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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chattanooga in Hamilton County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Swaim's Jail

Confining Andrew's Raiders

 
 
Swaim's Jail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Judith Barber, January 14, 2012
1. Swaim's Jail Marker
Inscription. Swaim’s Jail, a small two-story brick building set into the side of the slope and surrounded by a high board fence, stood across the street. Confederate authorities held Andrew’s Raiders there after their capture in April 1862. James J. Andrews, 22 soldiers from three Ohio infantry regiments, and a civilian names William Gunter Campbell stole a locomotive called The General of Big Shanty (present day Kennesaw), Georgia and traveled toward Chattanooga. They planned to disrupt Confederate communications by destroying Western and Atlantic Railroad bridges and cutting telegraph wires. Conductor William Allen Fuller led a close pursuit, and the raiders could not carry out their plan. They ran out of fuel north of Ringgold, Georgia, abandoned the engine, fled into the countryside around Chattanooga, and were soon captured.

The raiders were confined in the jail’s basement, only 13 square feet and accessed through a trap door and down a ladder. A raider wrote, “Though the night was cool outside, the heat here was more than that of a tropic noon and the perspiration soon oozed from every pore. The fetid air and the stench made me for a time deadly sick, and worst of all, there was an almost unbearable sense of suffocation.”

A Confederate court found Andrews guilty of spying and hanged him in Atlanta on June 7,
Swaim's Jail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 1, 2012
2. Swaim's Jail Marker
Close-up view of the picture of "Swaim's Jail" that is displayed on the historic marker.
1862. On June 18, seven other raiders were also hanged. Eight others later escaped to the North. The last six raiders were exchanged as prisoners of war on March 17, 1863. Chattanooga National Cemetery contains the 1890 Ohio memorial to Andrew’s Raiders.
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 35° 3.099′ N, 85° 18.381′ W. Marker is in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in Hamilton County. Marker is on Lookout Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 450 Lookout Street, Chattanooga TN 37403, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Point in the Line of Fort Sherman (within shouting distance of this marker); Chattanooga's First School (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of Bragg's Headquarters (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Headquarters of Brigadier General George D. Wagner (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Point in the Line of Fort Sherman (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ernest Walter Holmes, Sr.
Swaim's Jail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 1, 2012
3. Swaim's Jail Marker
View of the historic marker and the background area.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Chattanooga Daily Rebel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Military History of Chattanooga (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chattanooga.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Swaim's Jail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 1, 2012
4. Swaim's Jail Marker
View of the historic marker looking south along Lookout Street.
Swaim's Jail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 1, 2012
5. Swaim's Jail Marker
View of the historic marker looking north along Lookout Street.
Swaim's Jail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 1, 2012
6. Swaim's Jail Marker
View of the backside of the historic marker in the left foreground and the original location of the jail in the background.
James J. Andrews image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, July 29, 2010
7. James J. Andrews
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 17, 2012, by Judith Barber of Marietta, Georgia. This page has been viewed 565 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on January 17, 2012, by Judith Barber of Marietta, Georgia.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 2, 2012, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   7. submitted on August 9, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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