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The Great Locomotive Chase

G.W.S. Ware wrote of one experience he had as a boy during the Civil War:

    "Another early morning hour, I heard and then saw an engine pulling two box cars, coming around the curve and rushing through the valley at terrific speed.  Then at a distance another engine with one flat car loaded with soldiers, yelling like Indians.  Then another like train and others until 3 or 4 went screaming by.  I knew something was wrong and soon knew the cause.  The yankee spies, like Major Andrews of whom my great grandfather could have written about, at 80, but didn't.  Benedict Arnold sold his trust, which caused Major Andrews to die as a spy.  He lost his life and left his good name hooked up with a deserter, the arch traitor of our Revolutionary war.  These men were yankee spies at Resaccu Ga.  They saw a train crew leave their train for breakfast.  So they eased on and pulled the throttle open for Chattanooga.  Out a piece they stopped, cut the telegraph wire and dropped a box car.  Now stealing a train from its crew, was something new, in Ga.  They had no presidents to go by, but they fell over themselves to make one, for others which have never been needed.  The train crew got the first engine they could get, and set out in hot pursuit to catch those yanks and save their own faces, in such a slick trick.  Soon they had to slow down, to ease up, to push a freight car, in front, which made it dangerous to go at high speed, but more dangerous to let those yanks escape.  They caught them at Graysville, near Chattanooga.  They had used everything that would burn to keep up steam, but failed.  Had they had wood and water, they would have been wrecked for a switch was open, ahead of them.    Reports came concerning those men that they were of good character well educated, of good families, and sympathy went out and regrets that they threw their lives away on a fool's errand."


Original spelling and punctuation have been preserved.

Copyright 2006 Brett W. Smith. All rights reserved.

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