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Kennesaw museum to celebrate Great Locomotive Chase’s 150th in April

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

The General, one of the largest artifacts of the Civil War and a prized piece in the collection of Kennesaw’s Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History, will be the centerpiece of an April celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Great Locomotive Chase.

The Southern Museum, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate, has announced a day full of events on the sesquicentennial of the chase, April 12,  in which Union spies crept behind enemy lines in Big Shanty (present day Kennesaw) with a plan to commandeer the General. Andrews’ Raiders intended to force an end to the war by cutting off the Confederate strategic railroad supply line between Atlanta and Chattanooga, tearing up track, destroying bridges and cutting telegraph wires along their way.

Highlights of the April 12 celebration:

  • After a 6 a.m. breakfast at the Trackside Grill in downtown Kennesaw ($20), a 150th anniversary proclamation will be presented at the historic Kennesaw depot at 8:30 a.m. (free). The museum, 2829 Cherokee St., will offer free admission from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • At 6:30 p.m., the Great Locomotive Chase dinner will be held at the Trackside Grill ($100).
  • At 8 p.m., the museum will host “Dessert at the Southern Museum” featuring Bobby Horton performing Civil War era songs ($25 for those who do not attend the dinner).

The observance continues 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 14-15 with “Camp McDonald: A Living History Weekend,” featuring local re-enactment groups interpreting life in the Confederate encampment that was sited across the tracks from the museum. $5, $2 ages 4-12 (includes museum admission).

Information: 770-427-2117, www.southernmuseum.org/sesquicentennial.

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