1994 Hudson’s General
- Part of set of five picturing American locomotives
- Similar in design to 1987 Locomotive stamps
Category of Stamp: Commemorative
Value: 29¢, First-Class Mail rate
First Day of Issue: July 28, 1994
First Day City: Chama, New Mexico
Quantity Issued: 31,840,000
Printed by: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method/Format: Photogravure. Four panes of five stamps, from printing cylinders of 200 (10 across, 20 down)
Reason the stamp was issued: Locomotives are a popular topic with stamp collectors. These stamps appealed to them, as well as train enthusiasts.
About the stamp design: The five stamps picture locomotives produced in America in the last half of the 19th century. Each locomotive was built in a different decade. Richard Leech, who had designed the first set of Locomotive stamps (US 2363-66), worked with his son Kent on the illustrations for these stamps. Richard sketched each locomotive facing left. Kent outlined the work in pen, then Richard finished the artwork with watercolor and airbrush.
First Day City: The Locomotive stamps were dedicated in Chama, New Mexico, the site of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. This route runs from Cumbres Pass to Antonito, Colorado.
About the Set: This stamp is part of a set of five picturing historic locomotives built between 1850 and 1900. Each stamp shows a locomotive constructed during a different decade. Those depicted in this set are: Hudson’s General, McQueen’s Jupiter, Eddy’s No. 242, Ely’s No. 10, and Buchanan’s No. 999.
History the stamp represents:
Railroads played a major role during the Civil War, transporting troops to battlefields and keeping them supplied. Although both sides used railroads, the South was at a distinct disadvantage because it had less track and far fewer locomotives.
Designed by William Hudson, and built in 1855 for Western and Atlantic Railroad, the Confederate locomotive General became famous during the Civil War when it was highjacked by a group of Union soldiers. Under the command of Captain Andrews, Union troops captured the train at Big Shanty, Georgia on April 12, 1862 while the passengers and crew were having breakfast in the depot’s eating house.
Their intention was to disrupt communications behind enemy lines by cutting telegraph wires and destroying the rails behind them. The conductor of the train chased the stolen locomotive, first on a handcart and then with a small, private engine called the Yonah. Eventually he took over another full-size locomotive, the Texas. After an 87-mile chase that lasted nearly eight hours, the General ran out of fuel, and Andrews and his men were captured. Immortalized in several films, the General survived and is on display in Chattanooga, Tennessee.