The historic town of Kennesaw, 20 miles northwest of Atlanta, is in the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History. Kennesaw was known as the Big Shanty in the 1800s, and it grew as a stop along the Western and Atlantic Railways. As Union forces moved to Atlanta during the Civil War, a number of battles and skirmishes began in the area. Many attempts have been made to disrupt the flow of rail supplies. Big Shanty is best remembered as the place where the "big locomotive chase" originated. Yankee spies stole a locomotive called the General on April 12, 1862, before it was stopped at the Great Shant station. The steamer headed north to Chattanooga, Tennessee. The chase took place, and the locomotive was renamed Old Orgy in the town of Ringgold, in the south of Tennessee.
The 1957 Disney film "The Great Locomotive's Pursuit" tells the story of the General and the story of the Civil War in the area. In 1962 the General again made a trip from Big Shanty (Kennesaw) to Chattanooga. The locomotive was permanently returned to Kennesaw in 1972 after a lengthy litigation with the city of Chattanooga. Today it is the center of the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History. The museum is a member of the Smithsonian Relatives Program, which provides the opportunity to host Smithsonian traveling exhibits and display Smithsonian artifacts in its exhibit collections.
The history of General and its theft and confiscation are chronicled at the Great Chase Motor Show. The importance of railways during the Civil War is studied by exhibition railways. The End of Civil War Life. The Museum's "Works on a Safe Railway" exhibition is an interactive center focused on safety. Glover Machine Works is a locally-driven locomotive assembly line based in a fully restored zone, originally operating in Marietta, Georgia. The museum displays a number of artifacts from the Civil War era, including weapons, medical equipment, uniforms and personal belongings of soldiers.
The Museum's educational center has interactive learning facilities for children to explore. There is a diesel train simulator where children can learn to be train drivers and engineers. The telegram allows visitors to try the Morse code. Early Kennesaw replica allows children to dress in period clothing and play in stores.
The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History is located at 2829 Cherokee Street. Museum hours are Monday-Saturday 9 am. 9 am to 30 pm, and Sunday 11 am to 11 pm. Admission is $ 7 for adults and $ 5-12 for children ages 4-12. Children under 3 and under are admitted free of charge.