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Civil War Railroad Photographs

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Throughout the history of this nation, the railroad has been an integral part of our expansion and economic development.  Although a railroad fan will instantly conjure up the romantic image of the west being served by the glorious steam engines that were able to link the west to the folks back east. The railroads destruction at the hands of Sherman's army during the Civil War is equally important in terms of shaping the direction that this country has taken.  

If you would like to see the full size image of any of these Civil War railroad photographs, double click the picture on the screen.  You will then need to click on your browsers' "Back" button in order to return to the current page.

Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.



On April 12, 1862 a band of 20 Union soldiers and two civilians attempted to disrupt railroad traffic between two major southern cities, Chattanooga, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia.   Under the leadership of civilian James Andrews, the band commandeered a train, The General, and set off on their mission. 

William Fuller, who was the Confederate conductor of the train that was stolen, gave pursuit using various methods, but ultimately using a different train, The Texas, and caught up to The General and prevented success of the Union's mission.  

Commonly referred to as "The Great Locomotive Chase", the event has been the subject of countless books and at least two major motion pictures.  


The General

Western and Atlantic Railroad's famed steam engine The General. The General - 1886.jpg (26180 bytes)

Made Famous by the Andrews raid on April 12, 1862, The General was built in 1855 for the Western and Atlantic Railroad.  This 4-4-0 engine was originally a wood burning unit with a balloon type smokestack.

The General, Circa (1886)

In the late 1870's the Western and Atlantic railroad began to rebuild and repair its operations from the toll the war had taken upon its equipment.   During this process a great deal of The General was rebuilt and converted into a coal burning unit.  These pictures all show a Diamond smokestack that indicates a coal burning engine.

The American Type Steam Engine, The General, Circa 1887, owned by the Western and Atlantic railroad.




The General. (1887)
William Fuller, the conductor of the Texas is standing by the tender.  Jacob Parrott, one of the Union raiders is standing in the cab.


The Texas

The 'other' steam engine, The Texas, still used by the railroad in 1903 - 1903.jpg (41809 bytes)


The engine that was in pursuit of The General, The Texas, piloted by conductor William Fuller eventually caught The General just north of Ringgold, Georgia. 

The Texas, still in use. (1903)

Sherman's army followed the same basic route along the Western and Atlantic roadway a couple of years later as it made its way into Atlanta leading to the infamous burning of Atlanta.  

The locomotive, The Texas, after being retired by the Western and Atlantic Railroad.  The Texas - 1911.jpg (44919 bytes)

The Texas, retired and on display. (1911)

Recommended Reading:

"The General and The Texas: A Pictorial History of the Andrews Raid, April 12, 1862." provides numerous accounts of the raid, the strategy, the equipment and the people involved.

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