By Russell S. Bonds
Selected via Civil struggle Interactive as one of many best Civil struggle Books of All Time
"The definitive ebook concerning the nice Locomotive Chase."—Charlotte Observer
"Magnificent and definitive."—Wall road Journal
"The nice Locomotive Chase has been the stuff of legend and the darling of Hollywood. we've a great historical past 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 easily from broad-stroke overviews of Civil conflict technique to minute-by-minute scrutiny of unfolding occasions at the floor. He units up the tale with a quickly, punchy define of the 1st 12 months of the conflict. What follows is a fast paced, super 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 commenced the Civil War—a tall, mysterious smuggler and self-appointed Union undercover 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 imminent sixty miles an hour, slicing telegraph strains and destroying music alongside the best way, 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 may possibly swap the process the conflict. however the General's younger conductor, William A. Fuller, chased the stolen teach first strolling, then by means of handcar, and eventually aboard one other engine, the Texas. He pursued the General till, 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 nice 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 grew to become the 1st males in American heritage to be provided the Medal of Honor—the nation's maximum ornament for gallantry.
Americans north and south, either on the time and ever due to the fact that, were astounded and enthusiastic about this bold raid. yet beforehand, there has now not been a whole heritage of the complete episode and the fates of all these concerned. in line with eyewitness debts, in addition to correspondence, diaries, army documents, newspaper experiences, deposition testimony and different basic resources, Stealing the final: 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 heritage of "the boldest experience of the war."
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Additional info for Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor
It used to be the 1st stroke of undesirable good fortune that day, however it wouldn't be the final. sixteen the final and its teach of vehicles clattered up the lengthy, low grade from Marietta, riding northward throughout the thickening mist of the April morning. The teach undergone a tiny station referred to as Elizabeth after which became difficult to the east earlier than curling again west in a sweeping arc round the enforcing hulk of Kennesaw Mountain. The mountain’s identify was once taken from the Cherokee note Gah-nee-sah, that means burial ground—which it is going to turn into years later, whilst greater than 3,000 americans may fall in conflict there. The Buckeye squaddies sat quietly as they rocked lightly from side to side with the flow of the educate, impatient for the instant for motion to reach. “There was once many an worried gaze from one to a different of our get together once we had taken our seats within the automobiles that morning, as though to learn the strategies of every, as males will occasionally do whilst drawn up in line at the eve of a superb conflict whilst the skirmishers are slowly taking flight ahead of the advancing columns of the enemy,” Alf Wilson acknowledged. yet he detected no worry or anxiety one of the males, remembering that every appeared “cool, made up our minds, and resolute. ” Knight, sitting towards front of the trainer close to Andrews, appeared again over his shoulder and searched the faces of his comrades, discovering them regular, even though he idea “they appeared a bit paler than universal. ” Reflecting at the suspense years later, he stated: “As for myself, I don’t comprehend simply how I seemed. yet i believe I felt a bit like if there were a bit ice water run down my again. And it made me ponder what my grandmother informed me while she took my hand to bid me so long while i used to be leaving domestic. Says she, ‘Now, Will, you recognize that you've constantly been very bold and reckless, yet don’t enterprise too some distance. ’ i didn't be aware of yet what I had acquired a bit too some distance. ” approximately this time, the conductor, who struck Parrott as a “genial younger guy, nearly a boy,” started to make his method down the aisle to take tickets. Fuller “passed during the motor vehicle, took up our fares it appears with out noticing that we have been strangers, and requested no questions,” Dorsey stated. Fuller later claimed that he did certainly discover the “considerable social gathering of strangers, wearing citizen’s outfits, [who] bought aboard and paid their fare, a few to at least one aspect and a few to a different. ” He additionally well-known Andrews, even though he didn't be aware of his identify. The tall, dark-bearded businessman with the lengthy overcoat and the saddlebags was once a common traveller at the highway, and Fuller may bear in mind discovering him “very courteous and fascinating. ” Fuller checked tickets heavily, as he constantly did, and he eyed the passengers carefully—“he appeared narrowly at us,” one raider said—but he had no cause of any specific suspicions. “Deserters have been pronounced as slipping out from the camp [at mammoth Shanty], and the commanding officer had requested me and the opposite W&A conductors to be looking out and to arrest any soldier who bought at the educate with out a pass,” Fuller acknowledged.