The Great Locomotive Chase

Synopsis: This is based on a true story. During the Civil War, a Union spy, Andrews, is asked to lead a band of Union soldiers into the South so that they could destroy the railway system. However, things don't go as planned when the conductor of the train that they stole is on to them and is doing everything he can to stop them.
Director(s): Francis D. Lyon
Production: Walt Disney Productions
  1 nomination.
85 min

My name is William Pienger.

I never intended to write this book,

but after our raid into Georgia was over,

Something happened

to make me change my mind.

Along with a group of men

who had shared so much with me,

I was summoned to

the War Department in Washington.

We expected nothing more

than routine questioning,

But were surprised to be invited

into Secretary Sta-union's office,

And dumbfounded as we took in

the meaning of his words.

It is a tribute to your valor

that the boldest exploit of this war

Bringing consternation upon the

Confederacy and glory to our Union arms,

Was led by a civilian, and carried out

by private soldiers.

Volunteers, to a man.

You've won for us a new respect,

and we are grateful.

Congress has, by recent law,

Prepared a medal to be awarded

for conspicuous bravery:

"The Congressional Medal of Honor."

You gentlemen are to have

the first ever given.

Corporal William Pittenger.

Congratulations, Mr. Pittenger.

[ Pittenger] I tried to thank him

but I felt too unworthy,

Remembering our missing comrades

and our brave leader Andrews

Who had gained us this honor.

[Pittenger] James J. Andrews was a man

of mystery, as befitted his vocation.

Though in reality a Union spy,

He was trusted throughout the South

as a blockade runner.

It was typical that even now

as he neared our fines,

He was riding a horse he had borrowed

from the Confederates.

On that eventful day in 1862,

I was in charge of a picket detail,

Guarding the approach to our

headquarters camp, south of Nashville.

Pittenger, why don't you hire a substitute,

So the war won't interfere

with your reading?

This concerns the war.

Bringing out a new medal.

"The Congressional Medal of Honor."

This ain't for you and me.

That's for generals.

Not our generals.

They won't even let us fight.

Mitchell would,

if they'd give him a chance.


All I know is I joined this army

to kill Johnny Rebs,

And so far, I ain't even seen one.

You've been lucky.

It's all right, Bill.

I know him.

Glad to see you, Mr. Andrews.

What's your regiment doing

this far south of Nashville?

General Buell moved outwith most of

the army to reinforce Grant.

There's a big fight shaping up

around Corinth.

I probably don't have to tell you.

I didn't know Buell was gone.

Who's in command here now?

General Mitchell. He's madder than

a wet hen to be left behind.

So were we.

- Why are you left behind?

- To guard Nashville.

It's nice to talk with you again, Corporal.

Mr. Andrews...

If you ever want help

on a Secret Service mission,

Don't forget the name Pittenger.

William Pittenger.

In all of East Tennessee,

there's no concentration

Of Confederate forces worth the mention.

The Southern army at Knoxville

is barely able to defend the city

- From Union General Morgan.

- What about Chattanooga?

Buell was certain a great army

was gathering there.

General Mitchell, there are only

2,000 raw recruits in Chattanooga,

And another 2,000 that aren't even armed!

Here we wait with 10,000 choice troops

under strict orders to guard Nashville.

If only I'd been given some latitude,

I'd march right into Chattanooga.

- Wouldn't that be defending Nashville?

- Yes, by George!

As long as I keep the enemy in front

of me, Nashville will be fully protected.

But I don't want Chattanooga

unless I can hold it.

It might be two weeks

before Buell could reinforce me.

Have you any idea how many men

The Confederates could bring

out of Atlanta against me?

15,000 at least.

That many?

Suppose we have a look, Andrews,

and see how matters stand.

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Lawrence Edward Watkin

Lawrence Edward Watkin (December 9, 1901 – December 16, 1981) was an American writer and film producer. He has become known especially as a scriptwriter for a series of 1950s Walt Disney films. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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