On yesterday morning, while the regular mail and passenger train on the State Road
was stopped at Camp McDonald, or Big Shanty, and the engineer, conductor, and passengers at breakfast, some four men as yet unknown, after having cut loose all but the foremost three cars, got upon the engine, put on steam and shot away like an arrow, leaving the baggage and passenger cars, passengers, conductor, engineer, and train hands, lost in amazement at this unparalleled and daring outrage.
Some distance above they tore up the track and cut down the telegraph wires and went on, stating to those who inquired who they ware, or what such an unusual train meant, that they had some car loads of powder, and that the engine and train had been pressed that morning by the Government
in great haste to carry the powder to our forces near Huntsville
They arrived at Kingston
, where they met the down freight train and want upon the turn- out — showing that they understood the schedule and minutest workings of the road.
As the train passed them, the conductor thereon made the same inquiry of them concerning the unusual train, and received the same answer — taking powder to Gen. Beauregard
As soon as the down train passed, and the switch could be changed, they shot away with all their speed and mystery.
We learn that a train had been put in pursuit of them — having repaired the track — and hopes to overtake them before they reach any of the many bridges across the Chickamauga
and other streams.
No doubt they are Lincoln
schemes, sent down among us to destroy those bridges to retard our movements of troops, and the thought is a very serious one to us.
For cool impudence and reckless daring, this beats anything we ever heard or read of. We are in an agony of suspense to hear the of this strange and daring achievement.
P. S.--Since the foregoing was in type, we have received additional particulars, though nothing later.
The conductor at Big Shanty, Mr. Falier
, as soon as he found his engine gone in so mysterious and startling a manner, brought into requisition a hand car, which, luckily, was at that place, and followed on with all speed.
He soon came to where a rail had been torn up and was carried off; but the hand car was soon lifted over and again in hot pursuit.--On the way he learned that the engine had stopped to take in wood and water, representing that they had powder in the cars for our army.
At Stowah Mr. Fuller
obtained an engine from Major Cooper
, and pressed on with it.
Arriving at Kinston
he got the Rome
road engine, with its engineer, all in fine condition, with perhaps 40 men, and pressed on.--He was just 25 minutes behind the fugitive train when he left Kinston
At the regular passenger trains (up and down) meet, and the thieves would have to pass them there.
The down train, due here at 4 P. M., has not yet (9 P. M.) arrived, and it is feared there has been a collision with the engine, though the torn-up track may be the cause of the delay.
Various surmises looking to a solution of the mystery, are indulged here.
Everybody at first concluded that it was a most daring effort of some Lincolnites to burn the bridges to stop the transportation of troops over the State Road
It is reported that the whole of the troops at Camp McDonald were going off yesterday morning; and a large number of soldiers troop — came through here last night on their way to the scene of action.
Some said there really was ammunition in the three box cars-which they carried off, and that the object was to take it to the enemy at Huntsville
We, however, learn officially that the cars attached to the engine were empty.
Another solution, which has gained credence, and is not at all improbable, is, that they were simply thieves on a large scale, had took this method to escape.
We learn that a very large amount of money was stolen in this night before last, and it is not improbable that these men were the thieves, and took this method to escape-- Atlanta Confederacy, April 13