3501 Bristol Highway, Kingsport, Tennessee
Saturday and Sunday, June 8, 9, Kingsport, Tenn. was host to the 108 year old Civil War locomotive, The General, which has been making a tour of the country in our Centennial celebration.
This locomotive had changed little since it rolled from the works of Rogers, Ketchum & Groversnor in Patterson, N. J., 1855, except the absence of horizontal bar on the pilot and the double steam domes. It was running on its own power and carried a passenger-coach museum with Civil War relics, enjoyed by young and old.
Quoting from one of our area papers in this interesting story:
'A celebrity in one of the best known episodes of the Civil War. The General was stolen April 12, 1862, at Big Shanty, Ga., by a Union secret agent, James J. Andrews, and 19 raiders. They believed that if the Western & Atlantic Railroad, an important link between Atlanta and Chattanooga, could be severed for a few days, the war would be greatly shortened.
However, conductor William A. Fuller, engineer Jeff Cain and shop foreman Anthony Murphy began a hectic eight-hour chase after the 'engind thieves,' first in a push car, later two different engines, then aboard the locomotive Texas.
At Adairsville, Ga., the dramatic chase moved into high gear with the locomotive Texas running in reverse after dropping off its load of cars. The engines raced over flimsy tracks at speeds up to 60 miles an hour.
Finally, near Ringgold, Ga., with The General low on water, wood and steam, the end came as the engine wheezed to a halt. Within a week all of the Union men were captured and seven of the raiders were hanged.