam (1840-1890) 33rd Ohio July 20, 1864 Escaped
Private Mark Wood (1839-1866) 21st Ohio September 17, 1863 Escaped; later promoted to 2nd lieutenant

8 posted on 04/12/2011 2:40:55 PM PDT by Repeal The 17th (Tagline closed for repairs. Please use the next available tagline. We appreciate your patience.)
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To: lexington minuteman 1775
It made a great Disney movie back in the 50’s I am pretty sure Fess Parker ( Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone) was in the movie.

That would be "The Great Locomotive Chase" (1956), with Parker playing Anderson.

The event also inspired Buster Keaton's great film "The General" (1925).

9 posted on 04/12/2011 2:41:04 PM PDT by Rufii
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To: BigReb555
The General is located in a museum in Kennesaw (formerly Big Shanty).

The Texas is located in a museum at the Cyclorama in Atlanta.

10 posted on 04/12/2011 2:53:08 PM PDT by Repeal The 17th (Tagline closed for repairs. Please use the next available tagline. We appreciate your patience.)
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To: Red_Devil 232
This is a much better version of the Buster Keaton Movie "The General"
11 posted on 04/12/2011 2:56:01 PM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: 21twelve

***The silent movie “The General” with Buster Keaton(?) is a favorite of my kids. I didn’t realize how closely the film matches the actual events.****

It was on TCM last night!


12 posted on 04/12/2011 2:58:47 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Click my name. See my home page, if you dare!)
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To: BigReb555

Will they celebrate the raid on St. Albans Vermont by 21 escaped confederate POWs in 1864? Although the able bodied male population of St. Albans outnumbered the Confederates several times over, only two resisted, resulting in one killed, with the other wounded.

http://www.stamuseum.com/


13 posted on 04/12/2011 3:08:33 PM PDT by Sea Parrot (Being an autodidact, I happily escaped the bureaucratization of intellect)
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To: BigReb555

Will they celebrate the raid on St. Albans Vermont by 21 escaped confederate POWs in 1864? Although the able bodied male population of St. Albans outnumbered the Confederates several times over, only two resisted, resulting in one killed, with the other wounded.

http://www.stamuseum.com/


14 posted on 04/12/2011 3:08:33 PM PDT by Sea Parrot (Being an autodidact, I happily escaped the bureaucratization of intellect)
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To: BigReb555

Will they celebrate the raid on St. Albans Vermont by 21 escaped confederate POWs in 1864? Although the able bodied male population of St. Albans outnumbered the Confederates several times over, only two resisted, resulting in one killed, with the other wounded.

http://www.stamuseum.com/


15 posted on 04/12/2011 3:08:33 PM PDT by Sea Parrot (Being an autodidact, I happily escaped the bureaucratization of intellect)
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To: BigReb555

Will they celebrate the raid on St. Albans Vermont by 21 escaped confederate POWs in 1864? Although the able bodied male population of St. Albans outnumbered the Confederates several times over, only two resisted, resulting in one killed, with the other wounded.

http://www.stamuseum.com/


16 posted on 04/12/2011 3:08:36 PM PDT by Sea Parrot (Being an autodidact, I happily escaped the bureaucratization of intellect)
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To: Sea Parrot

Bummer, danged double tap finger.


17 posted on 04/12/2011 3:10:08 PM PDT by Sea Parrot (Being an autodidact, I happily escaped the bureaucratization of intellect)
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To: 21twelve

The Buster Keaton Movie does follow the events very closely. They used national guard troops to simulate the union and confederate troops changing uniforms from union to confederates. The train wreck when crossing the bridge was with a real train and started a forest fire. Filmed in California.


18 posted on 04/12/2011 3:12:45 PM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: Martin Tell

Wow, if that’s the attitude you take I’ll go ahead and say they got the last laugh.


19 posted on 04/12/2011 3:13:41 PM PDT by chargers fan
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To: xsmommy; Texan5; tioga; secret garden; neverdem; MHGinTN; narses; SunkenCiv; patton; CholeraJoe; ...

Good to see it commemorated. I’ve always been more impressed with the speeds: 60+ mph - the Texan going reverse, the General facing forward - on those Civil War-era tracks and those rickety ties!

(I’m a volunteer in that museum for its machine shop, iron casting, molds and fabrication displays. )


20 posted on 04/12/2011 3:22:02 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: chargers fan

Dangling at the end of a rope, I doubt they were laughing very hard, but if you want to think so, go right ahead.


21 posted on 04/12/2011 3:41:27 PM PDT by Martin Tell (ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Sigh. I remember the train to Albany, to get to gramma’s.

That was a long time ago.

Now, I would rather walk.


22 posted on 04/12/2011 3:44:07 PM PDT by patton (I am sure that I have done dumber thigns in my life, but at the moment, I am unable to recall them.)
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To: Martin Tell

Maybe if they saw the smoke rising from Atlanta in the distance.


23 posted on 04/12/2011 4:28:44 PM PDT by chargers fan
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To: chargers fan
The timing's off by about two years.

Burn Atlanta again for all I care. Nobody except yankees and scalawags lives there anyway.

24 posted on 04/12/2011 4:45:53 PM PDT by Martin Tell (ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it)
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