Local author, William Pittenger wrote The Daring and Suffering. This book was first printed in 1863, New Somerset, Jefferson County, Ohio and reprinted in 1982 and is now registered in the Library of Congress. A leather bound copy of this book can be found at the Schiappa Library.

This book is a history of The Great Railroad Adventure, written by Lieut. William Pittenger.  It is a work of narrative facts and gives a clear and connected record of what is regarded as the most remarkable episode in the history of the Great Rebellion. “The Expedition, in its daring conception, had the wildness of romance; while in the gigantic and overwhelming results it sought and was likely to accomplish, it was absolutely sublime.” Official Report of Hon. Judge Holt to the Secretary of War.  “It was all the deepest laid scheme, and on the grandest scale, that ever emanated from the brains of any number of Yankees combined.” Atlanta Southern Confederacy: of April 15th, 1862.

Those listed in the book under -

EXECUTED

J. J. Andrews, Leade
William Campbell
George D. Wilson
Marion A. Ross
Perry G. Shadrack
Samuel Slavens
Samuel Robinson
John Scottn, Co. K
Citizen of Kentucky
Citizen of Kentucky
Co. B  Second Reg’t  OV
Co. A  Second Reg’t OV
Co. K Second Reg’t OV
Thirty-third Reg’t
Co. G Thirty-third Reg’t
Twenty-first Reg’t

ESCAPED IN OCTOBER

W.W. Brown, Co. F 
William Knight, Co. E
J.R. Porter, Co. C  
Mark Wood, Co. C 
J.A. Wilson, Co. C
M.J. Hawkins, Co. A
John Willam, Co. C
D.A. Dorsey, Co. H
Twenty-first Reg’t
Twenty-first Reg’t
Twenty-first Reg’t
Twenty-first Reg’t
Twenty-first Reg’t
Twenty-first Reg’t
Twenty-first Reg’t
Twenty-first Reg’t

EXCHANGED IN MARCH

Jacob Parrott, Co. K
Robert Buffum, Co. H
William Benninger, Co. G
William Reddick
E.H. Mason
William Pittenger
Thirty-third Reg’t
Twenty-first  Reg’t
Twenty-first Reg’t
Co. B Twenty-third Reg’t
Co. K Twenty-first Reg’t
Co. G Second Reg’t OV

{Rev. Alexander Clark writes the following introduction from, The Daring and Suffering.} William Pittenger, the oldest of a numerous family, was born in Jefferson County, Ohio January 31st, 1840. His father, Thomas Pittenger, was a farmer, and trained his children in the solid experiences of manual labor. His mother was a Mills of eastern Ohio pioneers in social and moral progress. William learned to love his country about as early as he learned to love his mother.  He enjoyed history and astronomy and became an accurate historian and practical astronomer. He manufactured a reflecting telescope, which his friends came from near and far to see and gaze through at the wonderful worlds un-thought-of before.  His family was farmers and this was not sufficient to keep his attention. He studied at home and for a profession became a teacher.

William enlisted as a private in the Second Ohio Regiment of volunteers. He fought bravely on the disastrous 21st of July, in the battle of Bull Run, while many of his comrades fell bleeding by his side. After three months, he re-enlisted immediately, when his country called for a longer service and went on his way to the seat of the war in the Southeast. The Ohio Second was under the command of Colonel Harris through the campaign in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. He then was transferred to the Division commanded by General Mitchell. From that point he pressed forward through Elizabethtown, Bowling Green, Nashville, and Murfreesboro and into Tennessee at Shelbyville.

Rumors about Jefferson County at the fires and home-circles were that William was dead or missing. The whole community waited for him to send letters to the Steubenville Herald, being the army correspondent, but there was no word from him. His family was in agony of suspense for the silent, absent of their son and brother.  Where was William and what happened to him?

The Great Locomotive Chase, as it came to be known, was an early Civil War escapade that immediately caught the popular fancy – and held it.  The chase began in April of 1862, and was a simple but daring act attempt of espionage. Twenty-two soldiers, disguised as civilians, made their way through Southern lines to Marietta, Georgia. Their mission was to seize a train on the vital Western & Atlantic Railroad, linking Atlanta with Chattanooga, and then to race north, destroying bridges and other railroad equipment on the way. At first all went well. The Federals stole a train while the crew and passengers were off having breakfast. The conductor, William A. Fuller, took the theft as a personal affront. He gave chase on foot, he commandeered another locomotive, the Texas, and the chase was on.  William Pittenger was one of those who languished in prison for 11 months. He hardly looked the part of an espionage agent. He was usually tall, at 5 feet 11 inches, but frail looking and burdened with thick spectacles. He was a member of Company F, Second Ohio Infantry Regiment, before volunteering for the Georgia mission and he left the Army shortly after his exchange.  Pittenger began work on his recollections of the raid while in prison and the first edition of Daring and Suffering appeared in 1863. It was so popular that he published four more editions in rapid succession.

After the war, Pittenger became a minister, serving churches first in Pennsylvania, then in New Jersey and ultimately in California. He remained obsessed with his wartime adventure.

William Pittenger died on April 24, 1904, in Fallbrook, California, but his memoirs live on. He has written, Capturing a Locomotive and In Pursuit of the General: A History of the Civil War Railroad Raid. These later versions are longer and more dramatic, with manufactured conversation and details of the author’s experiences in prison.