A Weekend Warrior Program
April 21-23, 2017
With Jim Ogden from Chattanooga, TN
Friday, April 21
Meet at our headquarters hotel at 6:30 PM to meet Jim and hear his opening lecture on the nature and role of railroads in the infrastructure of antebellum south. We will discuss how General Ormsby Mitchel planned to move against the key railroad juncture of Chattanooga and why he needed an operation against the Western and Atlantic Railroad. Recently completed operations in and around Savannah, Tennessee and Corinth, Mississippi helped focus the Federal plans.
Saturday, April 22
Starting at 8:00 AM, we will head south to the staging area near Marietta. This study tour suggests that we hug the Western and Atlantic Railroad and that is best done in vans or a small bus so that is how we will travel (depending upon registration). Along the way south, Jim will introduce us to James Andrews and the men from Ohio who made this spectacular operation possible. Starting at the Kennesaw House we will figuratively board the train with Andrews’ adventurers and head north to Big Shanty where on April 12, 1862 they detached the superfluous passenger cars and headed northbound with the stolen train–while there we will see The General. The logistics of 19th century train travel are sophisticated and the associated tasks associated with dismissing the pursuit and or destroying the railroad at key locations with be fully explored. Our goal today is to reach Dalton via a multitude of small villages and train stations–keep in mind this is an event in motion. We will return to the hotel by 6 PM. Lunch included.
Sunday, April 23
This morning we will start at 0830 heading directly to Tunnel Hill. The act of thievery was bold in the extreme; however, the leadership and commitment of The General’s engineer , William Allan Fuller, to pursue and reacquire his engine is remarkable–as I said this is an event in motion. Imagine if you will running an engine (The Texas) in reverse with the support vehicle preceding you. After clearing Tunnel Hill we will pursue to Ringgold and the spot at which Andrews and his men abandoned the exhausted General. When you run out of fuel you are out of fuel! Fuller’s tenacious pursuit prevented Andrews from fully utilizing his advantages and properly servicing an 18th century engine. The raiders were all captured and a number were tried and convicted. The death penalty was carried out in Atlanta. We cannot go to that site (although it is marked) but we will go to the location where the trials were held and the monument to them is commemorated. Our day will finish with a visit and respects to the final resting places of the executed men in the Chattanooga National Cemetery. While there we will discuss the creation and award of the Medal of Honor. Amazingly enough Andrews was ineligible. We will finish and return to the hotel by 4 PM. This program has been part of our conscious for more than a century–indeed the silent film with Buster Keaton is timeless. It is about time the story is told honestly and in its proper historical context. I hope you will join us. Lunch is included.
Jim Ogden is one of the great historians of the National Park Service. Widely admired for his intimate knowledge of the 1863 Chickamauga and Chattanooga Campaigns, he is a preservationist of the first degree who has been called upon to lead our nation’s leaders on private tours of our historical sites. What many people do not realize is that the core of Jim’s success is a relentless and compulsive desire to be prepared and to know the peripheral issues related to his primary topics. Now he is bringing that collateral knowledge to BGES in a series of programs he has wanted to do but has not because of demands on his time. Andrews Raiders is but one of his specialties. He will also lead us to Shiloh on another trip. This is a very special trip and I hope you will join us.
Key Publications and Recommended Reading
The following books and films are suggested to enhance your readiness for the program.
Follow the links to purchase the books on our secure ecommerce website.
- Lt. William Pittenger: Daring and Suffering, A History of the Andrews Railroad Raid
- Russell Bonds: Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor
- Silent Movie: The General (1926) with Buster Keaton Available on Amazon.com
- Disney Movie: The Great Locomotive Chase (1956) with Fess Parker. Available on Amazon.com
The hotel for this program will be announced on this site. I am looking at properties in Chattanooga, TN. The hotel and meals except for lunch are not included in the registration fee.
Register using a secure PayPal server.
To register by mail, download our Weekend Warrior printable registration form.