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The Great Locomotive Chase

On April 12, 1862, a band of raiders under the command of James J. Andrews stole the Western & Atlantic Railroad locomotive "General" at Big Shanty, now Kennesaw, Georgia. Andrews and his men intended to race north to safety while burning railroad bridges along the way. They didn't make it.

• The General, Kennesaw. The General has been preserved and is on display at the town where Andrews stole it. Southern Museum website.

The General. From: Railroad Man's Magazine, v. 13, Oct. 1910-Jan 1911.

• The Texas, Atlanta. The Texas, one of the locomotives that chased the General, also remains in existence. It can be seen at the Cyclorama in Atlanta's Grant Park. Cyclorama website.

Before its move to the Cyclorama, the Texas was outdoors at Grant Park.

• The end of the chase, Ringgold. Two miles north of Ringgold a monument marks the spot where the chase ended.

• The details. Several websites tell the story of Andrews Raid, so there's no need to repeat it here. In particular, check out and For a recent book about the event, see Russell S. Bonds' Stealing the General; The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor. (Yardley, PA: Westholme Publishing, 2007).

From: The story of the "General", 1862. Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway, 1909. Online at Internet Archive here.)

From: Florida, the Gulf Coast and Cuba, Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad, 1911. Online at Internet Archive here.

1906 photo of the General and six of the survivors of Andrews Raid at Chattanooga Union Depot, where the engine was displayed for many years.
A larger image is here.

See also Kennesaw's Steam Locomotive and Atlanta's Steam Locomotive. Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage. © Steve Storey

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