KENNESAW, Ga. – The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History is gearing up to celebrate the sesquicentennial of the Great Locomotive Chase, one of the Civil War’s most thrilling episodes.
At 6 a.m. on April 12, 1862, in what is present day Kennesaw, union spies under the leadership of James J. Andrews stole The General, a Confederate locomotive. The episode – also called the Andrews Raid – is memorialized in film, books and at The Southern Museum, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate that is home to The General.
On April 12, 2012, the city and the museum will hold a series of events and ceremonies to commemorate the event. In addition, the museum will be open from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. on April 12 free of charge to the public.
The day will begin with a 6 a.m. breakfast at the Trackside Grill in downtown Kennesaw; tickets are $20. At 8:30 a.m., a 150th anniversary proclamation will be presented at the historic Kennesaw depot; there is no charge to attend.
At 6:30 p.m., the museum will hold the Great Locomotive Chase dinner at the Trackside Grill; tickets are $100. At 8:30 p.m., the museum will be hosting “Dessert at the Southern Museum” featuring musician Bobby Horton, who will be performing Civil War era songs; tickets are $25 for those who do not attend the dinner.
Following the sesquicentennial, on April 14-15, the museum will be hosting “Camp McDonald: A Living History Weekend.” As part of the living history weekend, local re-enactment groups will recreate and interpret life in Camp McDonald, a Confederate encampment that was located across the tracks from the museum (where Kennesaw City Hall is presently located) during the Civil War.
This event – to be held on the lawn across the street from the museum – will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 4-12, while children 3 years old and younger are free. Tickets also allow entry into the museum, which will operate normal hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 14 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 15.
In addition to the sesquicentennial events, visitors can explore the museum’s permanent exhibits to learn about the Glover Machine Works, a locomotive factory in nearby Marietta that helped rebuild the South after the war. The museum includes a full-scale replica of a Glover Machine Works factory line.
Museum admission is normally $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for seniors, $5.50 for children ages 4-12 and free for children three and under. The museum is located at 2829 Cherokee Street in downtown Kennesaw.
For more information about the Great Locomotive Chase anniversary celebrations, visit southernmuseum.org/sesquicentennial/. For more information, call (770) 427-2117, visit southernmuseum.org or follow the museum at facebook.com/southernmuseum.