Great Locomotive Chase Anniversary Events Continue
April 17, 2012 by James
Last weekend saw a host of 150th anniversary events as Kennesaw celebrated what was, at the time, the greatest high speed chase.
Such chases today are often broadcast live, as fleeing criminals in their vehicles are pursued by fleets of cop cars along the highway. Back in 1862, things were a little different.
As the Civil War was raging, Unionists hijacked the locomotive “General” from outside the Lacy Hotel in Big Shanty – present day Kennesaw, and having uncoupled the cars, led the Confederates on a seven-hour cross-county chase.
Having powered the locomotive through 80 miles across Georgia, the locomotive eventually ran out of fuel and come to a grinding halt. But it was an event which lived long in memory and resulted in much acclaim for the crew who led the hijack, and those who pursued it.
The whole episode is a stunning story to learn – which would interest any resident or visitor to Kennesaw. As a local historian, Russell S. Bonds said:
“It is like the Dirty Dozen, the Great Train Robbery and the Great Escape all rolled into one.”
Today, The General rests back where it all began, in the Southern Museum in Kennesaw, and many events took place here to celebrate what one local, Jere Martin, called, “the greatest war story ever told”