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Public domain image of engraving / Jacob Parrott

Born in Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1843, Army Pvt. Jacob Parrott joined the Ohio Infantry during the Civil War and would become the youngest of 24 men known as Andrews' Raiders.

By 1863, Parrott received the first Medal of Honor for his part in the "The Great Locomotive Chase" that ended just outside of Chattanooga in the Ringgold area. Ultimately, 19 of the 24 raiders were awarded the Medal of Honor.

The mission began on April 12, 1862, in the Marietta, Georgia, area. The men were given orders to invade enemy territory, comandeer a Confederate locomotive named The General, burn bridges and destroy railroad tracks between Chattanooga and Atlanta, according to the Medal of Honor Heritage Center.

The men, led by civilian scout James Andrews, got on the train with the cover story that they were from Fleming County, Kentucky, and were on their way to join the Confederate Army, said Anthony Hodges, Medal of Honor Heritage Center board member and local Civil War historian.

Once the train reached Big Shanty, Georgia — now known as Kennesaw — everyone disboarded for breakfast.

That's when the men made their move.

They got on the train and began uncoupling the engine, fuel car and three boxcars before steaming out of the station, according to the Department of Defense website.

But it was raining that day, and all of the bridges were wooden.

"The rain prevents them from catching fire," Hodges said. "Because they can't get these bridges to burn because of that rain it turns out to be a pretty fatal thing for their expedition."

Andrews and his men were able to damage a few bridges along the Western and Atlantic Railroad line before running out of fuel in the Ringgold area. But Confederate soldiers, who were railroad operators by trade, Hodges said, had gotten a hold of another train and were gaining on them.

The raiders finally abandoned their stolen locomotive and scattered into the woods but were eventually captured by Confederate troops.

They were all put on trial in Knoxville and convicted for "acts of unlawful belligerency." That is, being unlawful combatants and spies, according to the Heritage Center.

Not long after, Andrews and seven of the raiders were taken to Atlanta and executed by hanging, Hodges said. They are buried in Chattanooga's National Cemetery.

The remaining soldiers were held as prisoners of war.

Parrott was eventually returned to the Union in a prisoner exchange in March 1863. That same month, he was awarded the first Medal of Honor for his acts of bravery during the raid. Five of his comrades were also awarded Medals of Honor shortly thereafter. Ultimately, 19 of the 24 members of Andrews' Raiders received Medals of Honor.

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