This Day in Georgia Civil War History
April 12, 1862
Andrews Raid/Great Locomotive Chase
Union spy James Andrews, along with 19 other disguised Union soldiers, stole the locomotive The General at its Big Shanty stop. Their plan was to take the locomotive north to Chattanooga, destroying as much track and burning as many bridges as possible along the way. They also cut telegraph lines to prevent word of their deeds from being sent ahead. Railroad workers and Confederate soldiers were soon in pursuit and, after a long, exciting chase, Andrews and his men were stopped and captured shortly before reaching Chattanooga. While the episode - which became known as Andrews Raid or The Great Locomotive Chase - was a failure (damaged tracks were quickly repaired and rain prevented any bridge burning), it became immortalized in “A Daring Adventure,” part of Joel Chandler Harris’ Stories of Georgia. Andrews and seven other men involved in the chase, would be hanged for their crimes.