Henry County's Connection to the Great Locomotive Chase
"Captain W. A. Fuller"
Captain Fuller gained distinction during the Civil War by recapturing the famous "General" locomotive
from a party of Union raiders known as Andrew's Raiders.
Capt. Fuller spent his childhood growing up here in Henry County. He was the son of William
Alexander Fuller who lived in a part of Henry County which would become Clayton County. The
location was Morrow's Station. He married Miss Susan Alford
who was the granddaughter of James and Alley Butler who was the first to settle in Henry County on
the South River at Butlers Ferry. This area would become Butlers
Bridge. They later moved to Griffin, Georgia..
Miss Annie Fuller, the daughter of Captain William A. Fuller, was the famous Atlanta writer and
historian. She married Wilbur G. Kurtz, the famous Atlanta artist and historian who moved here in
1903 to study the Civil War. He wrote the history of the great locomotive chase. He would also sit
on the first Civil War Roundtable and would write the text's for the Georgia Historical Commission
Markers which we see along the highways today. He was one of the foremost authorities on the
Atlanta Campaign and the Civil War in Georgia. Mr. and Mrs. Kurtz would go to Hollywood to be
advisers on the film "Gone With the Wind."
The following is a statement that Franklin Garrett wrote of his colleague and friend in 1967.
"For nearly forty years, from 1930 until his death in 1967, it was my privilege to enjoy a
close friendship and association with Wilbur G. Kurtz. We shared a common interest, Atlanta
area history. In his pursuit of the subject Mr. Kurtz possessed three attributes seldom
combined in a chronicler of history; an inquiring mind, an ability to write, and skill as an
artist. Many early Atlanta area scenes and landmarks never were photographed; indeed, they
disappeared before the advent of the camera. In re-creating them in water color or oil, Wilbur
Kurtz had to rely on scanty printed descriptions, his own sound knowledge of period
architecture, costume, and artifact, and verbal descriptions supplied by old citizens who
remembered them. During the early 1930's we called together upon a number of pioneer
citizens then in their nineties whose memories, some clear, some dim, under patient
interrogation produced verbal description of bygone scenes which Mr. Kurtz, by pen and
brush, was able to recreate. I shall always cherish the memory of the many happy hours I
spent in the company of this quiet, unassuming man , who did so much to make the Atlanta
scenes of long ago live for posterity."
Franklin M. Garrett
1. The Mother of Counties, 1971, Mrs. Rainer.
2. Biography of Wilbur Kurtz, 1967.
3. Movie Credits, "Gone With the Wind", Margaret Mitchell , 1939.
4. The "Great Locomotive Chase", Wilbur Kurtz, 1904.