Saving History Saturday: Marking Pittenger’s Grave

Remember William Pittenger? He was one of the Andrews’ Raiders who plunged into Georgia in April 1862 to steal a locomotive called “The General” and create havoc behind the Union lines. Unlike some of his comrades, Pittenger survived the raid and later received the Medal of Honor.

In March 2021, a Southern California community rediscovered Pittenger’s story and grave. Inspired, they placed a new memorial marker and are encouraging others to explore his history and post-war life as a community founder for Fallbrook.

Here’s a video from the local news.

And an article with photos and more details:

2 Responses to Saving History Saturday: Marking Pittenger’s Grave

  1. Corporal William Pittenger, 2nd Ohio Infantry, on detached service, had an eventful April 1862 with his involvement in The Great Locomotive Chase; and that was followed by capture, imprisonment, escape, and re-capture… with confinement at Castle Thunder in Richmond finally brought to an end with his formal exchange as Prisoner of War in Spring 1863. His exploits, particularly the harrowing experiences in Rebel prisons, were then “put to use” by now-Lieutenant Pittenger and Captain J.J. Geer crossing the Northern states on an officially sanctioned lecture tour, revealing the “inhumane conditions associated with confinement of POWs” (and which was in truth the shared experience of ALL Civil War prisoners, North and South, subjected to “half-rations” of poor quality “food,” unhealthy water supply, inadequate shelter, and captured soldiers at risk of summary execution at any time for minor offenses.) Newspapers of 1863 provided significant coverage of the hardships of William Pittenger and his just-released associates [see New York Daily Tribune of 7 April 1863 pages one and two.] And J.J. Geer published a book, which includes mention of William Pittenger, titled, “Beyond the Lines: a Yankee Prisoner Loose in Dixie (1863)” available at

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