Great Locomotive Chase Recap
CWEA recently hosted a two day tour of the Great Locomotive Chase (aka Andrews Raid) based in Chattanooga. Historians Norman Dasinger and Brandon Beck led the spirited group on a vigorous tour, the highlight of which was a Saturday trip aboard a 1904 steam train. Brandon served as a co-engineer as we traveled through Chattanooga's Missionary Ridge via the pre-war tunnel used by General Patrick Cleburne during the November, 1864 battle.
The tour started out on Friday at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, Georgia, that houses the "General." We then stopped at Moons Station, Allatoona Pass, Etowah River Crossing and Cartersville. After a bountiful Southern buffet lunch at Johnboy's Home Cookin' Buffet in Cartersville, we headed to Kingston via Cass Station. At Kingston we engaged in a detailed examination of the 'wye' intersection and discussed the travel issues for both the Andrews party and their Confederate pursuers. We then visited the grave of EBD Julio, the famous artist of the Last Meeting Between Lee and Jackson painting. Our first tour day ended at Resaca at the crossing of the Western and Atlantic Railroad over the Oostanaula River.
Our second tour day began in Dalton with a brisk ride through the railway tunnel north of that town. The brisk wind and 15 mph golf cart ride made this stop a memorable one! It was, however, only a prelude to our ride aboard the vintage train along a portion of the pre-war rail line that linked Chattanooga to Knoxville. Seeing that massive locomotive parked outside the depot, blowing steam and whistling away was riveting.
Afterwards we partook of lunch at the world famous Bea's restaurant in Chattanooga whose lazy-Susan style buffet is unmatched. Afterward, we visited downtown Chattanooga to see where Andrews’ trial was held and the prison where all the raiders were confined. The tour climaxed at the Chattanooga National Cemetery viewing the Ohio memorial to the raiders and graves of Andrews and some of his men. While here, we drove to the other side of the cemetery to view the grave of Desmond Doss, the MOH awarded soldier depicteded in the recent movie "Hacksaw Ridge."
All in all, the weather was great, the food hearty and the itinerary unmatched, a credit to tour designer, Norman Dasinger. Join us the next time we offer this unique adventure and tour of the Great Locomotive Chase!