Western & Atlantic Railroad No. 49, better known as The Texas, is a 4-4-0 locomotive that was owned by the Western & Atlantic Railroad. It was made famous in the Andrews Raid of 1862.
Before and During Civil WarEdit
The W&ARR 'Texas' was built in 1856 by Cooke, Danforth & Company. The locomotive, when it arrived at the Western & Atlantic Railroad, had the railroad's signature strap iron pilot installed, and then entered service shortly after.
During the Civil War, the 'Texas' was assigned to a crew, which was Peter Bracken as the engineer, and Henry Haney as fireman. On Saturday, April 12, 1862, a group of Union spies, lead by James J. Andrews, stole the W&ARR 'General'. The same day, the 'Texas' was hauling 21 loaded freight cars which were bound for Atlanta, Georgia. The 'Texas' was flagged down by William Fuller, the conductor on the train the 'General' was pulling, and Anthony Murphy. Fuller ordered Bracken to reverse the 'Texas' and it's train to Adairsville, Georgia, where the loaded cars would be dropped on the fly.After the cars were disposed of in a siding, the Great Locomotive Chase had just began. The 'Texas' was eventually spotted by the raiders on the 'General', who then tried to derail the pursuers. Those efforts failed. The raiders were chased 51 miles until they abandoned the 'General'. If the 'Texas' was ahead of schedule, the raiders might have succeeded.
After the Civil WarEdit
After the Civil War was over, the 'Texas' was leased to a railroad in Saltville, Virginia. A short supply of salt in Georgia lead to the 'Texas' being sent to Virginia to haul wood to Saltville as fuel, then the 'Texas' hauled salt back out for distrubution to Georgia.
In 1866, the 'Texas' was back in Georgia on the Western & Atlantic. That year, the railroad assigned a numbering system to it's locomotives. The 'Texas' recieved the number 49, and therefore operated with that number until 1880. In 1880, the 'Texas' was reassinged the number 16, and was renamed as the 'Cincinnati'. Around the same time period, the locomotive was converted to burn on coal.
In 1903, the 'Texas' was retired from service and placed on a siding with it's fate unknown. In 1907, a campaign was started by the people of Georgia to save the 'Texas', which was stored outside in Atlanta at the time. Finally, in 1910, the 'Texas' was saved. While it was still outside, the locomotive was preserved at Grant Park. In 1927, the 'Texas' was moved into the basement of the Cyclorama Building (a Civil War museum in Atlanta, Georgia). In 1971, the 'Texas' was moved outside once more during renovation of the Cyclorama Building. After being moved indoors again, the 'Texas' was displayed in a better, more open area. The locomotive can still be viewed inside the Cyclorama Building.
The Texas was removed from the Cyclorama building in December 2015, marking the first time the Texas has been removed from the building since its 1981 remodeling. The engine received a cosmetic restoration performed by the North Carolina Transportation Museum before being placed in the expanded history center.
The engine has been restored to its 1880's appearance, as opposed to the wartime appearance it had from the 1936 restoration. As such, it has received a new diamond stack similar to the one it had when retired, as well as a new cowcatcher with vertical wooden slats (similar to that currently worn by the General), a black paint scheme, and was returned to its 1870's number, 12, though retains the Texas name, with a newly fabricated number plate to reflect the number. The old balloon stack, cowcatcher, and other removed elements from the 1936 restoration will remain in the history center's collection, and may be exhibited separately. The fully restored Texas was publicly unveiled by the North Carolina Transportation Museum on April 28, 2017, during a weekend long celebration in which it was exhibited alongside other engines at the museum, including the visiting Lehigh Valley No. 126 and the Norfolk and Western Railway No. 611, another engine restored at the museum. The Texas is to be moved into the Atlanta History Center on May 3, with its exhibit opening in fall 2017. The complete Atlanta Cyclorama and Texas exhibitions are expected to be finished by fall 2018.