Part 2: daring enterprises of officers and men.
The great railroad chase.
The most remarkable and thrilling railroad adventure that ever occurred on the American
continent, was that which happened to the twenty-two members of an expedition sent out by the Union General O. M. Mitchel
, to destroy the communication on the Georgia State Railroad, between Atlanta
The expedition itself, in the daring of its conception, possessed the wildness of a romance, and which, had it been successful, would have suddenly and completely changed the whole aspect of the war in the South and Southwest.
It was as sublime in the results aimed at, as it was daring in execution; for it would have given full possession of all East Tennessee
to the Union
forces, which, moving then on Lynchburg
, would have had the valley of Virginia
at their mercy, and could have attacked Stonewall Jackson
in the rear.
In addition,, to this advantage, they would have held the railroad to Charlottesville
and Orange Court House
, as well as the Southside railroad leading to Petersburg
; and thus, by uniting with McClellan
's army, could have attacked the rebel General Joe Johnston
's army, front and flank.
driven him from Virginia
, and flanked Beauregard