Mattoon, IL Tornado, Sept 1864
TERRIBLE TORNADO,----A terrific tornado passed over Mattoon, Ill., on the 23d utl. It was accompanied by tremendous discharges of electricity from a dense black could. The earth fairly shook. The tornado unroofed and blew down buildings and carried away everything movable in its path. A loaded freight train on the Illinois Central railroad was lifted bodily and turned over beside and across the track. Some of the cars were smashed to splinters, while others were merely unroofed. One car was carried half a mile. Bales of cotton, hogsheads of tobacco, barrels of flour and fragments of the cars were strewn over a large extent on either side of the track. The clearing of the ruins occupied the whole night. Singularly no one was hurt during all this commotion.
The Vermont Phoenix, Brattleboro, VT 7 Oct 1864