Sallie Loy, archivist for the Southern Museum, looks through documents from the Bogle Collection.
The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History has received the extensive railroad collection of the late Col. James G. Bogle.
Until his death in 2010 at the age of 94, Bogle was the preeminent authority on the Great Locomotive Chase and collected hundreds of artifacts connected to the daring Civil War event.
Bricks from the old Western & Atlantic Railroad freight depot at Marietta, Ga., are part of the Bogle Collection.
In addition to his research on the Great Locomotive Chase, Bogle thoroughly researched and collected artifacts related to railroads throughout the southeast, ranging from well-known routes such as the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway to lesser known lines such as the Etowah Railroad.
“Col. Bogle was such an expert on the Great Locomotive Chase and railroads, and his work remains invaluable to researchers today,” said Sallie Loy, archivist for the Southern Museum. “Filmmakers, authors and researchers always contacted Col. Bogle when they had a question because they knew he had the answer. We are preserving his years of dedicated work so it can live on for the next generation of researchers and historians.”
Bogle’s collection includes four filing cabinets filled with documents, including newspaper clippings, letters and notes. His collection also includes more than 30,000 photographs, a rail that was likely in use during the Great Locomotive Chase, signs from railroad depots throughout the southeast and documents from the late Wilbur G. Kurtz, the son-in-law of Chase participant William A. Fuller.
Bogle, a native of Colesburg, Tenn., moved to the Atlanta area with his family in the late 1950s, and the colonel retired from the U.S. Army in 1967 after serving for 31 years, including tours of duty in World War II and in the Korean War. During his distinguished military career, he earned the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.
The Bogle Collection includes historic rail that was likely in use on the Western & Atlantic Railroad in April 1862.
In 1999, Bogle co-authored with Stan Cohen “The General and the Texas: A Pictorial History of the Andrews Raid.” In 1982, he oversaw the restoration of the Texas locomotive, another locomotive that saw action during the Great Locomotive Chase and which is on display in Grant Park in Atlanta.
“Col. Bogle was a true friend to not only the Southern Museum, but to historians and railroad enthusiasts,” said Dr. Richard Banz, executive director of the Southern Museum. “His collection is one-of-a-kind, and we have a sense of duty to not only preserve the documents and artifacts in this collection, but share his lifetime of work with historians and researchers.”
The collection is expected to be ready for researchers by November. A number of artifacts will be used in exhibits throughout the Southern Museum to help tell the story of the Great Locomotive Chase and the role railroads had in developing the south after the Civil War.
For more information, visit southernmuseum.org.