Hickory, MS Terrible Train Wreck, Feb 1863
BRIDGE FAILURE OVER CHUNKY CREEK.
Hickory, Mississippi -- A Mississippi Southern train, headed for the battlefield at Vicksburg to join Confederate forces as reinforcements, against the assault of Sherman and the Union Army, plunged through a trestle over the Chunky Creek in Newton County.
Aboard were about 100 passengers, mostly Confederate soldiers, but also civilians and a paymaster for the Confederate government.
WILLIS ROY NORMAN was a local civilian aboard.
Thirty-five miles to the west of Vicksburg, the Chunky Creek lay at flood stage. The creek is a meandering stream in the southeastern part of Newton County.
Heavy winter rains has caused flooding which has weakened several bridges in the vicinity. A train had crossed the west Chunky bridge the day before, but only after all passengers were removed from the train. Debris built up from the flood, and the bridge trestle had shifted by several inches due to the weight of the debris. The track was as much as six inches out of alignment where it joined the bridge. The efforts to repair the track were in vain. A work crew could not repair the track before the next train was due.
An elderly Negro man had been placed in the Chunky hills with a lantern to use to stop any oncoming train. The section master at Chunky, A. F. Temple, had also erected a pole 100 feet from the bridge as an attempt to halt any train. The train passed these efforts and continued through the night.
The engine ran off the track entering the bridge. The engine plowed into the frigid waters followed by boxcars loaded with passengers and cargo. A frightful sight presented intself to survivors. The engine is out of sight in deep water, box cars are crushed to pieces lying on the engine, with three others are piled in confusion.
Bodies removed from the swollen stream, along with cargo and most of the baggage. Most of the passengers who had been killed were buried in trenches on a farm belonging to A. F. Temple, two miles east of Hickory Station.
Following is a list of those known to have been killed:
Major WILLIAM H. LILLY, 12th Mississippi Infantry.
C. W. BRADLEY, Company G, 12th Mississippi Infantry.
D. B. TAYLOR, Company A, 12th Mississippi Infantry.
WILLIAM H. CLARK, Private, Company I, 35th Mississippi Infantry.
R. M. GAMMELL, Company K, 35th Mississippi Infantry.
GEORGE W. POPE, Company A, 3rd Tennessee Mounted Infantry.
ENOCH WARD, Company A, 3rd Tennessee Mounted Infantry.
ROBERT S. SLAUGHTER, Company G, 3rd Tennessee Mounted Infantry.
CHRISTOPHER C. CUNNINGHAM, Private, Company G, 59th Tennessee Infantry Regiment.
CHARLES A. McDANIEL, Private, Company G, 59th Tennessee Infantry Regiment.
ANDREW T. McKINNEY, Private, Company G, 59th Tennessee Infantry Regiment.
RILEY MILLSAPS, Private, Company G, 59th Tennessee Infantry Regiment.
ANDREW T. SCARBOROUGH, Company G, 59th Tennessee Infantry Regiment.
HARVEY A. THOMPSON, Private, Company G, 59th Tennessee Infantry Regiment.
MARION D. RODEN, Corp., Company G, 59th Tennessee Infantry Regiment.
REDFORD BROWN, Private, Company D, 41st Tennessee Infantry Regiment.
J. T. McGOUGH, Private, Company H, 33rd Tennessee Infantry Regiment.
HENRY A. YOUNG, Eufaula, Alabama, Light Artillery.
CHARLES KLIFFMULLER, Eufaula, Alabama, Light Artillery.
MINER V. BUTLER, Company I, 27th Alabama Infantry.
J. B. HILL, Company A, 21st Arkansas Infantry.
S. H. HOLT, Company H, 2nd Louisiana Infantry.
Negro fireman, name not given.
ISAAC P. BEAUCHAMP, engineer, body carried to Forest, Mississippi, to be buried.
WILLIAM E. TOWLES, 3rd Louisiana Battalion, body carried by servant Bill to be buried at Bayou Sara, Louisiana.
W. P. GRAYSON, cashier, Bank of Orleans.
It is estimated the total number of casualties was very near or slightly more than one-hundred.
This article was compiled from the www.nchgs.org site and several newspaper articles.