April 7, 1862 | On to Marietta | The General Heads North | Breakfast Stop...Big Shanty | Moon's Station | Decision on the Yonah | Fuller in Pursuit | Kingston | Adairsville | The Texas Joins The Chase | At the Oostanaula Bridge | End of the Line

On April 7, 1862, 22 volunteers were selected from the troops of Col. Joshua W. Sill's brigade. All were men from Ohio units – plus a civilian, William Campbell, who volunteered to go along. They were not given specific details of the mission, but only warned of the hazardous nature of the enterprise. They went into Shelbyville to purchase civilian clothing and that night the group assembled on the Holland farm, one and one half miles east of Shelbyville on the old Wartrace Road, and met Andrews for final instructions.

They were told to be at Marietta, Georgia by midnight of April 10 so as to begin operations on April 11. Concurrently, General Mitchel's force would move on Huntsville. When Andrews and his party would show with a captured locomotive and word that the W&ARR was in ruins, Mitchel could then move on Chattanooga with greater ease.

As the Raiders plotted that dark night in Tennessee, rain began to fall and would continue to fall for the next ten days.

1860's photograph of Chattanooga showing the Car Shed there that was used by the W&ARR.

-National Archives

Western & Atlantic RR Roundhouse, Atlanta, 1864, prior to destruction by General Sherman's forces.

The 23 men who secretly met with Andrews that dark, rainy night were (by regiment):

2nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Sgt. Maj. Marion A. Ross
Pvt. George D. Wilson. Co. B
Cpl. William Pittenger, Co. G
Pvt. James (Ovid Wellford) Smith, Co. I
Pvt. Phillip G. Shadrach, Co. K (also known as Perry G. or Charles P., and the last name sometimes spelled Shadrack)
William Campbell, of Salineville, Ohio (a civilian who took the place of a soldier)

21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Pvt. John A. Wilson, Co. C
Pvt. Mark Wood, Co. C
Pvt. William J. Knight, Co. E
Sgt. John M. Scott, Co. F
Pvt. Wilson W. Brown, Co. F
Pvt. William Bensinger, Co. G
Pvt. John Reed Porter. Co. G
Pvt. Robert Buffam, Co. H
Sgt. Elihu H. Mason, Co. K

33rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Cpl. Martin Jones Hawkins, Co. A
Cpl. William H. Reddick, Co. B
Pvt. John Wollam, Co. C
Pvt. Samuel Slavens, Co. E
Pvt. Samuel Robertson, Co. G
Cpl. Daniel Allen Dorsey, Co. H
Cpl. Samuel Llewellyn, Co. I
Pvt. Jacob Parrott, Co. K

Andrews closed his remarks to the raiders with concise instructions:

"Boys, we're going into danger, but for results that can be tremendous. If we burn those bridges, General Mitchel can take and hold Chattanooga. But we'll have to be prompt. The last train for Marietta leaves Chattanooga at five in the afternoon. Be sure to catch it not later than Thursday, and I'll either be on it or on an earlier one. Goodbye till then."

The group separated into smaller numbers and started overland to Chattanooga. They had three days to get there, a little more than a 100 miles distant, in time to catch the train for Marietta.

April 7, 1862 | On to Marietta | The General Heads North | Breakfast Stop...Big Shanty | Moon's Station | Decision on the Yonah | Fuller in Pursuit | Kingston | Adairsville | The Texas Joins The Chase | At the Oostanaula Bridge | End of the Line
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