Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor

By Russell S. Bonds

Selected by way of Civil conflict Interactive as one of many most sensible Civil conflict Books of All Time

"The definitive ebook concerning 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 have now an excellent heritage 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 struggle technique to minute-by-minute scrutiny of unfolding occasions at the flooring. He units up the tale with a quickly, punchy define of the 1st yr of the conflict. What follows is a fast moving, tremendous well-told story of espionage, seize, trial and escape."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Phenomenally good written, prepared, and presented."—Civil conflict 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 undercover agent named James J. Andrews and nineteen infantry volunteers infiltrated north Georgia and stole a steam engine referred to 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 might switch the process the struggle. however the General's younger conductor, William A. Fuller, chased the stolen teach first walking, 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 might quickly be well-known as the nice Locomotive Chase. yet the ordeal of the warriors concerned used to be 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 break out to freedom, together with assisted via a community of slaves and Union sympathizers. for his or her activities, sooner than a private viewers with President Abraham Lincoln, six of the raiders grew to become the 1st males in American background to be presented the Medal of Honor—the nation's optimum ornament for gallantry.

Americans north and south, either on the time and ever seeing that, were astounded and occupied with this bold raid. yet in the past, there has no longer been a whole heritage of the complete episode and the fates of all these concerned. according to eyewitness bills, in addition to correspondence, diaries, army files, newspaper reviews, deposition testimony and different basic resources, Stealing the overall: the nice Locomotive Chase and the 1st Medal of Honor via Russell S. Bonds is a mix of meticulous learn and compelling narrative that's now thought of to be the definitive heritage of "the boldest experience of the war."

Show description

By Russell S. Bonds

Selected by way of Civil conflict Interactive as one of many most sensible Civil conflict Books of All Time

"The definitive ebook concerning 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 have now an excellent heritage 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 struggle technique to minute-by-minute scrutiny of unfolding occasions at the flooring. He units up the tale with a quickly, punchy define of the 1st yr of the conflict. What follows is a fast moving, tremendous well-told story of espionage, seize, trial and escape."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Phenomenally good written, prepared, and presented."—Civil conflict 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 undercover agent named James J. Andrews and nineteen infantry volunteers infiltrated north Georgia and stole a steam engine referred to 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 might switch the process the struggle. however the General's younger conductor, William A. Fuller, chased the stolen teach first walking, 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 might quickly be well-known as the nice Locomotive Chase. yet the ordeal of the warriors concerned used to be 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 break out to freedom, together with assisted via a community of slaves and Union sympathizers. for his or her activities, sooner than a private viewers with President Abraham Lincoln, six of the raiders grew to become the 1st males in American background to be presented the Medal of Honor—the nation's optimum ornament for gallantry.

Americans north and south, either on the time and ever seeing that, were astounded and occupied with this bold raid. yet in the past, there has no longer been a whole heritage of the complete episode and the fates of all these concerned. according to eyewitness bills, in addition to correspondence, diaries, army files, newspaper reviews, deposition testimony and different basic resources, Stealing the overall: the nice Locomotive Chase and the 1st Medal of Honor via Russell S. Bonds is a mix of meticulous learn and compelling narrative that's now thought of to be the definitive heritage of "the boldest experience of the war."

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An interviewer assembly him years after the battle will be good inspired via the foreman. “His head is cool, his middle is hot, and a extra frivolously balanced brain is rarely found,” Wallace Reed wrote within the Atlanta structure. “Quiet, reticent and undemonstrative, Anthony Murphy is but a nearly invincible strength while introduced into motion. ” And for Murphy and his team, there has been a lot motion forward on that spring day. 10 in a timely fashion on time table at 4 o’clock, Jeff Cain published the smooth brake, nudged the throttle, and with a shriek of the whistle and a chuff of smoke from the stack, the final rolled ahead out of the shadowy mouth of the depot.

Parrott’s testimony squares with the bills of his fellow Ohioans. “Finally, it truly is stated, Robertson sickened on the sight of his comrade’s punishment, and seeing his again all gashed and bleeding, informed his persecutors that they have been usa squaddies, and they have been within the raid,” Dorsey wrote. “This placed a cease to the whipping. ” not anything some time past of the illiterate farm boy from Kenton, Ohio, may have urged any local sturdiness or iron get to the bottom of, yet to his enduring credits, Parrott was once unbreakable lower than vicious flogging and threats of demise when it comes to mob violence or pistol-shot.

STANTON Secretary of struggle. the lads in Mitchel’s department seemed his promoting to significant common as a validation in their activities and a genuinely-earned honor for outdated Stars. “No different guy with so few troops has ventured thus far into the enemy’s kingdom, and comprehensive so much,” Colonel John Beatty wrote in his diary. “Battles in the event that they end result favorably are nice is helping to the reason, however the common who by way of a daring sprint accomplishes both very important effects, with out death, is entitled to as nice compliment definitely as he who fights and wins a victory.

There were only one burst of velocity, after which this sickening and alarming failure of strength. ” The anxious males within the boxcar requested these published at the engine what was once happening, and have been informed that the steam had long past down. there has been, for a second, common and comprehensible consternation because the group scrambled concerning the stalled common trying to diagnose its disease. “This engine gave us wings,” Pittenger acknowledged, remembering the instant years later, “but if it may be disabled no valor of ours may well push back the hosts approximately us, no ability may possibly elude their rage.

Grose, March nine, 1954, Kurtz-AHC). 14 Murphy, “Pursuit of Andrews’ Raiders,” Atlanta magazine journal, p. 2. Dorsey may later recommend, a little bit wistfully, that had Martin Hawkins now not overslept and been alongside aboard the final, “we doubtless might were higher suggested at the demeanour of obstructing our pursuers. ” Dorsey, “The Mitchel Raiders,” The Ohio Soldier, April eight, 1893, p. 274. 15 Wilson, Adventures of Alf Wilson, p. 37; Pittenger, bold and pain, pp. 139-40 (“However we didn't watch for them to get shut sufficient to exploit their shotguns—at least to not any impression, even though Wilson, in his released account, is sort of confident that a few weapons have been fired”); Knight, “How I Ran the General,” Railroad Man’s journal, March 1911 (“some of them attempted to select us off with their rifles”).

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