WILLIAM HUNTER CAMPBELL
EXECUTED IN ATLANTA
JAMES ANDREWS ON JUNE 7
WILLIAM HUNTER CAMPBELL on JUNE 18, 1863
GEORGE D. WILSON
ESCAPED OCT 16 EXCHANGED – MARCH 18, 1863
MARK WOOD JACOB PARROTT
J.A. WILSON WILLIAM PITTENGER
JOHN WOLLAM ROBERT BUFFUM
WILSON BROWN WILLIAM BENSINGER
WILLIAM KNIGHT ELIHU MASON
J.R. PORTER WILLIAM REDDICK
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE RAIDERS?
ALL 8 WHO ESCAPED CONTINUED ON IN THE CIVIL WAR AND RECEIVED LIEUTENANTS COMMISSIONS.
KNIGHT – SERVED AS PRIVATE SOLDIER TIL APRIL 1864. HE WAS A RAILROAD ENGINEER AND WORKED IN OHIO, WISCONSIN, AND MINNEAPOLIS.
BENSINGER – ACCEPTED CAPITANCY OF COLORED TROOPS. HE FOUND THEY MADE GOOD SOLDIERS. THEY LOST HALF THEIR NUMBER IN BATTLE OF NASHVILLE. HE MARRIED A SOURTHERN LADY. HE WAS MUSTERED OUT IN 1866. HE FARMED, WORKED IN MERCHANTILE AND AS A RAILROAD ENGINEER.
WOLLAM – STAYED IN THE ARMY. HE WAS RECAPTURED IN THE BATTLE OF CHICKAMAUGA AND RECOGNIZED AS AN ENGINE THIEF. HE WAS TAKEN TO ATLANTA AND FORCED TO WEAR A BALL AND CHAIN FOR 4 MONTHS. HE ESCAPED AGAIN AND TOOK 2 COMPANIONSS BACK TO THE UNION LINES AND FINISHED HIS PERIOD OF SERVICE.
BUFFUM – WAS A DRINKER. HE GOT IN TROUBLE AND ARRESTED IN KENTUCKY ON HIS WAY HOME AFTER BEING MUSTERED OUT. WILLIAM PITTENGER GOT EDWIN MCMASTER STANTON AND JUDGE HOLT TO PETITION A PARDON AND BUFFUM WAS RELEASED. HE CAME BACK TO OHIO AND SIGNED A TEMPERANCE PLEDGE. HE WAS IN MINERVA, OHIO WHEN SOMEONE SAID THAT LINCOLN SHOULD BE HANGED. HE WAS DRINKING AND SHOT THE MAN IN THE FACE. HE WAS ARRESTED AND JAILED IN CANTON. THE MAN RECOVERED AND LEFT THE STATE WITHOUT COMING TO THE TRIAL OF BUFFUM SO BUFFUM WAS RELEASED.
BUFFUM SHOT A MAN IN ORANGE COUNTY, NY. HE WENT TO SING, SING FOR 6 DAYS DURING WHICH THEY REALIZED HE WAS DERANGED. SENT HIM TO THE ASULUM FOR CRIMINALLY INSANE AND WITHIN 2 MONTHS HE SLIT HIS OWN THROAT AND DIED.
MARK WOOD DIED IN TOLEDO IN 1867 OF DISABILITIES DUE TO HIS PRISON HARDSHIPS.
FARMED A WHILE AFTER DISCHARGE BUT FINALLY SETTLED IN KEARNEY, NE AND BECAME A LAWYER BROWN WAS PROMOTED TO LIEUTENANT THEN CAPTAIN. HE WAS WOUNDED AND DISCHARGED WITH A PENSION. HE FARMED THE REST OF HIS LIFE.
PARROTT AND DORSEY BECAME LIEUTENANTS AND FOUGHT AT CHICKAMAUGA AND LOOKOUT MTN AND MISSIONARY RIDGE. DORSEY.
PARROTT COMMANDED A COMPANY, WAS VERY WELL LIKED AND COMMENDED FOR HIS GALLANT CONDUCT. HE WAS DISCHARGED IN 1865.
ELIHU MASON RECEIVED A CAPTAINS COMMISSION. HE RETURNED TO THE ARMY AND FOUGHT AT CHICKAMAUGA. HE WAS CAPTURED THERE AND WAS ESPECIALLY MISTREATED BECAUSE HE WAS RECOGNIZED AS AN ENGINE THIEF.
HAWKINS WAS A PRIVATE TIL THE END OF THE WAR. HE WAS WOUNDED IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD IN CHICKAMAUGA, GIVEN A COMMISSION INTO THE REGULAR ARMY IN 1866 BUT WAS PHYSICALLY UNABLE.
IN APRIL OF 1862, J.J. ANDREWS AND GEN. ORMSBY MITCHEL DEVELOPED A PLAN THAT THEY THOUGHT WOULD END THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES. ANDREWS WAS A SPY FOR THE NORTH THAT HAD FOR YEARS BEEN WORKING IN THE SOUTH. HE KNEW THE CONFEDERATE LEADERS, THE LAND, AND WAS WELL LIKED AND TRUSTED BY THE REBELS.
THE PLAN WAS TO GO DEEP INTO CONFEDERATE TERRITORY, STEAL A TRAIN AND USE IT TO DESTROY THE RAILROAD BETWEEN ATLANTA AND CHATTANOOGA.
MITCHEL WANTED TO TAKE CHATTANOOGA WITH HIS ARMY. ANDREWS AND A FEW FOLLOWERS WERE TO DESTROY THE RAILROAD BETWEEN ATLANTA AND CHATTANOOGA BECAUSE IT WAS THE MAIN WAY THAT THE CONFEDERATE ARMY GOT THEIR AMMUNITION, ARMS AND EVEN FOOD. TO DESTROY THE RAILROAD WOULD GREATLY HAMPER THE REBELS ABILITY TO FIGHT MAKING IT A SURE THING THAT MITCHEL COULD TAKE CHATTANOOGA WITHOUT MUCH EFFORT.
MITCHEL SENT ORDERS THROUGH MILITARY CHANNELS TO THE LEADERS OF THREE OHIO REGIMENTS OF SILL’S BRIGADE TO HAVE A MAN FROM EACH COMPANY SELECTED FOR SPECIAL AND HAZARDOUS SERVICE.
THERE WAS A NEED FOR ENGINEERS AND WILSON BROWN, JR PORTER AND WILLIAM KNIGHT WERE CHOSEN. WILLIAM PITTENGER, WHO WAS AWARE THIS SECRET MISSION WAS TRIED IN MARCH BUT FAILED, HAD VOLUNTEERED TO GO SHOULD IT BE TRIED AGAIN, SO HE WAS CHOSEN. SOME OTHER MEN WERE ROSS, REDDICK, AND BENSINGER. A TOTAL OF 22 MEN WERE CHOSEN.
THE FIRST NIGHT THE MEN MET JUST TO DISCUSS THE MISSION. THERE HAD BEEN SUCH SECRECY ABOUT IT THAT NO ONE BUT ANDREWS AND THE ENGINEERS KNEW WHAT THEY HAD REALLY BEEN SELECTED FOR.
THE 22 MEN WERE TOLD THEY WOULD DIVIDE INTO SMALL GROUPS AND MAKE THEIR WAY IN CITIZEN’S CLOTHES TO CHATTANOOGA. IF STOPPED ALONG THE WAY, THEY WERE TO TELL OTHERS THAT THEY WERE CITIZENS FROM KENTUCKY, FLEMING COUNTY, FLEMINGSBURG, WHO WERE DISGUSTED WITH THE IDEAS OF THE UNION AND WANTED TO JOIN THE REBEL ARMY.
ONCE IN CHATTANOOGA, THEY WOULD CATCH A TRAIN TO MARIETTA, GA, SPEND THE NIGHT THERE, AND LEAVE EARLY IN THE MORNING ON THE TRAIN HEADING NORTH. THEY WOULD TAKE CONTROL OF THE TRAIN, CONTINUE TO TRAVEL NORTH AND DESTROY THE RAILROAD AND RAIL BRIDGES BEHIND THEM ALONG THE WAY. THIS WOULD STOP THE SUPPLIES THAT WERE SHIPPED TO THE CONFEDERATE ARMY VIA THE RAILROAD FROM ATLANTA TO CHATTANOOGA.
THEIR TRIP TO CHATTANOOGA ON FOOT WAS DISASTEROUS. IT HAD RAINED HARD MOST OF THE WAY AND THEY WERE QUITE WET. THEY SLIPPED IN THE MUD, THEIR SHOES BECAME TOO HEAVY TO WALK AND THEY HAD MANY DAYS AND NIGHTS WITH LITTLE FOOD. THE CREEKS AND RIVERS WERE SWOLLEN AND DIFFICULT TO CROSS.
BUT THEY ALL FINALLY DID REACH CHATTANOOGA AND GOT ON THAT TRAIN FOR ATLANTA. HOWEVER, FOR SEVERAL REASONS BEYOND THEIR CONTROL, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE OF THE RAIN, THEIR MISSION WAS A DAY LATE. THE MISSION WOULD NOW BE ON SATURDAY INSTEAD OF FRIDAY AS ORIGINALLY PLANNED.
THE TRAIN FROM CHATTANOOGA TO ATLANTA WAS FULL OF REBEL SOLDIERS. THE ANDREWS RAIDERS HAD TO BLEND IN. THEY HAD TO LISTEN TO THE SOLDIERS BRAG ABOUT WHAT THEY HAD DONE IN THE WAR TO THE YANKEES BUT COULD NOT SHOW ANY REACTION AGAINST THEM.
THEY REACHED THEIR DESTINATION AND SPENT THE NIGHT IN A HOTEL IN MARIETTA. PORTER AND HAWKINS HAD ARRIVED IN MARIETTA THE NIGHT BEFORE AND WERE ALREADY ASLEEP WHEN THE REMAINDER OF THE RAIDERS ARRIVED THIS FRIDAY MIDNIGHT. ANDREWS MADE SURE THE RAIDERS HAD SOMEONE TO WAKE THEM EARLY FOR THE TRAIN. HE DID NOT SPEAK TO PORTER AND HAWKINS AND ASSUMED THEY HAD MADE THESE SAME ARRANGEMENTS. BUT THEY HAD NOT AND THEY SLEPT IN. THEY MISSED THE RAID THE NEXT DAY.
THE 19 RAIDERS WHO CAUGHT THE NORTH BOUND TRAIN ON SATURDAY MORNING HAD TICKETS FOR DIFFERENT STOPS ALONG THE WAY SO AS NOT TO CAUSE SUSPICION. HOWEVER, NOT ONE OF THEM HAD ANY INTENTION OF RIDING THIS TRAIN FURTHER THAN BIG SHANTY.
BIG SHANTY WAS THE STATION WHERE THEY PLANNED TO STEAL THE TRAIN. THE REASON BIG SHANTY WAS CHOSEN WAS BECAUSE ANDREWS KNEW THE TRAIN WOULD STOP FOR BREAKFAST THERE AND THAT THE STATION HAD NO TELEGRAPH OFFICE.
WHEN THEY ARRIVED AT BIG SHANTY, THEY WERE DISMAYED TO SEE THAT THE CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS ENCAMPED THERE AT CAMP
MC DONALD, HAD SWOLLEN FROM THE FEW HUNDRED THAT ANDREWS WAS AWARE OF, TO ABOUT 3-4000. INSPITE OF THIS, WHEN THE CONDUCTOR AND HIS PARTNERS AND PASSENGERS WENT INTO THE LACEY HOTEL FOR A BREAKFAST BREAK, BROWN, WILSON AND ANDREWS JUMPED INTO THE ENGINE. THE REMAINING RAIDERS, DISCONNECTED THE BAGGAGE CARS AND PASSENGER CARS, THEN HID IN A BOXCAR AND OFF THEY WENT FULL SPEED. THE TRAIN THEY HAD STOLEN WAS CALLED THE “GENERAL”. THEY HAD TAKEN THE ENGINE AND THREE EMPTY BOXCARS.
THE CONDUCTOR OF THE “GENERAL” WAS WILLIAM A. FULLER, A YOUNG MAN OF 26 YEARS BUT WITH 9 YEARS EXPERIENCE. ON THIS DAY HE HAD A PASSENGER, ANTHONY MURPHY, WHO WAS A RAILROAD EMPLOYEE ON HIS WAY TO A STATION NORTH OF BIG SHANTY TO REPAIR A DOWNED ENGINE. HE KNEW EVERY THING ABOUT THE RAILS BETWEEN ATLANTA AND CHATTANOOGA AND THE ENGINES THAT RAN ON THEM. THESE TWO MEN, ALONG WITH ENGINEER JEFF CAIN, WERE JUST ABOUT TO TAKE THEIR FIRST BITE OF BREAKFAST, WHEN THEY HEARD THE GENERAL LEAVE IN A HURRY. THEY JUMPED UP TO CHASE IT SHOUTING OUT THAT THE TRAIN HAD BEEN STOLEN.
THE SOLDIERS IN THE ENCAMPMENT HAD ONLY SEEN 4 MEN GET ON THE GENERAL BECAUSE MOST OF THE RAIDERS WERE HIDDEN IN A BOXCAR. WHEN FULLER WAS MADE AWARE OF THIS HE THOUGHT IT WAS SOME DESERTERS WHO PLANNED TO TAKE THE GENERAL ONLY TO A MOUNTAIN AREA, THEN ABANDON THE TRAIN AND RUN INTO THE MOUNTAINS. FOR THIS REASON, HE AND MURPHY CHASED THE TRAIN ON FOOT THINKING THEY WOULD GO A SHORT DISTANCE AND RECOVER THE TRAIN.
AFTER THEY RAN ABOUT TWO MILES THEY CAME UPON A PUSH CART OR POLE CART. BY THIS TIME THEY REALIZED THE TRAIN WAS BEING TAKEN A LITTLE FURTHER THAN THEY ORIGINALLY THOUGHT. THIS PUSH CART GAVE THEIR TIRED BODIES A NEEDED REST. IT WOULD GO QUICKLY ON THE FLAT AND DOWN HILL. BUT WHEN THEY NEEDED TO GO UP HILL, TWO OF THEM WOULD GET OFF AND PUSH AS HARD AS THEY COULD. LUCKILY, THE 14 MILES OF RAIL TO THE NEXT STATION WAS MOSTLY DOWNHILL.
ANDREWS WAS A SPY WHO HAD BEEN UP AND DOWN THESE TRACKS MANY TIMES PLANNING THIS RAID. HE KNEW EVERY INCH OF THE RAILS, WHERE THE STATIONS WERE AND WHAT TIME THE TRAINS WERE TO BE COMING SOUTH.
BECAUSE THERE WAS ONLY ONE SET OF TRACKS, EACH STATION HAD SIDE TRACKS OFF THE MAIN TRACK TO ALLOW TRAINS TO WAIT THEIR TURNS SO THAT THERE WERE NO HEAD ON COLLISIONS. ANDREWS KNEW THERE WAS ONLY ONE TRAIN TO BE COMING SOUTH, BUT THAT WAS ON FRIDAY. THE RAID HAD BEEN DELAYED ONE DAY AND THAT MADE A BIG DIFFERENCE.
THE RAIDERS MAIN CONCERN WAS THAT SOMEONE HAD GONE BY HORSEBACK FOM BIG SHANTY TO MARIETTA AND TELEGRAPHED TO ATLANTA THAT THE GENERAL HAD BEEN STOLEN. IF A TRAIN WAS SENT FROM ATLANTA TO STOP THEM, THEY KNEW IT WOULD BE 30 MILES BEHIND THEM SO THEY HAD LOTS OF TIME. HOWEVER, THEY DID SEVERAL THINGS TO ENSURE THAT A TRAIN FROM ATLANTA COULD NOT FOLLOW THEM TOO EASILY.
ALMOST EVERYTHING WENT WRONG FOR THE RAIDERS THIS DAY STARTING WITH THE FACT THAT ALTHOUGH FRIDAY WAS A DRY DAY WITH LOTS OF WIND, SATURDAY WAS A RAINY DAY.
FIRST, THEIR MISSION WAS TO BURN THE BRIDGES ALONG THIS RAILROAD SO THAT THE CONFEDERATES COULD NOT GET THEIR SUPPLIES TO CHATTANOOGA. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN AN EASY TASK ON A DRY WINDY FRIDAY BUT WAS NOT ON A RAINY SATURDAY. THEY COULDN’T GET ANYTHING TO BURN.
SECOND, THEY STOPPED AT AN IRON WORKS COMPANY TO GET A TOOL MADE ESPECIALLY FOR REMOVING PINS FROM THE RAIL BUT THERE WAS NONE AVAILABLE. THE BEST THEY COULD GET WAS A PRY BAR. AS THEY WENT UP THE TRACK, THEY STOPPED BETWEEN EACH STATION TO CUT THE TELEGRAPH LINES AND TO REMOVE A RAIL AND SOME TIES, SO THAT NO ONE COULD CHASE THEM. THEY TOOK THE RAILS WITH THEM SO THAT THEY COULD NOT EASILY BE REPLACED BY A PURSUER AND THE TIES TO BE USED LATER FOR FUEL.
BECAUSE THEIR PRY BAR WAS NOT IDEAL, IT TOOK A BIT MORE TIME THAN PLANNED TO REMOVE THE RAILS. MEANWHILE, FULLER AND HIS GROUP DID HIT THE FIRST REMOVED RAIL WITH THE PUSHCART AT FULL SPEED AND WERE THROWN OFF THE RAILROAD. THEY RECOVERED QUICKLY AND WERE SOON AT THE IRON WORKS WHERE THEY TOOK THE ENGINE YONAH. YONAH WAS A PRIVATE ENGINE FOR USE AT THE IRON WORKS ONLY. THE RAIDERS HAD SEEN YONAH EARLIER AND THOUGHT ABOUT BURNING IT BUT DECIDED IT BEST NOT TO STIR THINGS UP AT THAT POINT. THIS DECISION WAS A BIG MISTAKE AS THEIR PURSUERS USED THE TRAIN TO CHASE THEM.
THE YONAH WAS AN OLD ENGINE AND NOT NEARLY AS POWERFUL AS THE GENERAL. HOWEVER, IT GAVE FULLER MORE SPEED THAN ON FOOT OR WITH THE POLE CART.
AS THE RAIDERS REACHED EACH STATION, THEY ALL STAYED HIDDEN IN A BOX CAR EXCEPT THE TWO ENGINEERS AND ANDREWS. ANDREWS EXPLAINED TO EACH STATION MASTER THAT HE HAD COMMANDEERED FULLER’S TRAIN ON ORDERS FROM GENERAL BEAUREGARD FOR THE USE OF RUSHING POWDER TO THE REBELS IN CHATTANOOGA AS THAT TOWN WAS ABOUT TO BE INVADED BY THE YANKEES. EVERYONE BELIEVED HIM WITHOUT QUESTION AND HELPED HIM TO GET ON HIS WAY.
WHEN ANDREWS ARRIVED AT KINGSTON, HE KNEW HE WOULD HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE SOUTH BOUND TRAIN THAT WAS BETWEEN THIS PLACE AND THE STATION NORTH OF KINGSTON. HE WAITED PATIENTLY BUT WHEN IT ARRIVED AND HE HOPED TO TAKE OFF NORTH, HE SAW THAT THE TRAIN HAD A RED FLAG ON THE LAST CAR. THIS MEANT THAT ANOTHER TRAIN WAS HEADING SOUTH AND HE WOULD HAVE TO WAIT LONGER.
ANDREWS ASKED ABOUT THE NEXT TRAIN BECAUSE HE WAS ONLY EXPECTING ONE AND FOUND THAT SINCE CHATTANOOGA WAS EXPECTING A RAID FROM MITCHEL, THE REBELS HAD LOADED UP THIS EXTRA TRAIN TO BRING PROVISIONS SOUTH OUT OF THE YANKEES REACH. ALSO, BECAUSE MITCHEL HAD JUST TAKEN HUNTSVILLE, ANYTHING THE CONFEDERATES NEEDED TO SHIP WEST COULD NOT GO WEST FROM CHATTANOOGA THROUGH HUNTSVILLE, IT HAD TO BE SHIPPED SOUTH TO ATLANTA, THEN WEST.
SO ANDREWS WAITED LONGER FOR THE NEXT TRAIN BUT TO HIS DISMAY, IT ALSO HAD A RED FLAG ON THE LAST CAR. THEY WERE BRINGING SO MANY THINGS SOUTH THAT THEY HAD TO SPLIT THE CARS AND BRING THEM BY TWO ENGINES.
THE ANDREWS RAIDERS HAD TO WAIT FOR 3 TRAINS THAT DAY INSTEAD OF THE ONE THEY KNEW ABOUT. IF THEY HAD GONE ON FRIDAY, THEY WOULD HAVE ONLY MET THE ONE. THEY WERE HELD UP AT KINGSTON FOR OVER AN HOUR AND HAD JUST LEFT WHEN FULLER AND MURPHY PULLED IN WITH THE YONAH FOUR MINUTES LATER. THE RAIDERS, HOWEVER, STILL DID NOT KNOW THAT THEY WERE BEING FOLLOWED.
FULLER CAME TO AN AREA JUST ABOVE KINGSTON WHERE THE RAIDERS HAD REMOVED SEVERAL FEET OF RAIL SO HE AND HIS COMPANIONS HAD TO LEAVE THE YONAH AND START OUT ON FOOT AGAIN.
THEY DIDN’T GO FAR WHEN THEY HEARD THE WHISTLE OF THE TEXAS AND SAW SMOKE FROM THE STACK. FULLER STOOD IN THE CENTER OF THE TRACKS WITH HIS GUN IN THE AIR, GIVING A DANGER SIGNAL BY HAND, TO THE ENGINEER OF THE TEXAS WHO STOPPED HIS ENGINE. FULLER EXPLAINED THE SITUATION AND THEY STARTED OFF ONCE AGAIN IN PURSUIT OF THE GENERAL. THEY DID NOT HAVE TIME OR SPACE TO TURN THE TEXAS, SO THEY HEADED BACKWARDS UP THE TRACK. A TRAIN CAN GO JUST AS FAST AND AS EASILY BACKWARDS AS FORWARDS. FULLER STOOD IN THE CAB, DIRECTING THE ENGINEER AS HE WATCHED FOR MORE RAILS THAT HAD BEEN REMOVED. FULLER HAD LEARNED A LESSON WHEN HE HAD FALLEN FROM THE PUSHCART EARLIER.
FULLER DROPPED THE EXTRA CARS OF THE TEXAS OFF AT ADAIRSVILLE STATION WHERE THE CATOOSA JOINED UP WITH HIM IN PURSUIT OF THE GENERAL. FOR MANY REASONS, THE TEXAS WAS ABLE TO GET PAST THE DAMAGE THE RAIDERS HAD DONE TO THE TRACK. SOMETIMES THE RAIDERS COULDN’T GET THE RAIL CLEAR UP SO THEY BENT IT BUT SOMEHOW THE TEXAS HIT THE RAIL JUST RIGHT AND KEPT GOING. ONE TIME THE RAIDERS HAD REMOVED A SMALL PART OF RAIL ON THE INSIDE CURVE OF A TRACK AND THE TEXAS, GOING AS FAST AS IT DID AROUND THE CURVE, LEANED ON ITS WHEELS ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE TRACK AND PASSED THIS OBSTACLE EASILY.
THE RAIDERS WERE HAVING AN ESPECIALLY HARD TIME REMOVING A RAIL WHEN THEY HEARD THE WHISTLE OF THE TEXAS AND FOR THE FIRST TIME REALIZED THEY WERE BEING FOLLOWED. AFTER THIS THEY HAD TO BE MORE TIME CONSCIOUS AS THE TEXAS STAYED RIGHT BEHIND THEM.
IN DESPERATION TO PUT MORE DISTANCE BETWEEN THEM AND THE TEXAS, THEY DROPPED AN EMPTY BOX CAR ALONG THE TRACK BUT THE TEXAS WAS ABLE TO PICK IT UP RATHER THAN TO CRASH INTO IT LIKE THE RAIDERS HAD HOPED. THEY DROPPED A SECOND CAR IN A TRAIN TRESSLE AFTER THEY HAD STARTED A FIRE INSIDE IT WITH THE HOPES THAT IT WOULD CAUSE THE TRESSLE TO BURN. BUT WHEN THE TEXAS CAME ALONG, IT SLOWED DOWN, CAUGHT THE CAR AND PUSHED IT OUT OF THE TRESSLE INTO THE RAIN WHICH PUT OUT THE FIRE. LATER THEY BROKE OPEN THE BACK OF THE LAST BOXCAR AND DROPPED TIES ONTO THE TRACK BUT THE TIES JUST SEEMED TO ROLL END ON END AND DID NOT OFTEN LIE AS OBSTACLES.
THE RAIDERS WERE RUNNING LOW ON WOOD AND WATER FOR THEIR TENDER BUT WHEN THEY STOPPED TO REFUEL, THEY COULD NOT GET MUCH FOR THE TEXAS WAS COMING QUICKLY. THEY ALSO BLEW A VALVE, SO FINALLY, JUST ABOVE RINGGOLD, THEY KNEW THAT THEY COULD NOT COUNT ON THE GENERAL ANY LONGER. AT THIS TIME THEY PLANNED TO JUMP FROM THE TRAIN, AND ANDREWS RELINQUISHED HIS LEADERSHIP CALLING OUT “EACH MAN FOR HIS OWN.”
SHADRACH, SLAVENS AND CAMPBELL WERE THE FIRST TO JUMP AND STAYED NEAR THE TRAIN HIDING FROM DETECTION. THE MEN ON THE TEXAS HAD ARRIVED. FULLER HAD ALSO BEEN ABLE TO GET PART OF A TELEGRAPH THROUGH FROM THE LAST STATION TO GENERAL LEADBETTER WHO SENT DOWN TROUPS FROM CHATTANOOGA TO HELP. THERE WERE ALSO CIVILIANS WITH THEIR GUNS WHO HAD COME OUT FROM THE AREA TO HELP CATCH THE ENGINE THIEVES. THESE MEN BROUGHT THEIR BLOOD HOUNDS THAT WERE USED TO CATCH RUN AWAY SLAVES, SO CAMPBELL AND HIS TWO COMPANIONS WERE CAUGHT EASILY AND FIRST.
PITTENGER HAD JUMPED IN A DIRECTION DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS SO THAT HE WAS ALONE IN HIS ATTEMPT TO ESCAPE. IN A 48 HOUR PERIOD HE ESTIMATES THAT HE WALKED ABOUT 55 MILES, BUT TO HIS DISMAY HE WALKED IN CIRCLES, REACHING THE SAME POINT IN A ROAD 4 TIMES. THIS POINT WAS ONLY 3-4 MILES FROM CHATTANOOGA WHERE HE DID NOT WANT TO BE. THE LAST TIME HE LEFT THE POINT IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION, BUT IT WAS EAST AND HE WALKED RIGHT BACK TO THE REBELS WHO WERE LOOKING FOR THE ENGINE THIEVES.
JACOB PARROTT AND HIS COMPANION WERE CAUGHT BY A VIGILANTE GROUP WHO HAD ROPES AND WERE READY TO HANG THEM ON THE SPOT BUT WERE STOPPED BY SOME CONFEDERATE OFFICERS. EVERYONE WAS ANXIOUS TO KNOW WHO THE ENGINEER WAS BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT SOMEONE FROM THEIR VERY OWN RAILROAD COMPANY HAD TURNED ON THEM AND HELPED THE RAIDERS. PARROTT, WHO WAS ONLY 18, WAS STRIPPED, BENT OVER A LARGE ROCK, AND BEAT HUNDREDS OF TIMES WITH A WHIP ON HIS BARE BACK BUT WOULD NOT TELL THEM WHAT THEY WANTED TO KNOW.
OVER SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, ALL THE RAIDERS WERE CAUGHT INCLUDING THE TWO WHO HAD SLEPT IN. THE STORY THAT THEY HAD REHEARSED ABOUT BEING FROM FLEMINGSBURG, KY HAD FAILED THEM. THE CONFEDERATES KNEW ALL TOO SOON IF THEY PICKED UP A STRANGER WHO CLAIMED TO BE FROM FLEMINGSBURG WANTING TO JOIN THE REBEL ARMY, THEY HAD AN ENGINE THIEF.
THEY WERE TAKEN TO CHATTANOOGA. PITTENGER REMEMBERS MEETING WITH GENERAL LEADBETTER WHERE HE GAVE HIS TRUE NAME AND REGIMENT NUMBER THINKING THAT HE WAS SAFER TO PROVE THAT HE WAS A SOLDIER. HE WOULD BE PROTECTED UNDER SOME RULES OF WAR, WHEREAS, IF HE WAS TRIED AS A SPY, AS THEY WERE CALLING HIM, HE HAD NO PROTECTION.
LEADBETTER QUESTIONED HIM ABOUT WHO THE LEADER WAS. PITTENGER SMILED AND TOLD HIM HE WOULD NOT TELL HIM AND ASSURED HIM THAT HE WOULD NEVER CATCH THE LEADER. LEADBETTER KIND OF SMURKED AT HIM AND ORDERED HIM TAKEN TO “THE HOLE.” AS THE GUARDS TOOK PITTENGER FROM THE ROOM, HE SAW ANDREWS AND TWO OTHER RAIDERS WAITING IN THE HALL WITH HUGE SHACKLES AND CHAINS AROUND THEIR NECKS.
ALL THE RAIDERS WERE PLACED IN “THE HOLE” WHICH WAS SWAIM’S JAIL IN CHATTANOOGA. THIS WAS A JAIL FOR RUN AWAY SLAVES. IT HAD TWO FLOORS, THE LOWER FLOOR ONLY ACCESSIBLE THROUGH A TRAP DOOR. A LONG LADDER HAD TO BE DROPPED DOWN TO ENTER THE LOWER FLOOR. WHEN PITTENGER ENTERED, IT WAS DARK IN THE HOLE AND SO MANY PEOPLE WERE ALREADY THERE THAT HE STEPPED ON SOME OF THEM.
IT WAS STIFFLING HOT IN THERE AND THE STENCH WAS HORRIBLE FROM THE SWEAT OF THE PRISONERS AND THE SLOP BUCKETS USED FOR TOILETING. THERE WERE TWO WINDOWS BUT THEY LET IN NO LIGHT AND LITTLE AIR AS ONE WAS BELOW THE LEVEL OF THE GROUND AND THE OTHER WAS BELOW SOME STAIRS OUTSIDE.
WITHIN THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS, ALL THE RAIDERS WERE CONFINED TO THIS HOLE. THEY WERE SHACKLED TOGETHER, MOSTLY AROUND THEIR NECKS. THEIR HANDS WERE IN HANDCUFFS. THE HOLE WAS ONLY 13X13 AND AT ONE TIME THERE WERE 22 MEN IN IT. IT WAS DIFFICULT TO LIE AND SLEEP. SOME HAD TO STAND WHILE OTHERS LAYED.
AFTER THEY WERE THERE FOR A FEW WEEKS, ANDREWS WAS CALLED OUT AND TAKEN TO TRIAL. HE WAS FOUND GUILTY OF BEING A SPY AND WAS BROUGHT BACK TO THE HOLE.
OVER TIME, THE GUARDS CHANGED, AND SEEMED TO GET FRIENDLIER. THE RAIDERS WERE GETTING THEIR HOPES UP AND THOUGHT THAT THEY WERE BEING RECOGNIZED AS SOLDIERS AND WOULD BE EXCHANGED.
ONE DAY, GEORGE D. WILSON WAS ASKED TO PICK 12 RAIDERS TO GO TO KNOXVILLE FOR THEIR COURT MARTIAL. HE WAS TOLD THAT THEY WOULD BE DETERMINED AS PRISONERS OF WAR, THEN EXCHANGED AND ON THEIR WAY HOME SOON. HE CHOSE ALL THE MEN FROM HIS REGIMENT AND OTHERS THAT HE LIKED.
TWELVE OF THE RAIDERS WERE TAKEN TO KNOXVILLE. THEY WERE ABLE TO RETAIN 2 LAWYERS IN KNOXVILLE WHO HAD SYMPATHIES FOR THE NORTH. THE RAIDERS WANTED TO BE TRIED TOGETHER BUT THAT WAS REFUSED BY THE SOUTH. THEY WERE EACH TRIED ALONE, EACH TRIAL TAKING A DAY, AND EACH TRIAL EXACTLY THE SAME. THEY WERE FOUND GUILTY OF BEING A SPY.
SEVEN HAD BEEN TRIED WHEN CHATTANOOGA WAS AGAIN THREATENED BY THE UNION, SO ALL THE GENERALS ATTENDING THE COURT MARTIAL HAD TO GO TO CHATTANOOGA AND PREPARE FOR BATTLE. THE FOREMOST GENERAL WAS E. KIRBY SMITH. THE GENERALS HAD PLANNED TO SETTLE THINGS IN CHATTANOOGA AND COME BACK TO KNOXVILLE TO FINISH THE TRIALS. HOWEVER, KNOXVILLE BECAME THREATENED SO THAT THE RAIDERS WERE PUT ON A TRAIN AND TAKEN TO ATLANTA WITHOUT THE TRIALS OF THE REMAINING FIVE.
ON THE WAY TO ATLANTA, THEIR GUARD SEEMED FRIENDLY AND ENCOURAGED THEM BY SAYING THAT THEY HAD HEARD THEIR SPY VERDICT WOULD NOT STAND AND THAT IT WOULD BE REVERSED MAKING THEM PRISONERS OF WAR. THERE WAS NO WAY THEY WOULD BE EXECUTED AS WAS THEIR SENTENCE FOR SPYING. THEY WERE TO BE EXCHANGED. AND ALTHOUGH THE RAIDERS HAD EXCELLENT CHANCES TO ESCAPE ENROUTE TO ATLANTA, THEY DID NOT ATTEMPT, THINKING THEY WERE SAFE AND SOON TO BE SENT HOME.
MEANWHILE, WHILE THESE 12 WERE IN KNOXVILLE FOR THEIR COURT MARTIAL, ANDREWS HAD BEEN SERVED HIS DEATH WARRANT AT SWAIM’S JAIL. HE WAS TO BE HANGED ON JUNE 7, ONE WEEK AFTER READING IT. HE AND THE OTHERS PLANNED TO ESCAPE AND ONE NIGHT ANDREWS WAS THE FIRST TO CLIMB OUT A HOLE THEY HAD CUT IN THE JAIL BUT DISLODGED A BRICK ALERTING THE GUARDS. HE AND ONE OTHER ESCAPED. ANDREWS WAS CARRYING HIS SHOES IN ORDER TO BE QUIET BUT LOST THEM IN HIS RUN. HE WAS OUT FOR ABOUT 2 DAYS, THEN CAUGHT HIDING UP A TREE. HIS BACK WAS BLISTERED FROM THE HEAT AND HIS FEET BLEEDING AND TORN OPEN FROM RUNNING ON THE ROCKS IN THE MOUNTAIN AREAS.
A SCAFFOLD HAD BEEN BUILT FOR HIM IN CHATTANOOGA, BUT WHEN THIS VILLAGE WAS THREATENED BY THE YANKEES, THE REBELS REMOVED ANDREWS AND THE SCAFFOLD TO ATLANTA. WHEN THEY MARCHED HIM TO THE SCAFFOLD THEY MADE SURE HE HAD TO WALK BY THE GRAVE THAT WAS DUG FOR HIM. HE WAS TO BE BURIED WITHOUT A COFFIN.
THEY HUNG HIM WITH SOME NEW ROPE. HE STILL WORE THE HEAVY SHACKLES THAT HAD BEEN WELDED ON HIS ANKLES SINCE HIS LAST ESCAPE. THE WEIGHT OF HIS BODY AND THE SHACKLES, STRETCHED THE NEW ROPE SO THAT WHEN HE CAME OFF THE SCAFFOLD, HIS FEET HIT THE GROUND. THE REBELS DUG THE DIRT FROM UNDER HIS FEET ALLOWING HIM TO HANG THERE AND SLOWLY SUFFOCATE. ANDREWS WAS HANGED ON SCHEDULE, JUNE 7, 1862. HIS LAST WORDS TO HIS MEN WERE, “I’LL SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE OF JORDAN.”
ON JUNE 18, THE DOOR OPENED IN THE ATLANTA JAIL AND SOME REBEL OFFICERS WALKED INTO THE CELL ASKING FOR THE 7 MEN WHO HAD BEEN TRIED IN KNOXVILLE. THESE MEN RETURNED TO THE CELL SOON AFTER WITH PALE FACES. THEY HAD JUST BEEN TOLD THAT THEY WERE TO BE EXECUTED IMMEDIATELY.
IT WAS A SHOCK TO THEM BECAUSE ON THE WAY TO ATLANTA THEY WERE TOLD BY THEIR GUARDS THAT THEY WERE TO BE SPARED. THEY THEN REALIZED THAT CONFEDERATE OFFICERS HAD TOLD THEIR GUARDS THAT, SO THAT THEY WOULD TELL THE RAIDERS, MAKING THEM LESS DESPERATE, AND LESS LIKELY TO TRY TO ESCAPE ON THEIR WAY FROM KNOXVILLE TO ATLANTA. THEY HAD PASSED UP GOOD OPORTUNITIES TO ESCAPE.
THE 7 WERE ALLOWED ONLY MINUTES TO SAY GOOD-BYE TO THEIR COMPANIONS.
CAMPBELL SAID “BOYS, THIS IS DAMN HARD.”
GEORGE WILSON, A PROFESSED UNBELIEVER, WHO HAD ARGUED WITH PITTENGER FOR HOURS ABOUT GOD, SAID TO PITTENGER, “I BELIEVE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW. TRY TO BE BETTER PREPARED WHEN YOU DIE THAN I AM.
SHADRACH, A CARELESS, GENEROUS AND MERRY, SOMETIME PROFANE YOUNG MAN TURNED TO HIS COMRADES AND SAID, “BOYS, I AM NOT PREPARED TO MEET MY JESUS. WHEN ASKED TO THINK OF HEAVENLY MERCY, HE SAID HE’D TRY BUT KNEW HE WASN’T PREPARED.
SLAVENS TURNED TO HIS FRIEND BUFFUM AND COULD ONLY MUTTER “WIFE – CHILDREN- TELL THEM.”
JOHN SCOTT HAD BEEN MARRIED ONLY 3 DAYS BEFORE JOINING THE UNION ARMY AND WAS SILENT. HE COULD NOT SPEAK.
ROSS SEEMED TO BE AT PEACE. “TELL THEM AT HOME IF ANY OF YOU ESCAPE, THAT I DIED FOR MY COUNTRY AND DID NOT REGRET IT.”
SAMUEL ROBERTSON WAS SO SICK HE HAD TO BE PICKED UP OFF THE FLOOR AND CARRIED TO THE DEATH CART.
THE SEVEN MEN WERE BRAVE WHEN THEY WERE PLACED ON THE SCAFFOLD. IT WAS A BEAM THAT HAD BEEN PLACED BETWEEN TWO TREES AND HAD 7 ROPES ON IT. THERE WERE SOME SPECTATORS BUT NOT NEAR WHAT HAD COME TO SEE ANDREWS HANGED. THERE WAS ALSO A TRENCH DUG, LONG ENOUGH TO PUT THEIR BODIES SIDE BY SIDE IN DEATH.
WILSON ASKED TO SPEAK. HE TOLD THE LISTENERS THAT HE WAS CONDEMNED TO DEATH AS A SPY BUT HE WAS NOT. HE WAS SIMPLY A SOLDIER DOING HIS DUTY. HE DID NOT REGRET DYING FOR HIS COUNTRY,THAT WAS A SOLDIERS DUTY, BUT ONLY THE MANNER OF DEATH, WHICH WAS UNBECOMING OF A SOLDIER.
HE HAD NO HARD FEELINGS FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE SOUTH. THEY WERE GENEROUS AND BRAVE AND BELIEVED IN WHAT THEY WERE FIGHTING FOR. BUT THEY WERE TERRIBLY DECEIVED. THEIR LEADERS DID NOT ALLOW THEM THE FACTS AND WERE BRINGING BLOOD AND DESTRUCTION ON THEIR SOIL.
HE SAID THE PEOPLE IN THE NORTH LOVED THE NATION AS A WHOLE AND THEY LOVED THE FLAG. THEY FOUGHT TO UPHOLD THEM NOT TO INJURE THE SOUTH. WHEN VICTORY CAME, THE SOUTH WOULD REAP THE BENEFIT JUST LIKE THE NORTH.
THE GUILT OF WAR WOULD REST UPON THE PEOPLE WHO MISLED THE SOUTHERNERS AND CAUSED THEM TO ENGAGE IN A HOPELESS REBELLION. THEY WOULD REGRET THE PART THEY PLAYED IN THE REBELLION. THE OLD UNION WOULD BE RESTORED AND THE FLAG WOULD FLY OVER THE VERY GROUND NOW OCCUPIED BY HIS SCAFFOLD.
THEN THE PLATFORM DROPPED AND SEVEN BODIES HUNG. CAMPBELL AND SLAVENS WERE BIG MEN AND AFTER HANGING A SHORT TIME, THEY BROKE THE ROPE FALLING TO THE GROUND UNCONCIOUS. WHEN THEY WERE REVIVED THEY WERE GIVEN A GLASS OF WATER. THEY ASKED FOR AN HOUR TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT WITH GOD BUT WERE REFUSED THIS HOUR. THEY WERE HANGED A SECOND TIME TIL DEATH.
OF THE REMAINING RAIDERS SOME ESCAPED IN OCTOBER 1862 AND SOME WERE KEPT PRISONER UNTIL THE SPRING OF 1863. THERE ARE MANY STORIES TO BE TOLD ABOUT THEIR ESCAPES AND EXCHANGES BUT I WILL STOP HERE BECAUSE MY FOCUS IS ON CAMPBELL TODAY AND I AM GOING TO GET A LITTLE MORE PERSONAL HERE.
IN THE EARLY 1960S AN AUNT DID SOME GENEALOGY RESEARCH AND MADE LITTLE BOOKS FOR ALL OF US ABOUT WHAT SHE HAD FOUND. THIS WAS BEFORE COMPUTERS WERE WIDELY USED FOR THIS PURPOSE SO THAT RESEARCH HAD TO BE DONE BY BOOKS OR WORD OF MOUTH. ONE SECTION IN HER LITTLE BOOK WAS ABOUT WILLIAM CAMPBELL. THERE WAS NOTHING ABOUT ANY OTHER CAMPBELLS, EXCEPT A BRIEF MENTION OF MY GREAT, GREAT GRANDFATHER HARVEY AND LOTS OF CIVIL WAR RECORDS THAT SHE HAD FOUND ON HIM.
HER SECTION ABOUT WILLIAM INCLUDED A SHORT ARTICLE FROM A SOUTHERN MAGAZINE THAT HAD SUPPOSEDLY BEEN SENT TO HIS MOTHER “JANE” CAMPBELL. I KNEW IT WAS ABOUT THE FACT THAT GRANDFATHER HARVEY HAD A BROTHER WILLIAM WHO WAS HANGED DURING THE CIVIL WAR FOR STEALING A TRAIN FROM THE SOUTH. BUT I REALLY DIDN’T READ OR PAY MUCH ATTENTION TO THE ARTICLE.
SHE MENTIONED IN HER BOOK THAT WILLIAM AND HARVEY WERE THE SONS OF DANIEL AND JANE MORGAN CAMPBELL. JANE MORGAN, SHE SAID, WAS THE COUSIN OF JOHN HUNT MORGAN, THEREBY MAKING WILLIAM CAMPBELL A RELATIVE OF JOHN HUNT MORGAN. SHE WROTE WITH DISGUST THAT KESIAH MORGAN, SISTER OF JANE, HAD GIVEN A MEAL AND LODGING TO JOHN MORGAN AND HIS RAIDERS. KESIAH HAD EVEN CARED FOR INJURED RAIDERS AND GAVE JOHN MORGAN A NEW SET OF CLOTHES. HOW DARE KESIAH DO THIS WHEN THE REBELS HAD JUST HUNG HER NEPHEW.
THIS WAS PRETTY MUCH ALL I KNEW ABOUT MY FAMILY HISTORY. THEN A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, I WANTED TO DO SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR MY MOTHER. I KNEW SHE LOVED HISTORY AND SHE HAD OFTEN TOLD PEOPLE THAT HER UNCLE HAD BEEN HANGED DURING THE CIVIL WAR FOR STEALING A TRAIN BUT SHE DIDN’T SEEM TO KNOW MUCH MORE EITHER.
WE DID KNOW THEY WERE CALLED THE ANDREWS RAIDERS. SO WHEN I GOT A MESSAGE THAT THE CIVIL WAR MUSEUM IN KENNESAW, GA WAS HAVING A REUNION OF ALL DESCENDENTS OF THE ANDREWS RAIDERS, I TALKED TO OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS AND SEVERAL OF US DECIDED TO GO DOWN.
MY MOTHER, HUSBAND, AUNT AND UNCLE, SISTER AND SEVERAL COUSINS AND I WENT TO KENNESAW THAT WEEKEND IN SEPTEMBER WITH SUCH EXCITEMENT. WHEN WE GOT THERE THEY GAVE US NAME TAGS WITH A PICTURE OF OUR ANCESTOR WILLIAM CAMPBELL ON THEM. CAMPBELL WAS YOUNG WHEN HE DIED AND HAD NO DIRECT DESCENDENTS, ONLY US, HIS NEICES AND NEPHEWS, DIRECT DESCENDANTS OF HIS BROTHER HARVEY.
WE MILLED ABOUT WITH OTHERS, DESCENDANTS OF PITTENGER, BUFFUM, REDDICK, KNIGHT AND MORE. WE WERE WINED AND DINED, WE TOURED THE MUSEUM AS SPECIAL GUESTS, WE WERE TOLD ALL ABOUT THE RAID, SAW THE GENERAL, AND EVEN TOOK A BUS TOUR ALONG THE TRACKS TO RINGGOLD. OUR HEADS GREW BIG AND OUR CHESTS STOOD OUT WITH PRIDE. THE HISTORIANS AND MEMBERS OF THIS MUSEUM JUST LOVE THE STORY OF THE ANDREWS RAIDERS AND WE FELT VERY IMPORTANT TO BE RELATED TO BILL CAMPBELL.
WHILE ON THE BUS TOUR I BEGAN TO TALK TO ONE OF THE HISTORIANS FROM THE MUSEUM. I TOLD HIM THE STORY ABOUT CAMPBELL’S MOTHER BEING A MORGAN AND ABOUT HIS AUNT AND WHAT SHE HAD DONE. HE LOOKED AT ME LIKE HE WAS QUESTIONING THE INFORMATION I GAVE BUT I TOLD HIM I COULD PROVE IT, I COULD SEND HIM THE INFORMATION THAT MY AUNT HAD WRITTEN IN A FAMILY GENEALOGY BOOK. IT WAS THEN THAT HE QUIETLY SAID THAT BILL CAMPBELL WAS NOT A GOOD PERSON.
I IMMEDIATELY BECAME DEFENSIVE AND KIND OF ANGRY and asked him what he meant by that statement. But when he saw my response, he just brushed my question off and clammed up.
When we returned to Kennesaw museum after the bus tour, we all met for a dinner and a talk. I told my family what the historian had said about William Campbell while we were on the bus tour. They reacted like I did. How dare anyone say that about our hero, our family member who gave his life in such a daring way to save our government during the Civil War. SOMEONE THAT WE WERE SO PROUD TO BE A PART OF.
It was then that Colonel James G. Bogle, US Army, Retired, currently a historian specializing in the Andrews Raid came to our table and introduced himself. I was impressed as I had just bought a latest edition of “The Daring and Suffering” by Pittinger and noted that Col. Bogle had written a very nice introduction in the book.
I told him what the historian had said on the bus about Campbell and asked him what he had meant. Bogle told me that he would let me know about Campbell, that I would not be happy about it, but history is history and must be told in truth and facts.
I came home from the trip with a great interest in genealogy. I joined Ancestry.Com and went to the courthouses and libraries. I found that Daniel and Jane Morgan Campbell were not the parents of the Campbell boys. Infact, Daniel and Jane were only married a couple of years when she “left his bed unprovoked” and he would no longer be responsible for her debts. They had no children.
It was later that I found out how that story about John Hunt Morgan being related to William Campbell had started. Read HENRY Howe’s “History of Carroll County” and Dr. Shilling’S “Yellow Creek Stories” and you will find it written in both. It is a shame that people read these books as accurate accounts of history but this is an example that they may not be so true. BY THE WAY, BOTH THESE STORIES ARE ON THE INTERNET AND PRINTABLE.
I FOUND THAT William Hunter Campbell was born in Salineville, Columbiana County, Ohio on September 9, 1839. His parents were Samuel and Sarah Hunter Campbell. His grandfather, John Hunter, was a Captain in the War of 1812 and his great grandfather, George Hunter, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. William was middle named in honor of his mother’s family.
William had 4 brothers, John and Joseph were older and James and Harvey younger. Joseph died in 1855 at age 18 of an unknown cause, James died in 1863 of illness while serving in the civil war, and John and Harvey grew to old age. They were the only two sons to continue this Campbell line.
WILLIAMS MOTHER, SARAH HUNTER CAMPBELL DIED IN EARLY 1866. HIS FATHER SAMUEL REMARRIED AND DIED IN 1892. SARAH AND SONS JOSEPH AND JAMES ARE BURIED IN COLUMBIANA COUNTY, HARVEY IN JEFFERSON COUNTY AND WILLIAM IN CHATTANOOGA BUT I CANNOT FIND THE GRAVES OF WILLIAM’S FATHER SAMUEL OR HIS BROTHER JOHN.
WILLIAMS TWO BROTHERS, JAMES AND HARVEY WERE CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS. On June 20, 1861, THEY joined the Third Regiment Company K, O.V.I. that was organized at Camp Dennison, Ohio. THIS REGIMENT FOUGHT IN PERRYSVILLE, KY WHERE IT STOOD ITS GROUND IN BATTLE UNTIL MORE THAN A THIRD OF ITS MEN HAD FALLEN. In May 1863, the Third was captured in Rome, GA but a month or so later the soldiers were sent to Virginia and exchanged for confederate soldiers. TWO OF THE SOLDIERS EXCHANGED WERE WILLIAM’S BROTHERS.
About 2 weeks AFTER I HAD COME HOME, I received the letters and notes. They came from the collection of Wilbur Kurtz born 1882 and died 1967. Kurtz was an artist and historian who came from Indiana to Georgia in 1903 to interview and learn all he could about the raid from the southerners who participated. He later married the daughter of William Fuller, the conductor of the General, then spent his life researching THE Andrews raid and those that participated.
His vast collection is in the Atlanta History Center. Colonel Bogle met Kurtz in 1954 and they were good friends until Kurtz died. Kurtz shared his information with Bogle, and after the death of Kurtz, Bogle took up the history and research of the Andrews Raiders.
The letters were written by William Kerr, childhood friend of the Campbell boys and later a commissioner of Jefferson County, Ohio, Mary Ann Campbell, sister-in- law of William Campbell and my second great grandmother, and Joseph Shane of Steubenville, Ohio. They are dated 1903-1905. There are also lots of notes written in research by Wilbur Kurtz.
THIS IS WHAT I LEARNED.
William Kerr and the Campbell boys were playmates in Salineville. Kerr remembers the parents of William Campbell and says that they were fine, upstanding people, members and pillars of the Presbyterian Church. But despite the careful rearing, all the boys were on the wild side.
Kerr says that he and the Campbell boys attended singings, spellings and sometimes even church together. The father of the Campbell boys, Samuel, was a fine man, fair, truthful, honest in all his dealings and obliging almost to a fault. Yet he was very ir-religious in his beliefs and it was always thought that it was from the father that every one of the boys inherited this ir-religious disposition and belief.
Their mother, Sarah, was the very best woman who ever lived in this area. She was a strict member of the Presbyterian Church called the Seceder church in 1855. She tried her best to persuade her boys to unite with her in her faith and church that she loved so well.
The boys loved their mother immensely. They could not help it because she loved them with more than a mother’s usual love and tenderness.
It was only laughingly that they disobeyd her. It was only slyly that they refused to join her faith. Their father’s teachings seemed to fit so well their roving natures, WHICH THEY HAD inherited from him. The boys wandered more and more from their mother’s training until every one of them was know as a law- breaker. It was not infrequent to hear of William and John standing trial for assault and battery or for shooting, just for the fun of it, the neighbor’s dog.
Kerr says that one day he and his mother ran into William on a Friday before a communion day at the Seceder’s church. This was a fast day, in religion meaning that you cannot eat that day, and their mother observed it strictly. It was plain that William and his younger brother were guilty of something or hiding from someone. Kerr’s MOTHER ASKED IF ANYTHING WAS WRONG AND WILLIAM ANSWERED, “I’LL BE DAMNED IF I AM going to keep Friday for Sunday.”
Kerr says that William Campbell was an unusually stout and hearty boy and young man. He had never heard of him being sick an hour in his life. He was certainly one of the finest looking boys and young men that Kerr ever saw. Campbell was naturally strong and healthy, he was full of life and vigor.
He worked very little, yet was always moving around, getting plenty of exercise. HE DEVELOPED his muscles more than his brains. He might have been a scholar for he was naturally bright, quick and even talented. But school was too irksome for him and he soon had as little use for the school master as for the preacher. William and his brothers had little to do, grew up in idleness and pleasure, always having a good time.
The father, Samuel, moved from place to place sometimes renting a farm, but usually working as a farm hand and sometimes on public works, for the Cleveland and Pittsburgh railroad. It was built about these times and Samuel worked on this railroad before and after its completion.
In about 1858, William Campbell made a few trips on a canal boat from Pittsburgh to New Orleans. This gave him a taste for the river life. Canal boatmen in those days were noted for their adventures. AND Campbell’s great strength and weight gave him a reputation among this sporting element. He was CALLED A GIANT BECAUSE HE WEIGHED AT LEAST 250 POUNDS.
CAMPBELL WAS EVER primed for a fight, SO it is natural that he would gravitate to BARGING on the Ohio River. The tradition of river bargemen on the Ohio and Mississippi, was one of perpetual terrorizing and combat. These lively gentlemen thought nothing of taking a river town apart, or in a raid on a rival craft, of throwing their antagonists overboard.
Campbell was not quarrelsome, yet he would keep things straight. He would stand up for his friends and if he thought they had been mistreated in any way, he would hunt up the aggressor and punish him if possible. And he was usually able to attend faithfully to that duty.
Campbell had left the old home IN OHIO for good two or three years before the breaking out of the great Civil War. During those years he was in the south and it was well known that his sympathies were entirely and altogether with the secession movement from first to last. There in no doubt of that matter. This was not in accord with his training nor his friends. Most of his friends were in the Union Army. His family were Republicans, many of them old line Abolitionists.
For several months, Campbell had been keeping a house of ill fame in Louisville. Kerr talked to many of the Company K, 2nd O.V.I. and Company G soldiers of the same regiment. Company K was commanded by Captain David Mitchell and the boys were raised in the neighborhood with Campbell, many of them knew him all their lives. The 2nd Ohio had been in Louisville and Campbell met with the boys and a number of them visited Campbell’s house at his request. They were so “well treated” to use their own words, that they had a warm spot in their hearts for Campbell, and he knew that he could depend on many of Company K in an emergency.
He had been in Louisville, KY for at least a year before he JOINED Andrews. Kerr says Campbell didn’t go on the raid due to his loyalty. THERE WERE No motives of patriotism such as the reasons Wilson, Knight, Pittenger and Parrott went.
Campbell went partly from a love of adventure and daring, partly from a desire of notoriety, and PARTLY FROM a hope of reward or gain in case of success. He simply wanted the adventure with the violent and exciting trimmings.
But most of all, CAMPBELL ASKED TO BECOME A MEMBER OF A PARTY WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO BE WILLING TO SACRIFICE EVERYTHING IF NEEDED TO GIVE THE ENEMY A CRUSHING BLOW, BECAUSE OF FEARS AND TROUBLES. YOU SEE, WILLIAM HUNTER CAMPBELL was a fugitive from justice. HE HAD stabbed and killed A MAN in Louisville and would have been hanged if caught.
Campbell got into a fight at his “house” and cut a man so severely that he died. Because the cutting was uncalled for and unprovoked, Campbell was likely to be severely dealt with. He escaped, went south and managed to join up as a “camp follower” with Sill’s Brigade, Mitchel’s division of Buell’s army.
He sought refuge with the 2nd Ohio but he would not enlist with them. He proposed to go with them awhile, promising to help in every work and if needed face the enemy in battle or danger.
The boys of the Second said that he performed his part faithfully and well and most of them felt they had a recruit that could be depended on every time. He stayed with them most of the time until the raiders were ready to go on their mission. CAMPBELL never had a serious thought of his impending fate, even up to an hour before his execution.
Kerr thinks that the fact that William Campbell was a sturdy lad, heavy and well muscled, is the only reason he was chosen for the raid. Campbell was a formidable antagonist in a tussle. It was the opinion of Kurtz that if Campbell had been a puny lad of 120 pounds, he would not have been permitted to go along with Andrews, but that the 250 pounds “outweighed” his civilian status.
Kerr had an uncle in the Co K, 2nd O.V.I., who made every arrangement to go with Andrews. He was fitted in every way to be a member of the party. But he had known Campbell since he was a child. He distrusted Campbell so much that he decided he wanted no part in an adventure that was hazardous enough without the added problem of William Campbell. He made many efforts to keep Campbell out of the Andrews raiders. When he was unable to do this, fearing that in an emergency Campbell might desert them or perhaps to save himself might betray all others, Criss refused to go. For those who knew Campbell well, they say that JONATHAN Criss’s description of Campbell was a fair one.
Kerr himself declares that he believes that if Campbell found opportunity to do so, he would have turned traitor and sold the lot of them down the river if it would have saved his own neck.
Wilbur Kurtz told William Kerr that Campbell had lots of chances to double cross the entire bunch of raiders by turning “states evidence” when they were court-martialed but did not. He went to his death along with the other six, even without pleading his civilian status which might have been considered and saved his life. His partner raiders all said during their trial in KNOXVILLE that Campbell was a member of the 2nd Ohio Regiment but he wasn’t. Campbell went along with their testimony and did not attempt to save his life by pleading that he was a civilian not a union soldier.
KERR SAYS HE TALKED TO THE MAN WHO TOLD SAMUEL’S MOTHER SARAH ABOUT THE HANGING AND SHE SAID “I ALWAYS KNEW HE WOULD GO THIS WAY, I’M GLAD IT WAS FOR HIS COUNTRY.” BUT KERR SAYS, SARAH NEVER GOT OVER WILLIAM’S DEATH AND DIED FROM A BROKEN HEART.
KERR SAYS HE HATES TO REPORT THESE THINGS ON CAMPBELL, TO TARNISH HIS NAME AND MEMORY BECAUSE HE RATHER LIKED HIM. AS SAD AS IT IS, WHAT HE SAID WAS TRUE.
Kerr says of Shadrach that he scarcely knew him. But that he was a rather good hearted young man, not very intelligent, and really vulgar and very profane. He was thoughtless and reckless and in every way unfitted for the work before him in the Andrews raid. That is also the opinion of Shadrach’s comrades in the raid that Kerr had talked to.
Kerr says that Shadrach and Campbell were not friends until they met in Louisville and Shadrach visited Campbell’s house. They were then inseparable friends because their minds ran in the same channels and their ambitions, desires and fondest anticipations were one and the same.
Kerr laughs at William Pittinger for the nice things he said about Campbell in his book “the Daring and Suffering.” He says that Pittinger handled Campbell in a “soft way” when Pittinger knew better what Campbell was like. But if Pittenger would have told the truth about Campbell, it wouldn’t have set very well.
ALL THE RAIDERS RECEIVED THE CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR EXCEPT CAMPBELL AND ANDREWS. Kurtz feels that Campbell could have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor after his death. Shadrach did not receive his until August 1904. Civilians were given this medal early in the history of the award, but there was a change in policy in 1917 that revoked all the awards to civilians.
FOR EXAMPLE, Kurtz notes that Dr. Mary Walker was in the service with Sherman’s Army in Georgia in April and May of 1864 as a surgeon. She was the lady who dressed as a man and in 1861 got permission from congress to do so. She was captured at Dalton, Georgia and sent to prison from there. In January of 1866, she was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and when they were revoked and recalled in 1917, she went to Washington to find out why she should give hers up when she had had it for 51 years. While she was in Washington, she slipped on the steps of the capitol and died of her injuries.
I watched the Disney movie about the Andrews raid. AT FIRST IT WAS VERY INSULTING ABOUT MY UNCLE, SHOWING HIM TO BE AN IDIOT ALMOST. BUT LATER IN THE MOVIE, IT MADE HIM a hero.
When there was an escape of some of the raiders from a prison, THE MOVIE SAID Campbell had MADE IT over the wall BUT SEEING THAT OTHERS WERE STILL INSIDE, Went back to help THEM, ALMOST lifting them over the wall. He was caught because he had gone back when he could have escaped.
I got excited and decided to contact the president, the military or someone and demand that he be given a congressional medal of honor like the others due to this heroic deed. But I reread Pittinger’s book, and looked through as many articles as I could find about it and there is nothing written in history to indicate that Campbell sacrificed himself to help free his partners. I decided that part of the movie must have been Disney’s attempt to dramatize and make the movie more interesting, therefore did not think the medal would be awarded on Disney drama.
Eight Raiders were hanged and buried in Atlanta during June of 1862. These included my third great uncle William Campbell and the leader of the Raiders James Andrews. The remainder of the Raiders either escaped or were exchanged later for the release of confederate soldiers.
In 1866, after the war, the 8 who were hanged, were removed from their graves in Atlanta and buried in a semi circle at the Chattanooga National Cemetery. A large granite monument was erected in 1891 that lists the names of the 22 raiders. This monument is topped by a bronze likeness of the “General.” The “General” ITSELF, is now housed in the Kennesaw Civil War Museum in Kennesaw, Georgia.
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