During the evening of April 7, 1862, twenty-four men infiltrated the Confederate lines below Shelbyville, Tennessee, and traveled by separate routes toward Atlanta. Their goal was to steal a train and head north for Chattanooga, disrupting rail service between the two cities by burning bridges, tearing up track, and cutting telegraph wires. If successful, they would isolate Chattanooga and facilitate its capture and further Union raids into Alabama. The raid failed, and on June 18, 1862, seven of the raiders were hanged as spies in Atlanta. Four months later eight escaped from prison. The remaining six languished in a Southern prison until they were paroled in March 1863. Eight days later they were presented the first Medals of Honor. Among this group was Cpl. William Pittenger. Shortly after the war, Pittenger composed an account of the raid, a book enlarged over subsequent editions and supplemented from various sources to become the most well-known and best-regarded account. A 1925 edition was given the more popular title The Great Locomotive Chase.