William Pittengerwas a Union Army soldier during the American Civil War. He was one of thefirst recipients of the Medal of Honor. He is the author of Daring andSuffering, a History of the Great Railroad Adventurers (Philadelphia, 1863;enlarged ed., New York, 1887); Oratory, Sacred and Secular (Philadelphia,1881); and Extempore Speech (1882).
Unlike other books from this time period dealing with historical aspects of the Civil War, Capturing a Locomotive focuses not only on the well known battles, it also gives the reader personal accounts of the Union soldiers who carried out the mission. The story details the capture of a railway train deep inside Confederate territory, the exciting chase that ensues and the final outcome for this group of brave Union men. Survivors of this mission were the first soldiers with the rank of Private to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. No single story of the Civil War combines so many of the hidden underground elements that are rarely brought to the surface through traditional analysis of tactical warfare. This story contains all of the adventure to keep the reader enthralled, and its details are completely accurate. Names, dates, and localities are so explicate throughout the work that it is easy to verify the prominent features of the account. Although based on the original 1881 story, Daring and Suffering, this novel holds greater historical value by means of a new approach and broader view of the events.