The Travel Trolley

Andrews Raid sesquicentennial commemoration continues

KENNESAW, Ga. — Kennesaw continued its celebration of the Great Locomotive Chase sesquicentennial with a reenactment of Camp McDonald.

Gov. Joseph E. Brown in June 1861 established Camp McDonald as a training camp for Confederate soldiers. The camp — named for former Georgia Gov. Charles J. McDonald — was situated in what was then known as Big Shanty (present day Kennesaw).

As part of the weekend, a number of local reenactment groups are recreating and interpreting life in the camp.

The Camp McDonald reenactment is a continuation of the commemoration of the events of April 12, 1862. On that day, a group of Union Spies under the direction of James J. Andrews stole a locomotive, The General, from Big Shanty and headed north toward Chattanooga — an episode that is today know as the Great Locomotive Chase or The Andrews’ Raid.

The raiders’ goal of destroying the Western & Atlantic Railroad failed and eight were eventually hanged as spies. However, members of the party were the first to receive the Medal of Honor.

On Thursday, the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History and the city commemorated the 150th anniversary of the chase with a series of events, starting at 6 a.m. — the time the raiders stole The General.

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