Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The General Took a Trip

I feel a song:

Oh, The General took a little trip
down the Mighty Mississip -
That is all wrong! The General did not go down the Mighty Mississip - The General went to New Yawk to the 1965 World's Fair.

The General locomotive engine, commandeered by Andrew's Raiders, was chased by the engine The Texas, from Big Shanty to Ringgold, Georgia, commandeered by Conductor Fuller. Thus, the story of The Great Locomotive Chase story was born.*

It sat in the choo-choo yards of Chattanooga until some civic minded Georgians made an effort to have it returned to Georgia. I think I remember Governor Lester Maddox being a big force to get her (him?) back on Georgia soil.

Now, The General sits in the Kennesaw Civil War Museum where thousands of tourists can see it. It has been there quiet a few years.

I forgot it The General was at the New York World's Fair. I am going over all my pictures for possible use in my digital picture box and today came across the above picture of my mother and baby sister Bonnie posing in front of The General. If I remember correctly, it was righ next to a big red China pavilion or something.

*please add anything J3.

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Blogger John said...

Your history is pretty spot on today! A lot of people don't know that story, or that the General is one of the most well traveled locomotives ever built. It saw the Cotton State Exposition in ATL in the 1890s, was at the World's Colombian Exposition in Chicago, the World's Fair in St. Louis, and did a huge tour of the whole eastern half of the US during the Civil War Centennial, that included the World's Fair in NY.

Back in the late 1990s, the California St. Railroad Museum was planning the largest rail exposition ever produced and gathering famous engines from all over the world. I concocted a plan with some help from CSX to take the General to California for the summer. Would have been a huge publicity grabber for the museum, but the City wouldn't support it, so it died.

You should sent that picture to the Museum, they have more now, but they had very few pictures of the General from its stint in NY.


5:43 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Thanks. I knew you would some juicy information. It didn't know the train engine that Fess Parker commandeered was such a popular visitor. Now that you mentioned it, I do remember Kennesaw bickering about The General visiting the Rail exposition in California and nixed the idea. I think I remember somebody saying it would be very costly.

Speaking of Kennesaw, at Adams Park in Kennesaw is a bbq cook-off tomorrow. Hot damn!

5:54 AM  
Anonymous Johnny said...

Be sure and eat some watermelon when you get home from the BBQ cookout in Kennesaw. You will need it.

6:05 AM  
Blogger ET said...

If we go to the Kennesaw BBQ cook-off and later have watermelon I do believe I will be able to bend over and touch my toes and hit a target with watermelon seeds ten paces behind me.

Only thing, it might be embarrassing.

6:12 AM  

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