Ithaca, NY Gun Explosion, July 1845

Louisville Morning Courier and American Democrat newspaper, Louisville, KY 1844-1846
Tuesday 15 July 1845


Dreadful Accident At Ithaca, NY

About ten o'clock on the morning of the 4th, says the Ithaca Journal, when the gunners were about to fire, GEN. BOYD road up and dismounted, and was standing leaning with his right arm upon the horse's shoulder, looking calmly on the scene, his horse being held by Mr. S. Benjamin, when a tremendous explosion was heard, and the young officer was launched into eternity, and his body was stretched, horribly mangled, across the body of his fallen steed, which had been stunned by a fragment of the gun. A piece weighing about thirty pounds struck him in the left breast and caused instant death.

Mr. Benjamin escaped with a severe contusion in the abdomen. In another direction stood a collection of men, through the midst of whom another fragment sped, charged with death, and selected as its victims two valuable citizens, PROF. S. QUIMBY, and JOHN NIX, ESQ.

MR. N. (NIX) was killed almost instantly, being struck in the groin and laying his bowels entirely open.

PROF. Q (QUIMBY) was taken to the house of Mr. Davenport, when he fainted. He expired, in great agony, about 5 p.m.

The gunners, and those spectators near the piece were uninjured. One piece of the gun was thrown to the roof of the Ithaca Falls Woollen Factory, slightly grasing(sic) the steeple of the African church in its course. One piece passed through the bee house of E. Mack, demolishing several hives.

The accident is attributed to carelessness in overloading the piece.