Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway aka NC&StL, NC&Stl.L, ncstl,  




The General

One of the more famous engines, the General was stolen by Yankee raiders on April 12, 1862, during the Civil War.  Referred to as the "Andrews Raid", the story was the basis for several films, including "The Great Locomotive Chase" starring Bess Parker, "The General" starring Buster Keaton, and "The Stolen Train".

The General has been preserved and is on display in the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, GA.

A Brief History

At a cost of $8,850, the General was built for the Western & Atlantic Railroad by Rogers, Ketchum & Grosvenor (later known as the Rogers Locomotive & Machine Works), and was first placed in freight service in 1856.

By 1890, although the General had been retired from service, it was included in the transfer of property in the lease between the State of Georgia and the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway.  At that point, it was listed as "condemned, value $1,500.00."

In 1892, E. Warren Clark located the General on a siding at Vinings, GA, and convinced John W. Thomas (NC&StL President), to rehabilitate the General and display her at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.

September 1892: displayed at reunion of the verterans of the Army of the Cumberland, in Chattanooga TN.

Spring, 1893: one of 62 locomotives displayed at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, IL.

1895: Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, GA.

1897: Tennessee Centennial Exposition, Centennial Park, Nashville, TN

1901:  Arrived in Chattanooga, TN for permanent display in Union Depot.

1927:  Traveled by flat car for display at "The Fair of the Iron Horse", a Centenarary Exposition of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, held at Halethorpe, Maryland.  Then returned to Chattanooga.

1933:  Traveled by flat car to attend the "Century of Progress Exposition", in Chicago, IL.

1939:  Traveled by flat car to New York World's Fair.  Returned to Chattanoog in fall of 1940.

1948:  Traveled by flat car to Chicago's Railroad Fair.

1957:  NC&StL taken over by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.

1959:  Georgia begins arguments for return of the General.

1961:  L&N transports the General to Louisville KY for restoration.

1962:  April 10: The General arrives in Atlanta (aboard a specially constructed flat car)

  • April 14 - reenactment of The Great Locomotive Chase on it's 100th Anniversary.
  • April 15-22:  Chattanooga, TN
  • April 26-29:  Washington DC.  Ceremonies honoring the Centennial of the Medal of Honor.
  • May 2-5: Columbus, Ohio
  • May 8-15: Memphis, TN
  • May 19-20: Fort Knox, KY
  • May 22-27:  Evansville, IN
  • May 28-June 2: The General ran under her own steam from Evansville, IN to Chicago, stopping at intermediate points along the way.
  • The General remained on tour until December 22, 1962, when she was returned to Chattanooga for the holidays.  She visited 120 cities in 12 states during 1962, and 640,000 visitors passed through Combine Car No. 665.

1963: The General began her tour with a return to Big Shanty (Kennesaw) on April 12, then northward to Chattnooga and points in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio; returning to Chattanooga for the winter.

1964: April 26-May 2: Louisville, KY during Derby Week

  • Then on to New York, arriving June 1 at the World's Fair.
  • Returned to Chattanooga for 150th Birthday Celeberation Sept. 10-17.

1966:  Last run of the General under her own steam: Sept. 17-21 at the 32nd Southern Governor's Conference near Paducah, KY.

1967: During negotiation to renew the lease between the L&N RR and the State of Georgia, the State formally asked for the General to be returned to Georgia displayed at Kennesaw and the L&N agreed.

  • Sept:  The General was enroute to Kennesaw from Louisville via Nashville and Chattanooga.  At 1:30 AM on Sept. 12, a party headed by Mayor Ralph Kelly decided that The General belonged in Chattanooga, and stopped the train from leaving Union Depot.   The General remained in Chattanooga until December 16, when it was returned to the South Louisville Shops of the L&N for safekeeping.

1969: Judge Frank W. Wilson, US District Judge at Chattanooga, ruled that the L&N RR did own the General and could dispose of it as they wished.  The City of Chattanooga appealed this ruling.

1970:   May 21: US Court of Appeals upheld Judge Wilson's ruling.  Again, the city appealed.

  • Sept: Supreme Court refused to hear the case and upheld Judge Wilson's ruling.

1971:  Nov 17-18:  the General was moved from South Louisville Shops to the Louisville Union Station.

1972: Feb 15: The General is secretly moved from Louisville to Atlanta, and routed through DeCoursey, Knoxville and Cartersville to avoid traveling through Chattanooga.

  • Feb 18:  Presentation of the General to the people of Georgia in Atlanta.  Following the ceremony, the General, still aboard its special flat car, was moved in local freight service to Kennesaw around 6:00 pm.
  • Feb 19:  Saturday work began at 9 am on the movement of the General from the house track to the Big Shanty Museum, some 150 yards away.  By 5 pm, crews began to cut the rails and clos the north wall of the building.


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NC&StL Preservation Society, Inc. is in no way affiliated with the NC&StL Railway or any of it's successors.
As a non-profit entity, NCPS presents these pages to the public purely for educational and historic interest.

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