Chattanooga, TN Train Wreck, May 1890

A FATAL BLUNDER

Five Lives Lost, Two Engines Wrecked, and Freight Ruined.

The most disastrous railroad wreck the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Road has known for years occurred at a long siding some miles east of Chattanooga, Tenn.

The engineer of a fast freight who had been ordered to take incoming freight at that point had misunderstood his orders, and, coming on at a high rate of speed, with terrific force the two engines came together. The shock shattered twenty-five or thirty cars and piled them in a huge mass on the track. Nearly every car on the two trains was derailed, both engines are a total loss, and much of the freight is ruined. The losses to property will not fall far short of $100,000.

As quickly as possible the conductors of both trains and the rear brakemen, who escaped with slight injuries, hurried forward. On the wreck of the east-bound engine they found the mangled remains of JOHN BAILEY, the fireman. He was crushed almost beyond recognition, his head being flattened like a board. By the side of the engine lay SCOTT PRICE, a colored brakeman, cut in two. A few feet further back was the body of J. M. CLIFFORD. He was still breathing, but died before he could be taken from the debris piled above him. AALF HARRIS, a colored tramp, was standing between the cars stealing a ride when the crash came. Every bone in his body was broken. All these were on the north-bound train.

In the cab of the south-bound engine Engineer GREGORY was found unconscious. His chest was crushed in and nose cut off. He died that evening. R. F. WHITTLESY and JEROME NOLAN, brakemen thought there were three or four more dead men in the ruins, as a number of tramps were on the east-bound train.

The Cranbury Press New Jersey 1890-05-16