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Book Recommendation - Stealing the General

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  • Bill Gower
    Today I received in the mail, a newly published book entitled Stealing the General by Russell S. Bonds. It s approximately 374 pages with lots of footnotes.
    Message 1 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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      Today I received in the mail, a newly published book entitled “Stealing the General” by Russell S. Bonds.  It’s approximately 374 pages with lots of footnotes.  His goal is to tell the story of the soldiers who attempted to steal the General and their fate.  I hadn’t realized this but many of the men on this raid received the Medal of Honor, which was given for the first time in U.S. History.  James M. McPherson has this to say about the book, “The Great Locomotive Chase has been the stuff of legend and the darling of Hollywood .  Now we have a solid history of the Andrews Raid.  Russell S. Bond’s stirring account makes clear why the raid failed and what happened to the raiders.”  My only background on this event is the 1952 Walt Disney movie starring Fess Parker, so I am anxious to read the book and find out more about this raid.

       

      Bill

       

       

    • keeno2@aol.com
      In a message dated 10/31/2006 8:37:35 PM Central Standard Time, billgower@charter.net writes: My only background on this event is the 1952 Walt Disney movie
      Message 2 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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        In a message dated 10/31/2006 8:37:35 PM Central Standard Time, billgower@... writes:
        My only background on this event is the 1952 Walt Disney movie starring Fess Parker, so I am anxious to read the book and find out more about this raid.
        Sounds really worthwhile, Bill. Will look for a deal on it.
        Ken
      • Bill Gower
        History Book Club has a deal right now until December 1. All books and they have a good selection of CW books are 9.99 and no payments dues until March 1.
        Message 3 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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          History Book Club has a deal right now until December 1.  All books and they have a good selection of CW books are 9.99 and no payments dues until March 1.  www.historybookclub.com         Forgive the commercial, I get nothing from it, I am just a satisfied customer.

           

           

          Bill

           

           


          From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of keeno2@...
          Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 9:43 PM
          To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Book Recommendation - Stealing the General

           

          In a message dated 10/31/2006 8:37:35 PM Central Standard Time, billgower@charter. net writes:

          My only background on this event is the 1952 Walt Disney movie starring Fess Parker, so I am anxious to read the book and find out more about this raid.

          Sounds really worthwhile, Bill. Will look for a deal on it.

          Ken

        • Tom Mix
          I have a copy on pre-order with Amazon so who knows when it will get here. Thanks for the heads up though. I sure do look forward to it. I saw the movie as a
          Message 4 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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            I have a copy on pre-order with Amazon so who knows when it will get here.

            Thanks for the heads up though. I sure do look forward to it. I saw the movie as a kid in the theatre.

            Tom

             

            -----Original Message-----
            From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bill Gower
            Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 8:33 PM
            To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [civilwarwest] Book Recommendation - Stealing the General

             

            Today I received in the mail, a newly published book entitled “Stealing the General” by Russell S. Bonds.  It’s approximately 374 pages with lots of footnotes.  His goal is to tell the story of the soldiers who attempted to steal the General and their fate.  I hadn’t realized this but many of the men on this raid received the Medal of Honor, which was given for the first time in U.S. History.  James M. McPherson has this to say about the book, “The Great Locomotive Chase has been the stuff of legend and the darling of Hollywood.  Now we have a solid history of the Andrews Raid.  Russell S. Bond’s stirring account makes clear why the raid failed and what happened to the raiders.”  My only background on this event is the 1952 Walt Disney movie starring Fess Parker, so I am anxious to read the book and find out more about this raid.

             

            Bill

             

             

          • huddleston.r@comcast.net
            The Disney movie is remarkably well done, off in the some of the details but Davy Crockett does a good job as Andrews. : ) It was filmed on a logging short
            Message 5 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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              The Disney movie is remarkably well done, off in the some of the details but Davy Crockett does a good job as Andrews. :>)
               
              It was filmed on a logging short line in NW Georgia -- similar country to the actual scenes. There were attempts to save the RR as a tourist line but tourism had not yet started.
               
              And a good book is long overdue.
               
              --
              Take care,

              Bob

              Judy and Bob Huddleston
              10643 Sperry Street
              Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
              huddleston.r@...

              ...the greatest and the noblest man of the last century was Abraham Lincoln���Though America was his motherland and he was an American, he regarded the whole world as his native land.

              Mahatma Gandhi, August 26, 1905
               
              -------------- Original message --------------
              From: "Bill Gower" <billgower@...>

              Today I received in the mail, a newly published book entitled ���Stealing the General��� by Russell S. Bonds.  It���s approximately 374 pages with lots of footnotes.  His goal is to tell the story of the soldiers who attempted to steal the General and their fate.  I hadn���t realized this but many of the men on this raid received the Medal of Honor, which was given for the first time in U.S. History.  James M. McPherson has this to say about the book, ���The Great Locomotive Chase has been the stuff of legend and the darling of Hollywood .  Now we have a solid history of the Andrews Raid.  Russell S. Bond���s stirring account makes clear why the raid failed and what happened to the raiders.���  My only background on this event is the 1952 Walt Disney movie starring Fess Parker, so I am anxious to read the book and find out more about t his raid.

              Bill

            • basecat1@aol.com
              In a message dated 10/31/2006 9:37:41 PM Eastern Standard Time, billgower@charter.net writes: Today I received in the mail, a newly published book entitled
              Message 6 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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                In a message dated 10/31/2006 9:37:41 PM Eastern Standard Time, billgower@... writes:

                Today I received in the mail, a newly published book entitled “Stealing the General” by Russell S. Bonds.  It’s approximately 374 pages with lots of footnotes.  His goal is to tell the story of the soldiers who attempted to steal the General and their fate.  I hadn’t realized this but many of the men on this raid received the Medal of Honor, which was given for the first time in U.S. History.  James M. McPherson has this to say about the book, “The Great Locomotive Chase has been the stuff of legend and the darling of Hollywood .  Now we have a solid history of the Andrews Raid.  Russell S. Bond’s stirring account makes clear why the raid failed and what happened to the raiders.”  My only background on this event is the 1952 Walt Disney movie starring Fess Parker, so I am anxious to read the book and find out more about this raid.

                Bill

                 
                Bill,
                 
                Have already ordered a copy here, and while I have yet to receive it, am looking forward to reading it very much.  I do have some older books and novels on the raid, but they came out about 50 years ago, and am glad the event is being looked into again.
                 
                Hope all is well.
                 
                Regards from the Garden State,
                 
                Steve Basic
              • keeno2@aol.com
                In a message dated 11/1/2006 8:00:15 AM Central Standard Time, billgower@charter.net writes: History Book Club has a deal right now until December 1. All
                Message 7 of 13 , Nov 1, 2006
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                  In a message dated 11/1/2006 8:00:15 AM Central Standard Time, billgower@... writes:

                  History Book Club has a deal right now until December 1.  All books and they have a good selection of CW books are 9.99 and no payments dues until March 1.  http://www.historybookclub.com/         Forgive the commercial, I get nothing from it, I am just a satisfied customer.

                  Thanks for the heads up. As a satisfied customer myself, I will be visiting them before signing off.
                  Ken
                • russellsbonds
                  Dear Bill, Ken, Bob, Tom and Steve: I m the author of Stealing the General, and I recently discovered your group here. Thanks, Bill, for mentioning the book,
                  Message 8 of 13 , Nov 8, 2006
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                    Dear Bill, Ken, Bob, Tom and Steve:

                    I'm the author of Stealing the General, and I recently discovered
                    your group here. Thanks, Bill, for mentioning the book, and to all
                    of you who have ordered it. Please post here or send me an e-mail at
                    rbonds@... and let me know if you enjoy the book.

                    I'm a lifelong Georgia resident--I grew up almost literally in the
                    shadow of Kennesaw Mountain--and like all of you am a student of the
                    war in the (still overlooked) West. Also, I'm considering a number
                    of ideas for my next book topic. If any of you have a thought on a
                    Civil War story, battle or character that deserves more attention or
                    a new narrative treatment, please let me know.

                    Thanks again; I look forward to participating in the group.

                    Warmest regards,
                    Russ Bonds

                    --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Gower" <billgower@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > Today I received in the mail, a newly published book
                    entitled "Stealing the
                    > General" by Russell S. Bonds. It's approximately 374 pages with
                    lots of
                    > footnotes. His goal is to tell the story of the soldiers who
                    attempted to
                    > steal the General and their fate. I hadn't realized this but many
                    of the
                    > men on this raid received the Medal of Honor, which was given for
                    the first
                    > time in U.S. History. James M. McPherson has this to say about the
                    book,
                    > "The Great Locomotive Chase has been the stuff of legend and the
                    darling of
                    > Hollywood. Now we have a solid history of the Andrews Raid.
                    Russell S.
                    > Bond's stirring account makes clear why the raid failed and what
                    happened to
                    > the raiders." My only background on this event is the 1952 Walt
                    Disney
                    > movie starring Fess Parker, so I am anxious to read the book and
                    find out
                    > more about this raid.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Bill
                    >
                  • Bill Gower
                    The only disappointing thing I have to say about the book is that because I know the outcome, I am trying to cheer the guys on and want them to get away but I
                    Message 9 of 13 , Nov 8, 2006
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                      The only disappointing thing I have to say about the book is that because I know the outcome, I am trying to cheer the guys on and want them to get away but I know that it is futile.  It seems like what started out as a “well-thought” out plan is falling apart because of silly mistakes that are occurring after the locomotive is stolen.  I have enjoyed the background info that you have provided on cities, people and the railroad.  I am at the point where the conductor and his compatriots are riding the handcar and have just reached the locomotive sitting at the siding of the cut-off.  I think that one of the problems that I see happening is that Andrews and the others started becoming cocky and thinking that it was all over instead of causing more damage to the RR and trying to make better time.

                       

                       

                      Bill

                       

                       


                      From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of russellsbonds
                      Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2006 9:35 AM
                      To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Book Recommendation - Stealing the General

                       

                      Dear Bill, Ken, Bob, Tom and Steve:

                      I'm the author of Stealing the General, and I recently discovered
                      your group here. Thanks, Bill, for mentioning the book, and to all
                      of you who have ordered it. Please post here or send me an e-mail at
                      rbonds@.... com and let me know if you enjoy the book.

                      I'm a lifelong Georgia resident--I grew up almost literally in the
                      shadow of Kennesaw Mountain --and like all of you am a student of the
                      war in the (still overlooked) West. Also, I'm considering a number
                      of ideas for my next book topic. If any of you have a thought on a
                      Civil War story, battle or character that deserves more attention or
                      a new narrative treatment, please let me know.

                      Thanks again; I look forward to participating in the group.

                      Warmest regards,
                      Russ Bonds

                      --- In civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com, "Bill Gower" <billgower@. ..>
                      wrote:

                      >
                      > Today I received in the mail, a newly published book
                      entitled "Stealing the
                      > General" by Russell S. Bonds. It's approximately 374 pages with
                      lots of
                      > footnotes. His goal is to tell the story of the soldiers who
                      attempted to
                      > steal the General and their fate. I hadn't realized this but many
                      of the
                      > men on this raid received the Medal of Honor, which was given for
                      the first
                      > time in U.S. History. James M. McPherson has this to say about the
                      book,
                      > "The Great Locomotive Chase has been the stuff of legend and the
                      darling of
                      > Hollywood .
                      Now we have a solid history of the Andrews Raid.
                      Russell S.
                      > Bond's stirring account makes clear why the raid failed and what
                      happened to
                      > the raiders." My only background on this event is the 1952 Walt
                      Disney
                      > movie starring Fess Parker, so I am anxious to read the book and
                      find out
                      > more about this raid.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Bill
                      >

                    • basecat1@aol.com
                      In a message dated 11/8/2006 9:41:02 AM Eastern Standard Time, jillandruss@bellsouth.net writes: Dear Bill, Ken, Bob, Tom and Steve: I m the author of
                      Message 10 of 13 , Nov 8, 2006
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                        In a message dated 11/8/2006 9:41:02 AM Eastern Standard Time, jillandruss@... writes:
                        Dear Bill, Ken, Bob, Tom and Steve:

                        I'm the author of Stealing the General, and I recently discovered
                        your group here. Thanks, Bill, for mentioning the book, and to all
                        of you who have ordered it. Please post here or send me an e-mail at
                        rbonds@.... com and let me know if you enjoy the book.

                        I'm a lifelong Georgia resident--I grew up almost literally in the
                        shadow of Kennesaw Mountain--and like all of you am a student of the
                        war in the (still overlooked) West. Also, I'm considering a number
                        of ideas for my next book topic. If any of you have a thought on a
                        Civil War story, battle or character that deserves more attention or
                        a new narrative treatment, please let me know.

                        Thanks again; I look forward to participating in the group.

                        Warmest regards,
                        Russ Bonds
                         
                        Russ,
                         
                        Got my copy of the book last week, and I look forward to reading it.  If you are interested, we do have a CW chat room, and we do have book chats on CW books.  When a book is chosen, we "assign" homework, as in a few chapters to read each week for the discussion.  The topic of your book is quite a popular one for many who visit there, and am sure those involved would enjoy a chat on this event of the Civil War.
                         
                        If this is something you wish to participate in, please let me or my fellow moderator ks know, and we will schedule a discussion on the book accordingly.
                         
                        Best of luck with the book, and welcome aboard! :)
                         
                        Regards from the Garden State,
                         
                        Steve Basic
                      • Tom Mix
                        Steve, Each December we have quite an excellent discussion of all areas of Civil War books especially for Christmas. I have found many great recommendations
                        Message 11 of 13 , Nov 13, 2006
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                          Steve,

                          Each December we have quite an excellent discussion of all areas of Civil War books especially for Christmas.  I have found many great recommendations during that time, and we are near there if it is again ok with our esteemed moderators this year.

                           

                          (my computer has been out for about a week but it is now back and healthy again)

                          Tom

                           

                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of basecat1@...
                          Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2006 11:56 PM
                          To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Book Recommendation - Stealing the General

                           

                          In a message dated 11/8/2006 9:41:02 AM Eastern Standard Time, jillandruss@ bellsouth. net writes:

                          Dear Bill, Ken, Bob, Tom and Steve:

                          I'm the author of Stealing the General, and I recently discovered
                          your group here. Thanks, Bill, for mentioning the book, and to all
                          of you who have ordered it. Please post here or send me an e-mail at
                          rbonds@.... com and let me know if you enjoy the book.

                          I'm a lifelong Georgia resident--I grew up almost literally in the
                          shadow of Kennesaw Mountain--and like all of you am a student of the
                          war in the (still overlooked) West. Also, I'm considering a number
                          of ideas for my next book topic. If any of you have a thought on a
                          Civil War story, battle or character that deserves more attention or
                          a new narrative treatment, please let me know.

                          Thanks again; I look forward to participating in the group.

                          Warmest regards,
                          Russ Bonds

                           

                          Russ,

                           

                          Got my copy of the book last week, and I look forward to reading it.  If you are interested, we do have a CW chat room, and we do have book chats on CW books.  When a book is chosen, we "assign" homework, as in a few chapters to read each week for the discussion.  The topic of your book is quite a popular one for many who visit there, and am sure those involved would enjoy a chat on this event of the Civil War.

                           

                          If this is something you wish to participate in, please let me or my fellow moderator ks know, and we will schedule a discussion on the book accordingly.

                           

                          Best of luck with the book, and welcome aboard! :)

                           

                          Regards from the Garden State,

                           

                          Steve Basic

                        • basecat1@aol.com
                          In a message dated 11/13/2006 9:54:13 PM Eastern Standard Time, tmix@insightbb.com writes: Steve, Each December we have quite an excellent discussion of all
                          Message 12 of 13 , Nov 14, 2006
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                            In a message dated 11/13/2006 9:54:13 PM Eastern Standard Time, tmix@... writes:

                            Steve,

                            Each December we have quite an excellent discussion of all areas of Civil War books especially for Christmas.  I have found many great recommendations during that time, and we are near there if it is again ok with our esteemed moderators this year.

                             

                            (my computer has been out for about a week but it is now back and healthy again)

                            Tom

                             
                            Tom,
                             
                            They are great discussions, and always enjoy reading what books folks recommend etc. :)
                             
                            Hope all is well.
                             
                            Regards from the Garden State,
                             
                            Steve Basic
                          • James W. Durney
                            Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor by Russell S. Bonds Product Details • Hardcover: 444 pages • Publisher:
                            Message 13 of 13 , Nov 17, 2006
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                              Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal
                              of Honor by Russell S. Bonds

                              Product Details
                              • Hardcover: 444 pages
                              • Publisher: Westholme Publishing (October 15, 2006)
                              • Language: English
                              • ISBN: 1594160333
                              A small failed raid in 1862 produced a long and complex history.
                              Along the way, this raid serves as the inspiration for two moves and
                              a number of books. "Stealing the General" is the latest addition to
                              that stack of books. Not having read the others, I cannot state
                              that it is the best but it has to be very close. Russell S. Bonds
                              tells a story that most of think we know. Along the way, he
                              corrects are misimpressions, fills in the blanks while adding story
                              lines we had no idea existed. All of this happens in the nicest,
                              most entertaining manner possible without once making us feel that
                              we do not know what is going on.

                              The book divides into four parts, The Plan, The Chase, Consequences
                              and Valor.

                              The Plan sets the stage detailing the reasons for the raid,
                              introducing the raiders and the hoped for results. Solid writing,
                              with attention to detail produces very real characters that the
                              reader can identify with and take a keen interest in. Brigadier
                              General Ormsby "Old Stars" Mitchell, one of the people that we know
                              nothing about, authorizes the raid. James Andrews, sometime spy,
                              sometime smuggler and possible Confederate agent is the author of
                              the plan and leader of the raid. The men volunteer from three Ohio
                              regiments, agreeing to slip behind enemy lines, destroy the railroad
                              cutting Chattanooga off from the Confederacy. That done, General
                              Mitchell's division will seize the city and the CSA's main East/West
                              railroad line. A strong point of this part is the author's
                              intelligent instruction on the contemporary mechanics of travel by
                              and view of railroads. Atlanta to Chattanooga is just under twelve
                              hours by train.

                              The Chase is what we have seen in the movies. It is the story of
                              taking of the train, the pursuit and capture of the raiders. The
                              book shows us the limitations of a 90-minute film and how little
                              history it contains. The Plan provided a good account of train
                              travel, allowing us to understand the chances both sides take and
                              the problems they encounter. This is a well-written history and
                              this is the most exciting part of the tale. The author takes the
                              time to correct misconceptions and lay the foundation for the legend
                              that follows. These side trips do not slow the on-rushing trains
                              but increase our understanding of the story to come.

                              The movies emphasize The Chase with a quick nod to Valor.
                              Consequences detail the imprisonment and military justice that the
                              raiders faced after capture. The conditions the raiders faced in
                              prison, the quality of their trails and the feelings of the people
                              are the backbone of this part of the book. The division between the
                              residents is graphically brought to light, as pro-Union and pro-
                              Confederate locals, vie to hang or help the raiders. A number of
                              the raiders are tried, commended and executed by hanging. Three of
                              the hangings are badly done, James Andrews' strangles while being
                              held off the ground. Twice a rope breaks and the men are hung a
                              second time. With the exception of Andrews, living or dieing seems
                              to be a matter of luck. Some raiders are tried, while others are
                              simply imprisoned. No logic seems to have been used to separate the
                              two groups. This part of the book is one of brutality and escapes
                              that compete with The Chase in daring. The escape and trek to
                              freedom of one group could be a stand-alone story. Those who did
                              not escape are exchanged after almost a year of captivity.

                              Valor begins with a short history of the Medal of Honor; these men
                              are the first to receive the medal. We follow the men on both sides
                              through the balance of their lives. We have hints along the way but
                              this part makes each player all the more real and human. Included
                              in this part is the birth of the legend and the in fighting between
                              the participants for the glory.

                              This is a well-balanced book, not about Union soldiers or
                              Confederates civilians but about "ordinary men, far from home,
                              called to do extraordinary things". This is the attraction of this
                              event and the reason we return to it so often. "Stealing the
                              General" is the story of these "ordinary men" and
                              that "extraordinary" event, well told, instructive and enjoyable.

                              This review is posted on Amazon.com. If you liked it, please take
                              the time to rate my review there. Thanks.

                              James
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