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Chasing an Iron Horse Or, A Boy's Adventures in the Civil War   By: (1862-1943)

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[Illustration: "The Next Moment Was a Blank"]

CHASING AN IRON HORSE Or A Boy's Adventures in the Civil War

By EDWARD ROBINS

Author of "With Washington in Braddock's Campaign," "A Boy in Early Virginia," etc.

[Illustration: QUI NON PROFICIT DEFICIT]

PHILADELPHIA GEORGE W. JACOBS & CO. PUBLISHERS

Copyright, 1902, By GEORGE W. JACOBS & Co.

Published August, 1902.

Preface

The locomotive chase in Georgia, which forms what may be called the background of this story, was an actual occurrence of the great Civil War. But I wish to emphasize the fact that the following pages belong to the realm of fiction. Some of the incidents, and the character of Andrews, are historic, whilst other incidents and characters are imaginary. The reader who would like to procure an account of the chase as it really happened should consult the narrative of the Reverend William Pittenger. Mr. Pittenger took part in the expedition organized by Andrews, and his record of it is a graphic contribution to the annals of the conflict between North and South.

Edward Robins.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE I. HAZARDOUS PLANS 7 II. NEARING THE GOAL 27 III. MINGLING WITH THE ENEMY 56 IV. PLOT AND PLOTTERS 95 V. ON THE RAIL 121 VI. AN UNPLEASANT SURPRISE 156 VII. ENERGETIC PURSUIT 188 VIII. TWO WEARY WANDERERS 206 IX. IN GREATEST PERIL 232 X. FINAL TRIALS 263

ILLUSTRATIONS

"The Next Moment was a blank" Frontispiece The Major merely changed the position of his legs 82 Fuller was steaming to the northward with "The Yonah" 192 None too soon had he executed this manoeuvre 214 Watson placed his hand over the man's mouth 270

CHASING AN IRON HORSE

CHAPTER I

HAZARDOUS PLANS

The lightning flashes, the mutterings of thunder, like the low growls of some angry animal, and the shrieking of the wind through swaying branches, gave a weird, uncanny effect to a scene which was being enacted, on a certain April night of the year 1862, in a secluded piece of woodland a mile or more east of the village of Shelbyville, Tennessee. In the centre of a small clearing hemmed in by trees stood a tall, full bearded man of distinguished bearing. Around him were grouped twenty sturdy fellows who listened intently, despite the stir of the elements, to something that he was saying in a low, serious tone of voice. None of them, strangely enough, wore a uniform, although they were all loyal Union soldiers belonging to the division of troops commanded by General O. M. Mitchell, then encamped on the banks of Duck River, only a couple of miles away. For the country was now engaged in the life and death struggle of the Civil War, when Northerner fought against Southerner sometimes brother against brother and no one could predict whether the result would be a divided or a reunited nation.

"My friends," the speaker was solemnly saying, as a new flash from the darkened heavens lit up the landscape for a second, and showed how resolute were the lines of his face; "my friends, if you go into this scheme with me, you are taking your lives into your hands. It's only fair that I should impress this upon you, and give any and all of you a chance to drop out."

There was a quick, sharp clap of thunder, which was not loud enough, however, to drown the earnest protest of every listener. "We're not cowards, Andrews!" "We'll stick to you through thick and thin!" "Nobody's going to draw back!" These were among the fervent answers which greeted the leader addressed as Andrews. The latter was evidently pleased, though by no means surprised. He was dealing with brave men, and he knew his audience... Continue reading book >>




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