Great Locomotive Chase Festival

Great Locomotive Chase Festival

First weekend in October
This three-day celebration in Adairsville, Ga., commemorates the storied Civil War locomotive chase that led to the execution of six Union soldiers by the Confederates.
The chase came on April 12, 1862 (the one-year anniversary of the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter), after the Yankee spy, James J. Andrews, stole the Confederate engine named "The General," along with three boxcars and the tender. His plan was to burn the rail bridges between Atlanta and Chattanooga, in order to cut Confederate supply lines.
Andrews swiped the locomotive at Big Shanty (Kennesaw), Georgia, and roared off, stopping to cut telegraph wires and tear up tracks. In due time William A. Fuller, conductor of "The General," who had been having breakfast when his train was stolen, realized something was missing and set off in a handcar with Anthony Murphy. In Adairsville, they boarded the locomotive "Texas," and barreled after "The General" and Andrews, who was trying to reach the bridge at Resaca so he could burn it. The drivers of "The General" kept throwing things on the track to derail the "Texas," but the "Texas" kept in pursuit.
Finally, the Yankee raiders were out of fuel and had nothing left to throw on the track; arriving in Ringgold, Andrews ordered his men to jump and run. They did, but all were apprehended. Andrews and six others were tried and hanged; others were taken as prisoners until being exchanged, and later they received medals from the Union army. The Confederates won the accolades of the Army of the Confederacy.
In 1927, Buster Keaton made the movie The General based on the chase, and in 1956, a Disney movie, The Great Locomotive Chase, later retitled Andrews' Raiders, retold the old story.
Events of the festival include showings of the locomotive-chase movies, a grand parade, beauty pageants, fireworks, and gospel singing. There are also such contests as three-legged races, a marshmallow-spitting contest, a bean-bag toss, a balloon toss, and a tug of war. Attendance is estimated at more than 10,000.
CONTACTS:
Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau
P.O. Box 200397
Cartersville, GA 30120
800-733-2280 or 770-385-1357
www.notatlanta.org