Civil War Chatroom Book Chat
This is a  Civil War book discussion that was scheduled and held in the Civil War Home Chatroom.  What you see is the chat between the members as it occurred.  Each session consisted of discussing 2 or 3 chapters of the selected book and lasted about 1-1 1/2 hours.

Stealing The General
The Great Locomotive Chase and The First Medal of Honor
Russell S. Bonds

      Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor is the dramatic true story of the Civil War raid that resulted in the first award of the nation's highest decoration for valor.
     On April 12, 1862—one year to the day after Confederate guns opened on Fort Sumter and started the Civil War—a tall, mysterious smuggler and self-appointed Union spy named James J. Andrews and nineteen infantry volunteers infiltrated north Georgia and stole a steam engine called the General. Racing northward at speeds approaching sixty miles an hour, cutting telegraph lines and destroying track along the way, Andrews planned to open East Tennessee to the Union army, cutting off men and materiel from the Confederate forces in Virginia. If they succeeded, Andrews and his raiders could change the course of the war.
     But the General's young conductor, William A. Fuller, chased the stolen train first on foot, then by handcar, and finally aboard another engine, the Texas. He pursued the General until, running out of wood and water, Andrews and his men abandoned the doomed locomotive, ending the adventure that would soon be famous as The Great Locomotive Chase. But the ordeal of the soldiers involved was just beginning. In the days that followed, the "engine thieves" were hunted down and captured. Eight were tried and executed as spies, including Andrews. Eight others made a daring escape to freedom, including two assisted by a network of slaves and Union sympathizers. For their actions, before a personal audience with President Abraham Lincoln, six of the raiders became the first men in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor—the nation's highest decoration for gallantry.

Table of Contents

Preface: "The Boldest Adventure of the War"

PART I The Tlan
I. The Bridge Burners
(Chat for Chapters 1 & 2)

3. The Heart of Dixie
(Chat for Chapters 3 & 4)

PART II  The Chase
5. All Aboard
(Chat for Chapters 5 & 6)

7. The Crookedest Road Under the Sun
(Chat for Chapters 7,8 & 9)

9. A Trial of Speed

PART III  Consequences
11. Court-Martial

13. Heaven or Cincinnati

PART IV  Valor
15. The Medal of Honor
(Chat for Chapters 15, 16,  & Caboose)


2. Old Stars

4. An Uncompromising and Violent Union Man

6. "Someone is Running Off with Your Train!"

8. The Texas

10. "Every Man for Himself!"
(Chat for Chapters 10 & 11)

12. The Horrors of the Gibbet
(Chat for Chapters 12, 13,  & 14)

14. "A Damned Long Ways from Camp"

16. The General Rides Again