When Union spies steal an engineer’s beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines.
Johnnie Gray is an engineer on his train, The General, on the Western and Atlantic railroad. When war is declared between North and South he does his best to sign up with the Confederate army but is refused because he’s in a designated occupation. His sweetheart Annabelle and her family don’t believe him and she’s ashamed, thinking he’s shirking his duty. Meanwhile the Union army hatches a plan to steal the General and when it stops in Big Shanty they snatch it and head north. Annabelle Lee is a passenger on the train and Johnnie goes behind enemy lines to rescue his train and his girl.