One of the most dramatic incidents of the War Between the States was the Andrews Raid on April 12, 1862. A party of union spies led by James Andrews detached the Western and Atlantic engine “The General” at the Big Shanty station in Kennesaw Georgia. Their mission was to destroy bridges, railway tracks, and to interrupt operations. Taking quick action, the General’s train crew under Conductor William Fuller, pursued the raiders, first on foot, then on a push car, and finally with the engine “Texas”. The raiders destroyed very little, due to the pursuit and almost an hour’s delay in Kingston, Georgia. After a long chase, they ran out of fuel. The Andrew’s Raiders were captured near Graysville.
Today, the engine “General” is on display in a Kennesaw Georgia museum. The “Texas” is on display at the Atlanta Cyclorama. The incident was the basis for Buster Keaton’s classic movie “The General” and Walt Disney’s “The Great Locomotive Chase” starring Fess Parker. Banknotes from the Western & Atlantic Railroad are popular collectors items, like this 25 cent note from 1862.