The Andrews Raid of April 12, 1862, brought the first Union soldiers into north Georgia and led to an exciting locomotive chase, the only one of the Civil War (1861-65). The adventure lasted just seven hours, involved about two dozen men, and as a military operation, ended in failure.
In early spring 1862 Northern forces advanced on Huntsville, Alabama, heading for Chattanooga, Tennessee.
On April 7 Andrews chose twenty-two volunteers from three Ohio infantry regiments, plus one civilian. In plain clothes they slipped through the lines to Chattanooga and entrained to Marietta; two men were caught on the way.
Pursuit began immediately, when three railroad men ran after the locomotive, eventually commandeering a platform car.
Though it created a sensation at the time, the Andrews Raid had no military effect.
In the postwar years several raiders, notably William Pittenger, published thrilling recollections of their adventures. In Atlanta, William Fuller testily challenged Anthony Murphy over who was in charge of the train pursuit. The escapade made its way into film with Buster Keaton's silent comedy The General (1927) and Walt Disney's The Great Locomotive Chase (1956). That a failed historical footnote should kindle such drama fairly attests to the Civil War's emotional spark.
Craig Angle, The Great Locomotive Chase: More on the Andrews Raid and the First Medal of Honor ([Rouzerville, Pa.: C. Angle, ca. 1992]).
Barry L. Brown and Gordon R. Elwell, Crossroads of Conflict: A Guide to Civil War Sites in Georgia (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2010).
Stan Cohen and James G. Bogle, The General and the Texas: A Pictorial History of the Andrews Raid, April 12, 1862 (Missoula, Mont: Pictorial Histories, 1999).
Stephen Davis, "The Conductor versus the Foreman: William Fuller, Anthony Murphy, and the Pursuit of the Andrews Raiders," Atlanta History 34 (winter 1990-91).
Charles O'Neill, Wild Train: The Story of the Andrews Raiders (New York: Random House, 1956).
Stephen Davis, Marietta
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