Richmond, VA Train Boiler Explosion, July 1863


Last evening, about 5 1/2 o'clock, when the passenger train from Petersburg was coming up the grade from Falling Creek bridge, six miles from this city, the locomotive, which was traveling at the rate of about ten miles an hour, exploded her boiler, killing the fireman, severely scalding the engineer, MR. HUGH BURNES, and killing and wounding several Confederate soldiers, who were passengers. Two coaches, filled chiefly with ladies from the flag of truce boat at City Point, six or eight cars loaded principally with exchanged prisoners, and the baggage and mail cars formed the train. Three cars near the engine were badly injured. In one of them was the crew of the captured Confederate steamer Atlanta, one of whom was killed and several wounded.
The second car from the locomotive was blown off the track; one of its inmates was killed and several were wounded. The locomotive is a complete wreck. It was blown about twenty feet from the train, turned completely around and tumbled side upwards in the ditch on the side of the track. The cause of the explosion is unknown. It is supposed that the water in the boiler was unwarily permitted to get too low. The conductor of the train, CAPT. T. W. McCRARY, exerted himself nobly in attending promptly to the wounded and taking measures for the speedy removal of the wreck. He was assisted by many of the passengers, and at a late hour last evening, with further aid from the superintendent, all was clear.
Richmond Enquirer of the 7th

The Abingdon Virginian Virginia 1863-07-17