By Russell S. Bonds
Selected by means of Civil struggle Interactive as one of many most sensible Civil struggle Books of All Time
"The definitive e-book in regards to the nice Locomotive Chase."—Charlotte Observer
"Magnificent and definitive."—Wall highway Journal
"The nice Locomotive Chase has been the stuff of legend and the darling of Hollywood. we now have a superb background of the Andrews Raid. Russell S. Bonds' stirring account makes transparent why the raid failed and what occurred to the raiders."—James M. McPherson, writer of conflict Cry of Freedom, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
"In this gripping, smooth-running account, Bonds zooms without problems from broad-stroke overviews of Civil warfare technique to minute-by-minute scrutiny of unfolding occasions at the flooring. He units up the tale with a fast, punchy define of the 1st 12 months of the battle. What follows is a fast moving, tremendous well-told story of espionage, seize, trial and escape."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Phenomenally good written, geared up, and presented."—Civil warfare Books and Authors
On April 12, 1862—one 12 months to the day after accomplice weapons opened on castle Sumter and began the Civil War—a tall, mysterious smuggler and self-appointed Union secret agent named James J. Andrews and nineteen infantry volunteers infiltrated north Georgia and stole a steam engine known as the General. Racing northward at speeds coming near near sixty miles an hour, slicing telegraph strains and destroying music alongside the way in which, Andrews deliberate to open East Tennessee to the Union military, removing males and matériel from the accomplice forces in Virginia. in the event that they succeeded, Andrews and his raiders might swap the process the conflict. however the General's younger conductor, William A. Fuller, chased the stolen teach first taking walks, then by means of handcar, and at last aboard one other engine, the Texas. He pursued the General until eventually, operating out of wooden and water, Andrews and his males deserted the doomed locomotive, finishing the event that may quickly be well-known as the good Locomotive Chase. yet the ordeal of the warriors concerned was once simply starting. within the days that undefined, the "engine thieves" have been hunted down and captured. 8 have been attempted and achieved as spies, together with Andrews. 8 others made a bold get away to freedom, together with assisted via a community of slaves and Union sympathizers. for his or her activities, earlier than a private viewers with President Abraham Lincoln, six of the raiders turned the 1st males in American heritage to be presented the Medal of Honor—the nation's optimum ornament for gallantry.
Americans north and south, either on the time and ever because, were astounded and interested by this bold raid. yet beforehand, there has no longer been a entire background of the full episode and the fates of all these concerned. in accordance with eyewitness money owed, in addition to correspondence, diaries, army files, newspaper reviews, deposition testimony and different fundamental assets, Stealing the overall: the nice Locomotive Chase and the 1st Medal of Honor by way of Russell S. Bonds is a mix of meticulous examine and compelling narrative that's now thought of to be the definitive historical past of "the boldest event of the war."
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Extra info for Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor
They have been approximately to renounce and take out a few extra spikes, after they heard the sound—“faintly yet unmistakably”—of the whistle of a locomotive from the south. 12 This positioned a brand new face on things—“we lifted back and with each particle of power, as males carry for life,” Pittenger acknowledged. “The powerful rail bent less than the negative strain and snapped with a lifeless twang! ”The raiders climbed again within the boxcar with their damaged piece of rail, and the overall used to be quick below method back. “For the time we have been saved,” Pittenger believed. however the state of affairs was once now dire: they essentially had a educate now chasing in the back of them— notwithstanding the damaged music should still halt that pursuit—and trains nonetheless forward they'd to go prior to they can get to the Oostanaula River and Chickamauga Creek bridges. Making it to these bridges used to be their in basic terms likelihood. “When we came upon that we have been pursued we knew that the destruction of a bridge was once the single factor that may shop us and to do that we needs to outrun them some distance sufficient to burn the bridge sooner than they got here up,” Alf Wilson recalled. that they had to get earlier the trains at Adairsville and positioned a ways among them and the locomotive following in the back of. thirteen It used to be past due morning while the final approached Adairsville, a trackside village nestled within the Oothcalooga Valley. The raiders most likely weren't conscious of the very fact, however the station stood precisely on the midway element among Atlanta and Chattanooga—sixty-nine miles from every one position. The 4 males at the engine—Knight, Brown, Alf Wilson, and Andrews—saw a truly lengthy teach status at the siding, the locomotive dealing with towards them. this is able to be the “Down Day Freight,” expecting Fuller’s educate to cross as usual—the normal now being good at the back of its average time table. Slackening their velocity, the raiders pulled to a sidetrack and eased up along the freight, which consisted of the engine, soft, and twenty-one automobiles. at the boiler of the locomotive, they can see its brass nameplate: TEXAS. Andrews spoke with the group and conductor, responding to “the traditional typhoon of questions” along with his ammunition educate tale. He then requested a number of questions of his personal, inquiring in regards to the most recent information from Chattanooga and any observe of the Federal army’s operations in north Alabama. Telegrams have been now being interrupted alongside the Memphis & Charleston Railroad good east of Huntsville, he used to be informed, so everybody intended that the american military used to be relocating ever towards Chattanooga. 14 either trains the following at Adairsville—the northbound normal and the southbound Texas, panting subsequent to one another at the sidings like thoroughbreds on a hitching post—would now need to wait for the arriving of the short passenger teach down from Chattanooga. That teach, too, was once overdue, the panic and site visitors in Chattanooga it seems that enjoying hell with the average time table. In any occasion, the Texas’s strangely lengthy educate of freight vehicles blocked the go out to the north. Andrews couldn't depart the station until the conductor of the Texas might conform to pull ahead and open the line.