The General Locomotive and the Great Locomotive Chase
On April 12, 1862, James J. Andrews and a band of Union Civil War spies stole the General locomotive in Big Shanty (today called Kennesaw). Andrews and his raiders were attempting to use The General to travel to Chattanooga, Tennessee, in an attempt to damage the Western & Atlantic Railroad linking Atlanta with that city.
The theft did not go unnoticed, however, and the General's crew used everything at their disposal - including other locomotives, a pushcar and even their legs - to pursue the stolen locomotive for 87 miles.
After a day-long chase, the spies were stopped just before reaching Chattanooga. Those who were caught, including Andrews and Sgt. John Scott, were hanged. Other raiders, including Sgt. Wilson Brown, escaped from Confederate prison or were exchanged as Prisoners of War. These men were among the first to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
At the Southern Museum, you'll follow in the daring footsteps of Confederate Conductor William Fuller as he chases the "Andrews Raiders" through north Georgia with a dramatic exhibit featuring an exciting movie about the raid, art and artifacts explaining the event, a mockup of Tunnel Hill and the locomotive General itself. In addition, the Medals of Honor awarded to Scott and Brown are on display, highlighting the courage and sacrifice made by these men in their attempt to help end the Civil War.