Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Little Engine That Thought He Might

One hundred and forty-six years ago from this date was The Great Locomotive Chase with The General vs The Texas.

Andrews Raiders were Yankee spies. They spent the night in Marietta and that morning they took the same train to Big Shanty, now Kennesaw, which is only several miles up the tracks. When the crew went into the Lacy Hotel for breakfast James Andrews and men commandeered the train.

By the way, while conducting (get it?) my brief research I found out two of Andrews Raiders did not make it that morning. They overslept.

Conductor William Fuller saw the engine was snatched right out from under them and he commandeered The Texas and up the tracks they went. They were caught up with in Ringgold, Georgia.

The General is on display at Civil War Museum in Kennesaw and The Texas is on display at the Cyclorama in Atlanta.

The story of the great chase made a few good movies. A good chase move. And it really happened.

Sometimes Hollywood tries to update things with today’s things. How does “The Great School Bus Chase” sound? Or “The Great F-16 Chase?” Or the great Hummer?

Nope, it just isn’t the same.

Maybe add a few scantily clad women as engineers?

Or at least some ethnic graffiti.

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Anonymous j3 said...

Having spent 3 years "up close and personal" with the "General" and its story, I can tell you this - it truly could be a great feature film. As my buddy Harper - still the lead interpreter at the Museum - says "it has everything but the dame tied to the tracks!"

I always found it amazing how many people had never heard the story, especially with its result of the awarding of the first Congressional Medal of Honor. Of course as a kid, I was always rooting for Cpt. Fuller and wanted the damn yankees hanged! I had to be a little more neutral when I worked there. Thanks for adding this momentous occasion to your blog.


6:06 PM  
Blogger ET said...

I enjoyed doing it.
As I was doing it I thought of your closeness to the subject and figured it would stir you a bit.
That same quote was in the mdj the other day: "it has everything but the dame tied to the tracks!" - which got me thinking how to make it more Hollywood - or up to date? Boobs, and graffiti was all I could come up with.
I didn't realize it until I turned over my History page a day calendar a day too late that Fort Sumter was fired on exactly one year earlier - I wished I had thrown that in. That is what I get for my procrastination.

2:10 AM  
Blogger deborah wilson said...

Eddie, I got a pic of the General that I need to post - also got all of the raider's mugs too. Since I have an exam Thursday, I might go ahead and post it tonight. I was hoping to get down to Oakland Cemetery first.

A lot of modern, local history goes with the General, it wouldn't be fair to leave out Dent Myers - he owns the Civil War store in Kennesaw - according to what I've read, he did a lot of work to help get the train back to Kennesaw.

J3 - I always thought it funny too that the first Congressional Medal of Honor was given 'for spying and unsuccessful theft of a Confederate locomotive'.

I guess there are many stories like this one that people don't know about. A lot of people don't know about the Roswell Mill Workers either (or local mill workers in general).

History is almost always written by the winning side - therefore many stories are never told or either they don't get much attention.

11:04 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Wild Man Dent Myers is quiet a character. Someplace on my blog is some pictures of cartoonist Skip Williamson, my friend Bluto, and me jiving with with Dent.
I bet J3 has had some very interesting conversations with Dent.

1:46 PM  

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