Nonconnah Bottom, TN Train Goes Over Bridge, Jan 1871



Memphis, Tenn., Jan. 3. -- An accident occurred at 10 o'clock this morning on the iron bridge over the Nonconnah Creek, about ten miles below this place, on the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad, supposed to have been caused by the breaking of an exle of the front passenger car. The forward and the second cars were precipitated over the bridge, and took fire. One car was entirely destroyed by fire, and the other broken to pieces. The roar cars, were uninjured, though severely shaken. The locomotive and tender passed safely over the bridge. It is supposed that five persons, all negroes, were killed. A young man named DAVIS, is, perhaps, fatally injured. Several other persons sustained slight injuries.

Memphis, Tenn., Jan. 3. -- The accident which occurred this morning on the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad was more terrible in its results than at first reported. It seems that as the train was crossing an iron bridge in Nonconnah Bottom, five miles south of this place, the axles of a baggage car broke and a second class passenger car was dashed down an embankment and taking fire was soon burned. PETER KIRBY the conductor of the train, at the time of the accident, was standing by the stove in the passenger car, and as it went over the embankment, he was burned badly by the stove, which was thrown on him. He managed, however, to extricate himself, and climbed out of a window, and then worked heroically with others to save the poor negroes, who filled the car; but the flames spread with such rapidity that nearly all the wounded were burned to death. Another passenger car was dashed through a bridge and literally smashed to pieces, through very few of the occupants were seriously injured. A number of surgeons and others went from this city to the scene, and everything was done to relieve the sufferers, most of whom were brought here to the hospital. No accurate report can be given of the number of the lost and killed.
SALLIE AMES, MARY DEANHORTA and four colored persons were fatally injured; a youth named DAVIS, of Horn Lake, Miss., MR. WHITE, omnibus agent, was severely injured, and three colored persons were slightly injured.
PETER KINLEY, conductor; C. C. THOMPSON, of Chuluhoma, Miss.; FELIX DEVEY, of Horn Lake, Miss.; W. B. WALBIN; MR. SAMUEL RIVER, of Horn Lake; WILLIAM WHITE and CLARENCE ECOIS were taken out of the burning car by the conductor and escaped being burned, but their injuries are so serious that little hopes are entertained of their recovery.

New York Times New York 1871-01-04