In the spring of 1862,the quiet of North Georgia was shattered by a group of 25 Union spies on a mission to disrupt Confederate supply lines.The General, an engine owned by the Western and Atlantic RailRoad,left Atlanta at 4:00am on April 12, the one year anniversary of the attack on Fort Sumter. At Marietta the raiders boarded the train under the command of James Andrews. When the train stopped for breakfast, the men made off with The General in a daring raid that had been planned the night before at the Fletcher(now Kennesaw)House.
The crew of The General, Jeff Cain,engineer and Anthony Murphy,a machine foreman joined Conductor William Fuller,who took the theft as a personal affront,as he pursued the raiders. Undaunted by the obstacles the raiders left in the path,Fuller and Murphy took a southbound engine,The Texas,at the Adairsville Station.
The chase was on - The Texas in pursuit of The General at top speed,in reverse! Just north of calhoun they spotted the General. Just before the top of Ringgold Gap The General gave out. The locomotive would not have made it much farther,Confederate soldiers were already on the tracks traveling south to Ringgold.
Over the next two weeks Andrews and his men were rounded up by Confederates. They managed to get away as far as Bridgeport,Alabama.All 25 men were caught. Andrews and 7 of his men were tried and hung,their bodies buried in an unmarked grave. The bodies were later disinterred and buried at Chattanooga National Cemetery. The General survived the episode and the war,
continuing in service with the Western and Atlantic Railroads for another 30 years.