Richmond, VA (Near) Railroad Accident, Aug 1861


The Richmond Examiner of 13th has the following account of the railroad accident near that city, of which mention has been made in our telegraphic dispatches:

A frightful accident occurred on the Central road on Sunday night last, a few miles this side of the Junction. It appears, that the fall of rain in this neighborhood on Sunday evening and night had been tremendous, exceeding, it is said, what has ever been known in that portion of the country, and in fact converting much of the low country about the Junction into immense lakes of water, four or five miles in extent.
Among other serious damages done the road by the flood, an embankment had been washed away near a culvert about four miles this side of the Junction, leaving a frightful gulch in the road. It was down this gulch that a portion of the train was precipitated with its freight of passengers. The engine went down, taking four of the passenger cars with it. The other portion of the train was arrested in the descent.
The cars that went down the precipice were literally smashed to pieces; and it is indeed wonderful that the loss of life was so slight, there being but one man killed outright. The front cars were occupied by a number of companies of the Kentucky battalion, and the circumstance that at the time the accident occurred, the men were mostly lying on floors of the car, no doubt contributed a great deal to save them from the broken timbers of the wreck. A large number of passengers were more or less severely injured.
The sufferers are almost entirely members of the "Davis Guards." We append a list of casualties as far as ascertained:
JOHN LARKIN, killed instantly.
WM. F. DONALDSON, wounded dangerously about the head, and left arm and left leg broken.
S. M. TEMPLETON, injured in shoulder, and breast.
RICHARD LEARY, slightly injured.
J. M. PORTER, slightly injured.
T. M. HONSELL, injured in breast and back.
SERGEANT C. WHITE, severe internal bruises.
JOHN TOBIN, injured by a bayonet thrust.
HENRY McCULLOUGH, badly injured.
G. W. SMITH, slightly injured.
M. LITTLE, slightly injured.
P. H. WALKER, injured badly in the hip and side.
JOHN COLEMAN, badly injured.
RICHARD OVERTON, wounded in shoulder and leg.
G. H. COFFEE, badly wounded in the back, arm and shoulder.
JOHN HEMBSON, slightly injured.
M. L. GIST, severely wounded.
T. B. MONKS, collar bone broken and badly bruised.
J. G. SIRNENT, slightly injured.
LIEUT. WM. GILMORE, internal bruises.
GEO. HOLEBROOK, slightly injured.
_____ McMAHAN, slightly injured.
S. A. ATCHISON, severe bruises.
At the time the accident occurred the train was progressing very carefully, and making only eight miles an hour. The night was very dark, and it had been moved slowly and cautiously for fear that the flood had washed away the track. The train left the depot here at five o'clock in the evening, and the accident occurred about ten.
The injury to the road in consequence of the flood will be at once repaired, and the trains will leave, as usual, tomorrow. In the meantime, transportation and travel will be uninterrupted on the Lynchburg route.

The Examiner of the 14th says:
The Central cars came down yesterday from the Junction on the Fredericksburg track. The damage to the Central road, it is supposed, will be repaired during today, and the trains on this route will be enabled to make their regular trips. We understand that the gentlemen injured by the unfortunate casualty on this road are doing remarkably well. None of them are seriously injured.

Nashville Union and American Tennessee 1861-08-17