Extended Audio Sample

Download Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor Audiobook, by Russell S. Bonds Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (148 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Russell S. Bonds Narrator: Bronson Pinchot Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2011 ISBN: 9781470802004
Regular Price: $24.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $13.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

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 Georgia and stole a steam engine called the General. Racing northward at speeds near 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 raiders were hunted down and captured. Eight were tried and executed as spies, including Andrews. Eight others made a daring escape, 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. Americans north and south, both at the time and ever since, have been astounded and fascinated by this daring raid. But until now, there has not been a complete history of the entire episode and the fates of all those involved.

Based on eyewitness accounts, as well as correspondence, diaries, military records, newspaper reports, deposition testimony, and other primary sources, Stealing the General is a blend of meticulous research and compelling narrative that is destined to become the definitive history of “the boldest adventure of the war.”

Download and start listening now!

BK_BLAK_004307

Quotes & Awards

  • “The Great Locomotive Chase has been the stuff of legend and the darling of Hollywood. Now we have a solid history of the Andrews Raid.”

    James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author and Civil War historian

  • “Magnificent and definitive…Mr. Bonds’ compelling narrative and convincing analysis give the episode its due at last.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Bonds’ account, the first major study in decades, is thoroughly worthy of an expedition that, a Union officer wrote, ‘had the wildness of a romance.’”

    New Yorker

  • “He sets up the story with a quick, punchy outline of the first year of the war…What follows is a fast-paced, extremely well-told tale of espionage, capture, trial, and escape.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A solid read that is also magnificent storytelling.”

    Civil War Bookshelf

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wayne Lahr | 1/16/2014

    " A Very Interesting inside look at a single facet of the American Civil War. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Plb2010 | 1/12/2014

    " Fun read. True story from the Civil War days from an area we are familiar with. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe | 1/8/2014

    " Well researched and interesting story of an obscure event from the American Civil War. The author does a fair job of developing, or introducing, the characters in the book, but overall didn't do a very good job of making what could be an extremely exciting story all that exciting to read. To be fair however, he did avoid becoming sensational or skewing the story to be biased toward one side or the other. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ian Britton | 1/2/2014

    " I did enjoy The Great Locomotive Chase part of the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lewis | 12/16/2013

    " Only a yankee general would come up with a plan like this. Steal a locomotive and head north torching bridges along the way....thus cutting off the rebel army from supplies and reinforcements. Crazy plan and crazy outcomes..totally enjoyable book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric | 11/17/2013

    " A very interesting micro-history about a piece of the civil war I had not known about before. I am not old enough to remember the Disney movie "The Great Locomotive Chase" which was very loosely based on this story. Parts were a bit slow, but overall this was well worth the time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vaughn | 10/28/2013

    " Audio version - an interesting telling of a Civil War event about which I knew nothing. It is difficult to fathom a war between people's so similar in temperament and attitude. I appreciated learning something of the creation of the Medal of Honor (also known as the Congressional Medal of Honor). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Harvey | 9/5/2013

    " Another book devoted to a reasonably minor action in the Civil War, which nonetheless has inspired several Movies dating back to the Silent Era. I liked it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fabiana | 8/18/2013

    " Even with excess of detail and tangential stories, I found this book fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 7/26/2013

    " Full disclosure, I know the author: we practiced together in the same law firm until he left for Coca Cola a few years ago. But I really did enjoy this book and think he is masterful in capturing the historical narrative style. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine | 3/29/2013

    " Great storytelling, and good insight into the role of the railroads in the American Civil War. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JD Carruthers | 12/23/2012

    " This is an excellent book which I would highly recommend to anyone interested in Civil War history or simply looking for an action adventure tale. I was particularly impressed by the author's sense of balance and objectivity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy Andrews | 1/6/2012

    " Interesting account of a train, its impact on the Civil War and the people associated with the Great Train Race. At times a little too bogged down with historical facts, but a well woven book chronicling this heroic event. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jlsegars | 4/27/2011

    " Excellant narrative of an event which took place right here in Georgia. Disney made a movie in the mid '50s called "The Great Locomotive Chase" which was somewhat flawed historically, but entertaining. Also most of it was filmed on the Tallulah Falls Railroad in North Georgia. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonathan | 3/6/2011

    " Perhaps the first true account of this episode. After reading the book, you realize how bad the movies about it are, and how good one could be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine | 4/26/2010

    " Great storytelling, and good insight into the role of the railroads in the American Civil War. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jd | 4/25/2010

    " This is an excellent book which I would highly recommend to anyone interested in Civil War history or simply looking for an action adventure tale. I was particularly impressed by the author's sense of balance and objectivity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 laura | 12/5/2009

    " Only a yankee general would come up with a plan like this. Steal a locomotive and head north torching bridges along the way....thus cutting off the rebel army from supplies and reinforcements. Crazy plan and crazy outcomes..totally enjoyable book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Plb2010 | 10/5/2009

    " Fun read. True story from the Civil War days from an area we are familiar with. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Harvey | 6/25/2009

    " Another book devoted to a reasonably minor action in the Civil War, which nonetheless has inspired several Movies dating back to the Silent Era. I liked it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonathan | 10/5/2008

    " Perhaps the first true account of this episode. After reading the book, you realize how bad the movies about it are, and how good one could be. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 6/16/2008

    " Full disclosure, I know the author: we practiced together in the same law firm until he left for Coca Cola a few years ago. But I really did enjoy this book and think he is masterful in capturing the historical narrative style. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

Russell S. Bonds is an in-house lawyer at the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta. He grew up in Marietta, Georgia, just a few blocks from where James Andrews and his men first boarded the General in 1862. He has been executive articles editor of the Georgia Law Review and has published several articles and reviews on Civil War topics in national publications.

About the Narrator

Bronson Pinchot has won eleven Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration and was named Audible’s Narrator of the Year for 2010. He received his education at Yale University, which filled out what he had already received at his mother’s knee in the all-important areas of Shakespeare, Greek art and architecture, and the Italian Renaissance. He restores Greek Revival buildings and appears in television, film, and on stage whenever the pilasters and entablatures overwhelm him.