ATLANTA – Two participants in what has come to be known as the Great Locomotive Chase during the Civil War in Northwest Georgia are being awarded Medals of Honor posthumously Wednesday at a White House ceremony.

Pvts. George D. Wilson and Philip G. Shadrach were among 22 volunteers from the Union Army who commandeered a Confederate locomotive outside of Big Shanty (now Kennesaw) on April 12, 1862, and took it northward toward Chattanooga, Tenn.

The raiders tore up as much of the vital Western and Atlantic Railroad line as they could before running out of fuel near Ringgold and abandoning the train. The men scattered into the woods before being captured by Confederate troops.

Civilian scout James Andrews, the leader of the raid, and seven of the raiders -Wilson and Shadrach among them – were hanged on June 18 of that year in Atlanta, while the others were held as prisoners of war and exchanged for Confederate prisoners the following year.

Six of the raiders were awarded the United States’ first Medals of Honor in March 1863, and eventually 19 were similarly honored. As a civilian, Andrews was not eligible for the award. Wilson and Shadrach were not honored until now.

Descendants of both men will be on hand at the White House as President Joe Biden awards the medals.