Farm Collector


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

Quoting from one of our area papers in this interesting

‘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.

  • Published on Sep 1, 1963
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