Menu

Andrews’ Raiders

On April 12, 1862, 24 volunteers from the Union Army, led by civilian scout James Andrews, commandeered a Confederate locomotive named “The General” outside of Big Shanty, Georgia (now Kennesaw) and took it northward toward Chattanooga, Tennessee – doing as much damage as possible to the vital Western and Atlantic Railroad line as they went.  Out of fuel, Andrews and his men abandoned the locomotive and scattered into the woods before being captured by Confederate troops.  All were put on trail and convicted for “acts of unlawful belligerency” or being unlawful combatants and spies.  Shortly thereafter, Andrews and seven of the Raiders were executed by hanging with the remaining held as prisoners of war. For their acts of valor in “The Great Locomotive Chase,” six members of Andrews’ Raiders were awarded the first Medals of Honor in our country’s history on March 25, 1863. Ultimately, 19 of the 24 members of Andrews’ Raiders would receive the Medal of Honor for their incredible acts of valor on that day.

These First Medals are why Chattanooga is recognized and known as the birthplace of the Medal of Honor.


William Bensinger

Rank: Private

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company G, 21st Ohio Infantry

Born: January 14, 1840, Wayne County, Ohio

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

 Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men (including two civilians) who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and track between Chattanooga and Atlanta.


Wilson W. Brown

Rank: Private

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company F, 21st Ohio Infantry

Born: Logan County, Ohio

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and tract between Chattanooga and Atlanta.


Robert Buffman

Rank: Private

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company H, 21st Ohio Infantry

Born: Salem, Massachusetts

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

 Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men (including two civilians) who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and track between Chattanooga and Atlanta.


Daniel A. Dorsey

Rank: Corporal

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company H, 33rd Ohio Infantry

Born: Waterford, Virginia

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

 Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and track between Chattanooga and Atlanta.


Martin J. Hawkins

Rank: Corporal

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company A, 33rd Ohio Infantry

Born: Mercer County, Pennsylvania

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and track between Chattanooga and Atlanta.


William J. Knight

Rank: Private

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company E, 21st Ohio Infantry

Born: January 29, 1837, Apple Creek, Ohio

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and track between Chattanooga and Atlanta.


Elihu H. Mason

Rank: Sergeant

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company K, 21st Ohio Infantry

Born: Wayne County, Indiana

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and track between Chattanooga and Atlanta.


Jacob Parrott

Rank: Private

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company K, 33d Ohio Infantry

Born: July 17, 1843, Fairfield County, Ohio

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and track between Chattanooga and Atlanta.

Additional Information: Parrott was the first ever to receive the Medal of Honor for his actions in “The Great Locomotive Chase.”


William Pittenger

Rank: Sergeant

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company G, 2nd Ohio Infantry

Born: January 31, 1840, Knoxville, Jefferson County, Ohio

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and tract between Chattanooga and Atlanta.


John Reed Porter

Rank: Private

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company G, 21st Ohio Infantry

Born: November 14, 1838, Delaware County, Ohio

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and track between Chattanooga and Atlanta.


William H. Reddick

Rank: Corporal

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company B, 33d Ohio Infantry

Born: Alabama

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and tracks between Chattanooga and Atlanta.


Samuel Robertson

Rank: Private

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company G, 33d Ohio Infantry

Born: Muskingum County, Ohio

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and tracks between Chattanooga and Atlanta.


Marion A. Ross

Rank: Sergeant Major

Major Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company B, 2nd Ohio Infantry

Born: October 9, 1832, Christiansburg, Ohio

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into the enemy’s territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and track between Chattanooga and Atlanta.


John Morehead Scott

Rank: Sergeant

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company F, 21st Ohio Infantry

Born: Stark County, Ohio

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., and attempted to destroy the bridges and track between Chattanooga and Atlanta.


Samuel Slavens

Rank: Private

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company E, 33d Ohio Infantry

Born: Pike County, Ohio

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and track between Chattanooga and Atlanta.


James Smith

Rank: Private

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company I, 2d Ohio Infantry

Born: Fredericksburg, Virginia

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and tract between Chattanooga and Atlanta.


John Wollam

Rank: Private

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company C, 33d Ohio Infantry

Born: Hamilton, Ohio

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., and attempted to destroy the bridges and track between Chattanooga and Atlanta.


John Alfred Wilson

Rank: Private

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company C, 21st Ohio Infantry

Born: July 25, 1832, Columbus, Ohio

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., and attempted to destroy the bridges and track between Chattanooga and Atlanta.


Mark Wood

Rank: Private

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company C, 21st Ohio Infantry

Born: England

Place/Date: Georgia, April 1862

Citation: One of the 19 Medal recipients from a group of 22 men who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., and attempted to destroy the bridges and track between Chattanooga and Atlanta.