The Museum is home to the General locomotive, made famous during the Great Locomotive Chase of 1862. It also features an impressive Civil War collection and the Glover Machine Works, a restored early 20th-century belt-driven locomotive assembly line. The Jolley Education Center offers numerous
hands-on and interactive exhibits that are fun for the entire family.
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). 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 mock-up of Tunnel Hill and the locomotive
The bravery of Andrews Raiders led to the granting of the first Medals of Honor. The medal bestowed on raider Sgt. John Scott, who was captured and hanged by the Confederates, is one of the Museum's most prized artifacts.
Glover Machine Works: Casting a New South
The dedicated craftsmen of the Glover Machine Works worked tirelessly to build the quality locomotives that helped rebuild the South after the Civil War. Explore the nation's only full-scale reproduction of a belt-driven locomotive assembly line and gain insight into the building process, including a pattern shop, factory equipment, and two locomotives in various stages of completion.
Casting a New South offers a fascinating glimpse into the turn-of-the-century business technology that helped the Glovers market their locomotives as far away as Russia.
Railroads: Lifelines of the Civil War
Railroads were vital lifelines during the war, transporting wounded heroes to hospitals and shuttling troops and supplies to the front lines. Photographs and artifacts illustrate the importance of railroads and the hardships suffered by soldiers, through their uniforms and instruments, as well as weapons such as muskets, swords, pistols, and rifles.
Among the many rare items is an amputation kit that gives visitors insight into grisly battlefield conditions, and a delicate brooch carved by an Andersonville prisoner.
Jolley Education Center
The Jolley Education Center is home to the Merci Boxcar and many of the Museum’s educational programs for children and their parents. It offers engaging and interactive learning stations for families to explore, including two telegraph stations, where children can tap out messages in Morse Code and a diesel train simulator, allowing visitors to be engineers and “drive” a train on their own.
Younger children will enjoy the Georgia W. Pierce Pre-K area, which provides the opportunity to play with train-themed toys and books.
Known as the “40 & 8” for being able to carry 40 men or eight horses during World Wars I and II, this Merci Boxcar was part of the "Gratitude Train" that the people of France sent over upon completion of World War II to thank the United States for providing aid to their battered country.
The boxcar came to the Museum from the Fulton County branch of “La Societe Des 40 Hommes et 8 Chevaux,” an honor society which began following World War I for American Legion members who went above and beyond in their service. Included with the boxcar was collection of select items, also on display.
National Postal Museum Display
The National Postal Museum Display includes materials from both the Civil War and the Railway Mail Service after the war. These items, along with photographs and interpretive panels, are designed to supplement our Railroads: Lifelines of the Civil War and Glover Machine Works: Casting a New South galleries. The National Postal Museum display serves to demonstrate the importance of mail to a changing America and the vital role that railroads played in providing these mail services.
Portraits in Gray
This unique exhibit features seventy images from the private collection of David Wynn Vaughan broken down into ten thematic sections, each of which illustrates an aspect of life faced by the Confederate soldier being photographed. Investigating such aspects as period clothing, the age of Civil War combatants, and the shared trauma experienced by family members sent to war together, Portraits in Gray is a poignant, sobering look at a war whose public memory is too often dedicated to its military pageantry
rather than its humanity.
Portraits in Gray is currently touring and the Southern Museum is looking for additional venues to host this wonderful exhibition. Contact email@example.com for more information.