Historical Marker #173 commemorates a Civil War raid led by James J. Andrews.
Andrews, a civilian resident of Flemingsburg, proposed and organized a raid to seize a Confederate locomotive and destroy supply and communication lines between Atlanta and Chattanooga. This attack was intended to coincide with a Union advance against Chattanooga and make it difficult for the Confederates to respond in a timely manner.
Initially successful, the raid seized "The General" at Big Shanty, Georgia, and steamed north, destroying track and telegraph lines as they went. However, the Union raiders were chased, first on foot and later on a series of trains, and the Confederates eventually caught up with the raiders just north of Ringgold, Georgia. The raiders scattered, but were soon caught. Andrews and seven others were hanged.
The exploits of Andrews, his men, and their pursuers inspired book The Great Locomotive Chase and the 1926 Buster Keaton silent film, The General, along with numerous other retellings in popular culture.
Historical Marker #173 was originally dedicated on August 8, 1962. Approximately 2,000 people attended the festivities, which included a visit from "The General" locomotive, courtesy of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, and a mock Civil War skirmish put on by soldiers from Fort Knox.
The marker reads:
James J. Andrews
Andrews lived here 1859-62. In 1862 he led 22 Union soldiers into Georgia to cut the railway between Marietta and Chattanooga. Their capture of the locomotive "The General" and their pursuit by Confederates was a dramatic incident of the Civil War.