29¢ Hudson’s General
Issue Date: July 28, 1994
City: Chama, NM
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: 11 horizontally
Railroads played a major role during the Civil War, transporting troops to battlefields and keeping them supplied. Although both sides used railroads, the South was at a distinct disadvantage because it had less track and far fewer locomotives.
Designed by William Hudson, and built in 1855 for Western and Atlantic Railroad, the Confederate locomotive General became famous during the Civil War when it was hijacked by a group of Union soldiers. Under the command of Captain Andrews, Union troops captured the train at Big Shanty, Georgia on April 12, 1862 while the passengers and crew were having breakfast in the depot’s eating house.
Their intention was to disrupt communications behind enemy lines by cutting telegraph wires and destroying the rails behind them. The conductor of the train chased the stolen locomotive, first on a handcart and then with a small, private engine called the Yonah. Eventually he took over another full-size locomotive, the Texas. After an 87-mile chase that lasted nearly eight hours, the General ran out of fuel, and Andrews and his men were captured. Immortalized in several films, the General survived and is on display in Chattanooga, Tennessee.