The good people at Osprey Publishing sent me a copy of Gordon Rottman’s The Great Locomotive Chase. This book was of particular interest to me since I live about 35 miles from where the raiders were finally caught. I’ve also been to the Atlanta Cyclorama and seen the Texas, so needless to say I was looking forward to reading this book.
True to form the folks at Osprey have done a good job illustrating this book. Pictures of the participants, the trains, a few current photographs of the locations, and two really neat maps all arm the reader with the visualizations needed to enhance the story.
Rottman has also produced a readable work. His writing is clear and crisp and he weaves an interesting story in a way that keeps the readers attention. He has one slightly confused sentence on Page 31 but otherwise manages the timeline well. One bigger mistake I found was on page 54. Rottman states, “On May 31, 12 raiders…were transported to Knoxville, Kentucky for trial.” This is an obvious mistake. Now there is a Knoxville, Kentucky, but it is near the Ohio border up by Cincinnati. Of course the author meant Knoxville, Tennessee since Kentucky was a Union state and Tennessee was part of the Confederacy. Mistakes do happen and I would say that this one does not take away from the book.
I do recommend this book. It is a good, enjoyable read and you won’t be disappointed.