Book Chat
Stealing The General:
The Great Locomotive Chase and The First Medal of Honor
by
Russell Bonds

This chat took place in the Civil War Home Chatroom on 02/24/08 and covered Chapters 12, 13 & 14. 

2/24/2008 9:02 pm (et) Basecat: Welcome to the Sunday Night Book Chat. Please refrain from using the Private Message during the length of the chat. Tonight we will be discussing Chapters 12, 13, & 14 of Russ Bonds's book Stealing The General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor

2/24/2008 9:02 pm (et) Basecat: Have not heard from Russ this week, so highly doubtful he will be joining us tonight.

2/24/2008 9:04 pm (et) Basecat: Let's delve into Chapter 12 The Horrors of the Gibbet. Questions, comments and observations are most welcome. :)

2/24/2008 9:04 pm (et) mobile_96: Chapter covers one of the worst botched executions I've seen yet.

2/24/2008 9:05 pm (et) Susansweet: That was horrible.

2/24/2008 9:05 pm (et) bluelady: Mobile but the worst come later.

2/24/2008 9:05 pm (et) MoOAK: Hello Basecat Hello Mobile_96Hello Susansweet

2/24/2008 9:06 pm (et) Susansweet: But before that I was amazed by Andrews escape . too bad he didn't make it far

2/24/2008 9:06 pm (et) Susansweet: And how close Wollam did get to freedom before being caught .

2/24/2008 9:06 pm (et) bluelady: And how willing the others were to be sure he escaped.  

2/24/2008 9:07 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I was shocked at how simple it seemed to be to escape. And even more amazed, that once out, they were rather inept at success.

2/24/2008 9:07 pm (et) bluelady: I think that is why he was called slippery earlier in the book.

2/24/2008 9:08 pm (et) secret squirrel: Yes, guy I really have a problem with them getting caught all the time.

2/24/2008 9:08 pm (et) bluelady: Right AMG but remember, they were by this time not as fit as they were on their travel down and were also not as well fed.

2/24/2008 9:08 pm (et) Babs: Tough barefoot.

2/24/2008 9:08 pm (et) Susansweet: That did amaze me Blue that they were helping him escape with out thinking of escaping themselves.

2/24/2008 9:08 pm (et) Basecat: Dave, Especially with the renown the story became...One would think no way any could escape..

2/24/2008 9:08 pm (et) secret squirrel: But Andrews lost his boots and I don't know if he recovered his pants after swimming across the creek.

2/24/2008 9:08 pm (et) mobile_96: And possibly a bit surprised they even got out in the first place.

2/24/2008 9:08 pm (et) cwbksell: Andrews should never have lost his shoes. Almost impossible to travel far bare footed.

2/24/2008 9:09 pm (et) bluelady: They were very weak at the time and weakness also makes the mind not a sharp.

2/24/2008 9:10 pm (et) Susansweet: Fuller sure becomes a piece of work in this chapter and after.

2/24/2008 9:10 pm (et) mobile_96: But it was kinda tough to swim and try to hold on to those boots in fast moving water, and only with your teeth.

2/24/2008 9:10 pm (et) secret squirrel: I thought it was hilarious how the others pretended to be sleeping when the guards came in.

2/24/2008 9:10 pm (et) Susansweet: Not vengeful or anything.

2/24/2008 9:11 pm (et) mobile_96: Agree with that Susan.

2/24/2008 9:11 pm (et) Susansweet: Wasn't like they killed anyone.

2/24/2008 9:11 pm (et) mobile_96: So did I SS, sounds like things our room tried when in the army.

2/24/2008 9:11 pm (et) cwbksell: Andrews was alone and one tends to give up easier when alone. Later we will see the couples did much better as they encouraged each other to keep going.

2/24/2008 9:11 pm (et) Susansweet: just was an embarrassment for Fuller and he w as making sure they all paid.

2/24/2008 9:11 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Just my opinion, but I think they could have been expected to be less trusting, and more willing to do anything it took to get away, stealing food, killing for boots or food or whatever.

2/24/2008 9:12 pm (et) mobile_96: Being unarmed might make such actions a bit harder to accomplish AMH.

2/24/2008 9:13 pm (et) mobile_96: And not in very good condition to start with.

2/24/2008 9:13 pm (et) amhistoryguy: A stick works for me mobile : )

2/24/2008 9:13 pm (et) bluelady: Maybe yes AMG but with what...and as I said before..they just weren't as sharp physically and mentally.

2/24/2008 9:14 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Knowing that to do x and you might live vs. do nothing an surely die, give a person enough strength to do x, IMO.

2/24/2008 9:15 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Then again, it's all speculation, and we should probably stick to what actually happened.

2/24/2008 9:15 pm (et) Susansweet: What did you think of the Trunk the Andrews sent to Elizabeth Layton ?

2/24/2008 9:16 pm (et) secret squirrel: Andrews was a condemned man; the situation was desperate, he didn't try hard enough. i don't know.

2/24/2008 9:16 pm (et) mobile_96: Never hurts to examine possibilities.

2/24/2008 9:16 pm (et) secret squirrel: Guy I agree with you he had nothing to lose.

2/24/2008 9:17 pm (et) mobile_96: Susan, can only imagine what went thru her mind when it was opened.

2/24/2008 9:17 pm (et) Susansweet: And to find it empty.

2/24/2008 9:17 pm (et) bluelady: And seeing nothing.

2/24/2008 9:17 pm (et) Babs: Susan surely was sad. I wonder if it always was empty.

2/24/2008 9:18 pm (et) secret squirrel: Maybe she though he was cheap.

2/24/2008 9:18 pm (et) secret squirrel: Or maybe someone stole everything.

2/24/2008 9:18 pm (et) mobile_96: Good question, but I think it was probably empty to start with.

2/24/2008 9:18 pm (et) Susansweet: One of those mysteries of history.

2/24/2008 9:18 pm (et) bluelady: I don't think so...or why would her relatives think she died 2 years later of a broken heart?

2/24/2008 9:19 pm (et) bluelady: As to him being cheap

2/24/2008 9:19 pm (et) secret squirrel: :)

2/24/2008 9:19 pm (et) Babs: Seems to have been how it made her feel empty.

2/24/2008 9:19 pm (et) mobile_96: Or accented how she already felt.

2/24/2008 9:20 pm (et) bluelady: How about the trial....what did you all think of that?

2/24/2008 9:20 pm (et) Susansweet: Reminds me of Sue Tarleton when she heard about Cleburne .

2/24/2008 9:20 pm (et) Susansweet: I was surprised they actually had lawyers.

2/24/2008 9:21 pm (et) Basecat: 2 things I have noticed in reading about folks in the 19th century...Most did not know how to swim, and have come across many situations where folks died of "broken hearts".

2/24/2008 9:21 pm (et) Susansweet: I have noticed that too.

2/24/2008 9:23 pm (et) bluelady: Very true..that happened to a couple of my ancestors.

2/24/2008 9:24 pm (et) cwbksell: I can't accept the fact that people in the 19th century did not know how to swim. Most people were lived on farms and farm kids spent a lot of time by the river fishing and/or swimming.

2/24/2008 9:25 pm (et) bluelady: I think that maybe a lot of people were not aware of the dangers of undertow and strong current of some rivers.

2/24/2008 9:25 pm (et) mobile_96: I think it applies more to city folks than country??

2/24/2008 9:25 pm (et) Basecat: cwbksell...Guess I should not have said most, but it comes up a lot more than I would have figured.

2/24/2008 9:25 pm (et) amhistoryguy: True enough cwbksell, and many of those farm kids drowned when they fell in while fishing.

2/24/2008 9:26 pm (et) Basecat: Mobile...That's probably it.

2/24/2008 9:26 pm (et) cwbksell: But the majority of people then were country folk.

2/24/2008 9:26 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I've seen quite a few records of that very thing happening.

2/24/2008 9:27 pm (et) Susansweet: I have heard of many people not being able to swim at that time. They would wade in the water , bath in it , but couldn't swim.

2/24/2008 9:27 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Also, playing in the water, swinging on a rope and dog paddling to shore etc, is not really the kind of swimming you would have to do to cross a river.

2/24/2008 9:27 pm (et) Basecat: My bad...swimming in the CW really does not have bearing on the book...Let's get back to the book. :)

2/24/2008 9:28 pm (et) Susansweet: I think you are right.

2/24/2008 9:29 pm (et) Basecat: As for the "trial"...Farce would be a better word to describe it, IMHO.

2/24/2008 9:30 pm (et) mobile_96: I agree, What Trial, more a social gathering for the officials.

2/24/2008 9:31 pm (et) Susansweet: Amazed at Pittengers part in trial.

2/24/2008 9:31 pm (et) bluelady: Right but now...what about Pittenger? Do you thing he "turned state's evidence"?

2/24/2008 9:31 pm (et) Basecat: Hard for me to understand how folks would act that callously towards human beings whose life was in "their" hands.. Can just imagine the reaction up North as this was going on.

2/24/2008 9:32 pm (et) Susansweet: Blue we are doing it again.

2/24/2008 9:32 pm (et) bluelady: I will also ask this question again next week.

2/24/2008 9:32 pm (et) bluelady: I know about the 3rd time already this week!

2/24/2008 9:32 pm (et) Susansweet: What was he thinking ?

2/24/2008 9:33 pm (et) cwbksell: Fuller followed the execution of the raiders closely and he said that Andrews "never died bravely." Was there any mention in the book about his having any influence on the trial?

2/24/2008 9:33 pm (et) GUNNER: hello everyone

2/24/2008 9:33 pm (et) Susansweet: He was there

2/24/2008 9:33 pm (et) bluelady: From what I read that was the ting they all agreed he was supposed to say.

2/24/2008 9:34 pm (et) bluelady: Just that he testified as well

2/24/2008 9:34 pm (et) Susansweet: I read that.

2/24/2008 9:35 pm (et) bluelady: But I still have to say it didn't matter what anyone said this was a classic example of a kangaroo court.

2/24/2008 9:35 pm (et) Susansweet: And their counsel defended what Pittinger did even after the war.

2/24/2008 9:35 pm (et) bluelady: Yes..

2/24/2008 9:35 pm (et) Susansweet: He defended his character and testimony.

2/24/2008 9:36 pm (et) Basecat: The line that stuck with me..."The Court..After mature deliberation..." Please.

2/24/2008 9:36 pm (et) bluelady: I'll save more on Pittenger next week...really some heavy duty stuff going on.

2/24/2008 9:38 pm (et) Susansweet: By the way what is a strawberry supper ?

2/24/2008 9:39 pm (et) Babs: When was that mentioned?

2/24/2008 9:39 pm (et) cwbksell: I'll bet it's better than "negro peas".

2/24/2008 9:39 pm (et) bluelady: Where is that?

2/24/2008 9:39 pm (et) mobile_96: More like a tea than a supper, with strawberry dishes the major item.

2/24/2008 9:39 pm (et) mobile_96: IIRC

2/24/2008 9:40 pm (et) Basecat: Strawberry Supper Old-fashioned strawberry shortcake supper served family style. All food prepared on premises.

2/24/2008 9:40 pm (et) Basecat: Ham, baked beans, assorted salads, breads, featuring old-fashioned double layered shorcakes made with local fresh strawberries and real whipped cream.

2/24/2008 9:41 pm (et) jbuck: Dummerston Center

2/24/2008 9:41 pm (et) Basecat: Menu I found on Google from a recent Strawberry Supper...Still popular today...judging by the number of hits I got.

2/24/2008 9:42 pm (et) Susansweet: Thanks I should have Googled it.

2/24/2008 9:42 pm (et) Basecat: Anymore comments on Chapter 12?

2/24/2008 9:42 pm (et) Susansweet: Somewhere in one of these three chapters some of the generals were invited to a strawberry supper and it caught my attention.

2/24/2008 9:43 pm (et) mobile_96: I was going by what I've read in various women's diaries.

2/24/2008 9:43 pm (et) Susansweet: Thanks Base and Mobile.

2/24/2008 9:43 pm (et) Susansweet: I need to read more women's diaries.

2/24/2008 9:43 pm (et) bluelady: Ok and I found it in the book where general Mitchel was making it known as to how great he was on page 243.

2/24/2008 9:44 pm (et) cwbksell: "Negro peas" were liberally seasoned with tiny insects (see pg 252)

2/24/2008 9:44 pm (et) Basecat: Let's move on to Chapter 13... Heaven or Cincinnati.

2/24/2008 9:45 pm (et) bluelady: Except that can you imagine such a scene at a hanging...even the preacher did not really want to be there and it is a good thing that he left before the actual hanging.

2/24/2008 9:46 pm (et) bluelady: I have to appreciate the reason for the name of this chapter...it was then they realized that death could come to them all.

2/24/2008 9:46 pm (et) Susansweet: I can't imagine wanting to watch a hanging but then I think about everyone that slows down for a bad accident?

2/24/2008 9:47 pm (et) bluelady: Very true.

2/24/2008 9:47 pm (et) secret squirrel: I liked the discussion about heaven and Cincinnati, very funny.

2/24/2008 9:48 pm (et) Basecat: Susan, Thing that struck me, after all were clamoring for the hangings, when it actually happened how quiet it was when it did occur.

2/24/2008 9:48 pm (et) mobile_96: Thought the vote was interesting.

2/24/2008 9:48 pm (et) Basecat: Blue's quote aptly describes the scene..

2/24/2008 9:48 pm (et) secret squirrel: Yes mobile.

2/24/2008 9:48 pm (et) cwbksell: You must keep in mind that they had no other form of entertainment, unless they lived in a larger town that may have an opera house or theater.

2/24/2008 9:49 pm (et) Susansweet: Interesting form of entertainment.

2/24/2008 9:50 pm (et) cwbksell: It was different from the dull humdrum daily life of the 1800s.

2/24/2008 9:51 pm (et) mobile_96: Wonder how many would watch a hanging today, over the internet.

2/24/2008 9:51 pm (et) Basecat: I happen to agree cwbksell, but also thing that once the day came, they realized the seriousness of the event.

2/24/2008 9:51 pm (et) bluelady: Now you think that Andrew's hanging was botched...this is one that takes the cake!

2/24/2008 9:52 pm (et) jbuck: "If the rope breaks it proves the person is innocent"

2/24/2008 9:52 pm (et) Basecat: Mobile...Has happened already, as most saw the hanging of Sadam on You Tube.

2/24/2008 9:52 pm (et) Susansweet: I thought it was interesting how Bond in the last chapter foreshadowed the next one.

2/24/2008 9:52 pm (et) mobile_96: That's why I said, One of the worst.

2/24/2008 9:52 pm (et) Susansweet: Little comment about well it won't happen again.

2/24/2008 9:52 pm (et) bluelady: Unless you were convicted of spying on the "cornfeds".

2/24/2008 9:53 pm (et) cwbksell: I have to agree with "some folks in the crowd" who opposed the second hanging, having heard that the breaking of the rope on the gallows was evidence that the accused was not guilty. They should have let Andrews go as well since his fall did not break his neck as it should have.

2/24/2008 9:54 pm (et) bluelady: Bonds does set us up very well from chapter to chapter.

2/24/2008 9:54 pm (et) Babs: I was starting to feel sorry for the executioners.

2/24/2008 9:54 pm (et) Susansweet: And Fuller again getting the rope as a momento and keeping it near him always .

2/24/2008 9:55 pm (et) Susansweet: Could it be good writing blue ?

2/24/2008 9:56 pm (et) bluelady: Absolutely Susan...he actually knows how to use foreshadowing! ;)

2/24/2008 9:56 pm (et) mobile_96: In this chapter we find some comments about Gen. Mitchell by John Beatty. I just read that same comment in The Citizen Soldier, or Memoirs of a Volunteer, by John Beatty.

2/24/2008 9:56 pm (et) Susansweet: amazing !!!

2/24/2008 9:56 pm (et) bluelady: I think that is a very morbid souvenir.

2/24/2008 9:56 pm (et) Babs: Does a darn good job. I hope he writes more.

2/24/2008 9:56 pm (et) mobile_96: But not uncommon Blue.

2/24/2008 9:57 pm (et) bluelady: Yeah well ok I guess.

2/24/2008 9:57 pm (et) Susansweet: I think Fuller becomes fixated on the men and stealing HIS train !!

2/24/2008 9:57 pm (et) Babs: I'm surprised he didn't sell it on ebay.

2/24/2008 9:57 pm (et) Basecat: Mobile...IIRC, Garfield chimed in as well during this chapter about the atrocities Mitchel and his troops did in Alabama.

2/24/2008 9:58 pm (et) Susansweet: Wonder what happened to it . I didn't see it at the museum.

2/24/2008 9:58 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Fuller tied the high point of his life to the train chase - no pun intended.

2/24/2008 9:59 pm (et) bluelady: Maybe his son's family kept the ropes

2/24/2008 9:59 pm (et) bluelady: ooooh AMG.

2/24/2008 9:59 pm (et) Susansweet: I couldn't believe his letter he wrote years latter that said we would no have tolerated any sort of inhumane treatment of the soldiers .

2/24/2008 10:00 pm (et) Susansweet: Wonder what he considered inhumane ?

2/24/2008 10:00 pm (et) Susansweet: AMG I think you are right!

2/24/2008 10:00 pm (et) bluelady: That the hangings were done legally and it was just a mistake.

2/24/2008 10:01 pm (et) bluelady: Slavens and Campbell..I can't imagine what went through their minds the second time.

2/24/2008 10:01 pm (et) mobile_96: Wasn't it habit, that if a hanging failed the 2nd time the prisoner was free?

2/24/2008 10:01 pm (et) cwbksell: Inhumane would be a botched up hanging like the three that occurred.

2/24/2008 10:01 pm (et) mobile_96: Or was that just some Hollywood.

2/24/2008 10:02 pm (et) Susansweet: He says in the book that people said they should not hang them again became if the rope broke that meant they were innocent .

2/24/2008 10:03 pm (et) Basecat: My bad...Garfield comments were in the previous chapter, but that's pure Garfield. Very quick to blame others, but incensed when his name would come up dealing with failures.

2/24/2008 10:03 pm (et) secret squirrel: We are talking about Yankees here.

2/24/2008 10:03 pm (et) cwbksell: I think the prisoner should be free if the first hanging failed.

2/24/2008 10:03 pm (et) Basecat: Mobile...That was my impression as well.

2/24/2008 10:03 pm (et) mobile_96: That was a citizen's comment (superstition?), but was it law.

2/24/2008 10:04 pm (et) Susansweet: I am surprised Fuller did jump up and place a new rope on them.

2/24/2008 10:04 pm (et) Susansweet: Don't think it was law as much as custom.

2/24/2008 10:04 pm (et) mobile_96: Surprised Fuller didn't bring extra's.

2/24/2008 10:04 pm (et) mobile_96: Thanks Susan, what I really meant.

2/24/2008 10:06 pm (et) Susansweet: I have read about it happening in the West .

2/24/2008 10:06 pm (et) Susansweet: Can't site a reference at the moment.

2/24/2008 10:06 pm (et) bluelady: The chilling way the chapter ends...Davis wondering what happened to the others of the party and should not these be treated the same way?

2/24/2008 10:06 pm (et) cwbksell: What they really needed was a good hangman who did the job right the first time.

2/24/2008 10:06 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Considering all the events that were botched during this event, it was really almost to be expected that the hangings would not go according to plan.

2/24/2008 10:08 pm (et) Susansweet: Makes you wonder if they didn't make a mistake sending the letter.

2/24/2008 10:08 pm (et) bluelady: Indeed.

2/24/2008 10:09 pm (et) Basecat: Was looking for the answer about failed hangings, but have yet to find anything on it.

2/24/2008 10:09 pm (et) mobile_96: Believe it was a mistake.

2/24/2008 10:09 pm (et) bluelady: But as we know...call this POSSIBLE foreshadowing.

2/24/2008 10:10 pm (et) Susansweet: Right.

2/24/2008 10:11 pm (et) Basecat: Actually found a table that describes the right way to hang someone based on weight of person, and how big the drop from the gallows should be...but that's about it.

2/24/2008 10:14 pm (et) Susansweet: At least now I know why some were hanged and some were not . That was always a question in my mind.

2/24/2008 10:15 pm (et) Susansweet: I hadn't read enough to know why before.

2/24/2008 10:15 pm (et) Basecat: Pittenger's letter bothers me as well...He knew what he was getting involved in IMHO. Reiterate what I said last week...why was he chosen for this duty?

2/24/2008 10:15 pm (et) Babs: Base, suggest you don't use that as a conversation topic on a first date.

2/24/2008 10:15 pm (et) bluelady: And why they were moved to Atlanta.

2/24/2008 10:15 pm (et) mobile_96: Some not because they never got around to a trial.

2/24/2008 10:15 pm (et) Susansweet: lol Babs good one.

2/24/2008 10:15 pm (et) Basecat: Duly noted Babs..:)

2/24/2008 10:16 pm (et) bluelady: I think that maybe he was the most literate of the ones on trial and that maybe he could persuade them.

2/24/2008 10:16 pm (et) secret squirrel: If they hadn't escaped they would have had the same punishment.

2/24/2008 10:16 pm (et) Susansweet: Right SS I know that now . Amazing.

2/24/2008 10:17 pm (et) mobile_96: Talking about the escapes...............

2/24/2008 10:17 pm (et) Babs: They got better at running away than they were earlier.

2/24/2008 10:17 pm (et) cwbksell: In the Old West, judges would travel the circuit to different towns to hold court. If a person was found guilt of a crime and the punishment was death by hanging, they would wait in jail until the hangman, on his circuit, came to town to professionally hang the guilty person. There were no mistakes or second hangings.

2/24/2008 10:18 pm (et) bluelady: Oops you are talking about the letters...well he was the most literate of them all.

2/24/2008 10:18 pm (et) mobile_96: Much, especially when helping each other.

2/24/2008 10:18 pm (et) mobile_96: Thanks bksell.

2/24/2008 10:18 pm (et) bluelady: And judging that all signed the letters...they agreed to what was said.

2/24/2008 10:19 pm (et) Basecat: Blue...He's so smarmy if that makes any sense. Tend to think he was looking out for himself more than his fellow raiders...

2/24/2008 10:19 pm (et) Basecat: Anymore thoughts on Chapter 13?

2/24/2008 10:19 pm (et) bluelady: Then why would they sign as if in agreement?

2/24/2008 10:20 pm (et) cwbksell: Babs, They escaped in pairs. I believe they were successful because they had someone to keep them going.

2/24/2008 10:20 pm (et) Susansweet: Base do you mean Pittinger ? I don't think so as he was doing what he thought would save them all , he was being his "brother's keeper".

2/24/2008 10:20 pm (et) bluelady: And they all agreed what was written!

2/24/2008 10:21 pm (et) Susansweet: He was the most religious and is the one that became a minister after the war .

2/24/2008 10:21 pm (et) secret squirrel: And...they had already had men from their group executed.

2/24/2008 10:21 pm (et) Susansweet: And as Blue says they agreed to what he wrote .

2/24/2008 10:21 pm (et) Basecat: Blue, only thing I can think of, they could not express themselves in a literate way. If me, I would be looking out for myself if found in that situation.

2/24/2008 10:22 pm (et) secret squirrel: bc what would make you different from the others?

2/24/2008 10:22 pm (et) bluelady: I do agree with you on that.. I too may be looking out for myself but these guys by this time I think had a bond that transcends our understanding.

2/24/2008 10:23 pm (et) Basecat: SS...Nothing, but if I was in that situation, a guy like Pittnger would not have been my choice as spokesman for the group.

2/24/2008 10:23 pm (et) Susansweet: They had gone though so much together and realized when they escaped singularly they got caught . So they would all stick together .

2/24/2008 10:23 pm (et) bluelady: And of what he wrote, it sounded as if it spoke for all of them...and not just him.

2/24/2008 10:23 pm (et) Babs: Backing up a bit- thought it interesting that when they were unshackled they still moved in tandem for awhile.

2/24/2008 10:24 pm (et) jbuck: Knight and Brown carrying Mason to help him escape.

2/24/2008 10:24 pm (et) Susansweet: But Steve you are not a 19th century soldier.

2/24/2008 10:24 pm (et) secret squirrel: Yes, that is funny.

2/24/2008 10:24 pm (et) bluelady: That was a bit funny there Babs.

2/24/2008 10:24 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Some may have been smart enough to realize they were not smart enough to talk their way out of this one. Trust someone who was.

2/24/2008 10:24 pm (et) mobile_96: And what happened to Mason after the 2 had to leave him.

2/24/2008 10:24 pm (et) jbuck: They refused to leave Mason to die in the woods.

2/24/2008 10:25 pm (et) bluelady: And at this point it was not brawn and muscle to the use of words that were necessary for the raiders...at least for this job.

2/24/2008 10:25 pm (et) bluelady: He was sent back to prison.

2/24/2008 10:25 pm (et) Basecat: Never said I was, and am just basing my opinion on him from reading the book.

2/24/2008 10:26 pm (et) cwbksell: I have to agree with you blue. They also did more planning on what to do in the event different situations would come up in their escape.

2/24/2008 10:27 pm (et) mobile_96: I am surprised any of them made it away.

2/24/2008 10:27 pm (et) bluelady: Another reason I am asking the same question next week about opinions of Pittenger as compared to others who were just as outspoken and gained much fame being involved with the raid.

2/24/2008 10:28 pm (et) bluelady: Somehow I think we already in some part have jumped to the next chapter.

2/24/2008 10:28 pm (et) Susansweet: Steve just thought they would think differently than we would today

2/24/2008 10:29 pm (et) Babs: Oops. I thought we already were in the final chapter of tonight's lesson.

2/24/2008 10:29 pm (et) Basecat: Will just say the opening lines of the letter bothers me...that they were ignorant to Andrew's plans. That's BS.

2/24/2008 10:29 pm (et) Susansweet: But it CYA's all of them.

2/24/2008 10:30 pm (et) bluelady: hehe we were discussing the letters to confederate authorities.

2/24/2008 10:30 pm (et) bluelady: Well that is true but I think they thought they had to say that to save their skins.

2/24/2008 10:31 pm (et) Babs: A little spin doctoring to try to save their necks.

2/24/2008 10:31 pm (et) bluelady: I still think it was a collaborative letter penned by Pittenger.

2/24/2008 10:32 pm (et) Susansweet: I am sure they all talked about what he would write then all signed it.

2/24/2008 10:32 pm (et) cwbksell: We know it did them no good, but for them, they had to try anything that might work. After all, they were appealing to Davis's better nature. They didn't know he had none.

2/24/2008 10:32 pm (et) mobile_96: Blue, that's what I get from the chapter.

2/24/2008 10:32 pm (et) Susansweet: All but Parrott who couldn't write.

2/24/2008 10:33 pm (et) bluelady: Maybe when they left Shelbyville they were in the dark so to speak but once they boarded the train in Marietta...they knew exactly what was going on.

2/24/2008 10:34 pm (et) Basecat: Again, they were told that if the mission failed, it would probably cost them their lives. And I don't buy that they did not know more clearly after they left Shelbyville. They chose to partake in a risky situation, got caught, and then claimed they had no idea what they were supposed to do???

2/24/2008 10:35 pm (et) Susansweet: They were trying to save their own lives now , the others were gone , nothing they could do about them , but save themselves.

2/24/2008 10:35 pm (et) Susansweet: Anyway they could.

2/24/2008 10:35 pm (et) cwbksell: Their argument as to their not knowing anything about the raid was no different than their story about wanting to join the Confederate army if they were asked about their traveling south.

2/24/2008 10:36 pm (et) Susansweet: And being told something might happen and then having it hit you in the face is a whole different thing .

2/24/2008 10:36 pm (et) Babs: Base, Sometimes people lie. You have obviously never worked in a middle school.

2/24/2008 10:36 pm (et) bluelady: Good point but when you are desperate you will say anything! This was a desperate measure taken my desperate men trying to save their lives.

2/24/2008 10:36 pm (et) Susansweet: cwbksell EXACTLY.

2/24/2008 10:36 pm (et) bluelady: lol babs especially to save their own skins!

2/24/2008 10:36 pm (et) Susansweet: Good one Babs or a grade school.

2/24/2008 10:37 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Also, keep in mind that much of the testimonial as to who said what, was written after the fact, and for public consumption. A person can be expected to make oneself look as good as possible.

2/24/2008 10:38 pm (et) cwbksell: Often times, that's what sells books.

2/24/2008 10:39 pm (et) Basecat: Dave...Guess that's why I have a problem with Pittinger.

2/24/2008 10:39 pm (et) bluelady: I think in this case if you look at what was written right after the event, and Bonds mentioned this before, you will be closer to the truth than if you were to depend on writings and memories of latter years.

2/24/2008 10:40 pm (et) Susansweet: Right Blue

2/24/2008 10:40 pm (et) bluelady: Well also in some of Pittenger's latter writings he was being forces to defend himself...adding more to what AMG just said.

2/24/2008 10:40 pm (et) Susansweet: Let's agree to disagree and move on to third chapter for tonight.

2/24/2008 10:40 pm (et) bluelady: Agreed!

2/24/2008 10:41 pm (et) cwbksell: I think you are right blue. Time distorts the memory.

2/24/2008 10:41 pm (et) Basecat: Must be dense here, as I still don't get who came up with the idea that a soldier like Pittinger would be asked to partake in a mission like this.

2/24/2008 10:43 pm (et) cwbksell: I thought after the group was caught, the story was over, but this chapter was I believe the most interesting of the three. What say the rest of you?

2/24/2008 10:44 pm (et) secret squirrel: Why?

2/24/2008 10:44 pm (et) jbuck: Agreed - and the map was a tremendous help to track the escapees.

2/24/2008 10:44 pm (et) mobile_96: Agree with you bksell.

2/24/2008 10:44 pm (et) bluelady: Well IIRC, the companies of the 3 regiments involved had different way of selecting volunteers...maybe he was allowed to go because he volunteered...as to why they let him go...again who knows!

2/24/2008 10:44 pm (et) Susansweet: I loved this chapter . I was riveted following their escape routes and thank you Russell for the great map.

2/24/2008 10:44 pm (et) Basecat: Let's proceed... A Damned Long Ways From Camp, and you are on your own, as I did not finish this chapter..

2/24/2008 10:44 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Nice to have the climax come near the end.

2/24/2008 10:45 pm (et) bluelady: But the escape of the 3 groups and the paths that they chose to freedom...that is amazing.

2/24/2008 10:45 pm (et) secret squirrel: Esp those that went south.

2/24/2008 10:46 pm (et) jbuck: Wilson and Wood head to the Gulf !

2/24/2008 10:46 pm (et) bluelady: I got a n Ohio historical magazine from Marie that featured the artwork that was used by Knight on his lectures on the event after the war was over.

2/24/2008 10:46 pm (et) jbuck: And made it - amazing.

2/24/2008 10:46 pm (et) Susansweet: That would be neat to see.

2/24/2008 10:47 pm (et) bluelady: I still have it and will bring it to muster.

2/24/2008 10:47 pm (et) cwbksell: Base, don't skip this chapter. Be sure to read it all. :o)

2/24/2008 10:47 pm (et) Susansweet: I couldn't believe the two decided to go south, on the river and made it to Mobile!!!!

2/24/2008 10:47 pm (et) Babs: Does the art work still exist?

2/24/2008 10:47 pm (et) bluelady: Now that I am not sure...I will have to look at what the magazine says.

2/24/2008 10:48 pm (et) mobile_96: If these escapes are not included in the Movie, if and when made, will make it a failure, in my eyes.

2/24/2008 10:48 pm (et) Basecat: cwbksell...I'll read it...:)

2/24/2008 10:49 pm (et) bluelady: The Ohio Historical Society own it.

2/24/2008 10:49 pm (et) Babs: There is no reason for Hollywood to embellish a thing.

2/24/2008 10:49 pm (et) Susansweet: Can it be ordered from the Ohio Historical Society?

2/24/2008 10:49 pm (et) mobile_96: And even with the truth told, most will figure its made up.

2/24/2008 10:49 pm (et) Babs: Blue, Cool! I'm guessing it is in Columbus then.

2/24/2008 10:50 pm (et) Susansweet: My copy of Daring Suffering has great lithographs.

2/24/2008 10:51 pm (et) cwbksell: Hope you're right babs, but then look how they butchered Grierson's Raid (Pony Soldier with John Wayne).

2/24/2008 10:51 pm (et) bluelady: I doubt it, there were 17 panels painted each 71/2 feet x 6 feet.

2/24/2008 10:51 pm (et) Babs: cwbksell, they certainly did.

2/24/2008 10:53 pm (et) Susansweet: Horse Soldiers has many faults , hope they don't turn this into that kind of movie.

2/24/2008 10:53 pm (et) bluelady: Folks I have school tomorrow and really must be off. I had a long day and am really bushed.

2/24/2008 10:53 pm (et) Susansweet: Night Blue.

2/24/2008 10:53 pm (et) bluelady:I will catch the rest of this in the log.

2/24/2008 10:53 pm (et) bluelady: logs off.

2/24/2008 10:53 pm (et) Basecat: Night Blue...Take Care.

2/24/2008 10:54 pm (et) Susansweet: I am amazed at how they could find help all of them.

2/24/2008 10:54 pm (et) cwbksell: Night Blue. Be nice to the kids. :o)

2/24/2008 10:54 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I have the impression that if Mr. Bonds has anything to say about how his book is presented, it will be a winner.

2/24/2008 10:55 pm (et) Susansweet: I agree AHG.

2/24/2008 10:55 pm (et) Susansweet: Too bad we live so far apart . or we could have a movie night !

2/24/2008 10:55 pm (et) mobile_96: Hope Bonds is one of the script writers.

2/24/2008 10:56 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Or at least a consultant.

2/24/2008 10:56 pm (et) Basecat: He will be a consultant on the movie.

2/24/2008 10:57 pm (et) mobile_96: The consultant.

2/24/2008 10:57 pm (et) cwbksell: AHG, I hope he does as well, but you know how Hollywood always tries to include some romance in the films and I don't recall there being that many women in this story.

2/24/2008 10:58 pm (et) mobile_96: All of them were extremely lucky they weren't shot entering Union lines.

2/24/2008 10:58 pm (et) Susansweet: Andrew will be played by Jodi Foster.

2/24/2008 10:58 pm (et) amhistoryguy: We don't really know what was going on back in those box cars during the chase, cwbksell : )

2/24/2008 10:58 pm (et) mobile_96: bksell, forgot about Swim's wife cooking their grub while in his jail.

2/24/2008 10:59 pm (et) Susansweet: That was scary as they approached the union lines.

2/24/2008 10:59 pm (et) Babs: A. Jolie can be the woman with the baby who visits them in jail.

2/24/2008 10:59 pm (et) Susansweet: and Halle Berry will play the woman that with her husband brought them their meals and newspapers .

2/24/2008 11:00 pm (et) mobile_96: Bruce Willis will play fuller.

2/24/2008 11:00 pm (et) Susansweet: Being half blind myself I sure felt for Pittinger wandering around not being able to see so well. I am surprised that somewhere along the line his glasses weren't broken

2/24/2008 11:00 pm (et) Susansweet: Too old Mobile.

2/24/2008 11:00 pm (et) Babs: I thought it was interesting that they could always find a boat to steal.

2/24/2008 11:01 pm (et) Susansweet: But in Hollywood who cares.

2/24/2008 11:01 pm (et) cwbksell: And who will you ladies have to play "broken hearted" Elizabeth Layton?

2/24/2008 11:01 pm (et) mobile_96: Brad Pitt?

2/24/2008 11:01 pm (et) Susansweet: Babs that was amazing.

2/24/2008 11:01 pm (et) Susansweet: Yeah there sure were a lot of free boats.

2/24/2008 11:02 pm (et) Babs: Reece Witherspoon? Carman Diaz?

2/24/2008 11:02 pm (et) cwbksell: Babs, Someone knew they couldn't swim. :o)

2/24/2008 11:02 pm (et) Susansweet: Reece

2/24/2008 11:04 pm (et) mobile_96: Julianne Moore

2/24/2008 11:04 pm (et) Babs: I have school tomorrow too. I'm departing. Great chat as usual.

2/24/2008 11:04 pm (et) mobile_96: Night Babs

2/24/2008 11:04 pm (et) Susansweet: Night Babs

2/24/2008 11:04 pm (et) Babs: logs off.

2/24/2008 11:04 pm (et) Susansweet: Just please any one but Nicole Kidman.

2/24/2008 11:05 pm (et) cwbksell: Night Babs. Be nice to the kids. :o)

2/24/2008 11:06 pm (et) Susansweet: Good discussion tonight.

2/24/2008 11:07 pm (et) secret squirrel: Night

2/24/2008 11:07 pm (et) Basecat: Well we set a record tonight...a 2 hour book chat. :) Thanks all for attending and sharing your opinions...Homework for next week will be the last 3 chapters of the book. I will post a reminder in here daily, and will see if Russ can join us for the last night of the chat on his book. Thanks again.

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