Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Great Train Race

James J Andrews and six of his Raiders were hung on May 8th 1862 after leading the Great Locomotive Race on the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

The train “The General” was stopped at Big Shanty, Georgia [now known as Kennesaw GA], when civilian James J Andrew and a group of Union spies boarded the train and headed off towards Chattanooga. Andrews was working with General Don Carlos Buell, on this mission. The Raiders left Ohio on April 7th 1862, disguised as civilians, they headed 200 miles south. The plan behind the heist of this train was to destroy Confederate supply lines, rail, and telegraph along the route between Atlanta and Chattanooga. “The General” was pursued by conductor William Allen Fuller on foot for the first couple of miles, before he got hold of a handcar and several trains, as he continued after the stolen “General”. Eighty-seven miles into the chase, the locomotive was low on water and wood, and lost steam, coming to halt just north of Ringold GA. The raiders left “The General” attempting to escape, but they didn’t get far.

James Andrews and six of the raiders were convicted as spies and hung on May 8th 1862. Eight of the raiders were made prisoners of war and were exchanged latter in the war. All of the Raiders except Andrews were given the Medal of Honor; as a civilian he wasn’t eligible. Andrews is buried in the Chattanooga National Cemetery in Chattanooga Tennessee.

Other interesting reading
The Great Locomotive Chase The story of Andrew's Raiders

Daring and Suffering: A History of the Andrews Railroad Raid

1 comment:

quba said...

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Patricia

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