From the Richmond Dispatch, 11/24/1862, p. 1, c. 4
Drowned Men Found. – It having been reported during last week that several persons had lost their lives by stepping into the canal at the foot of 8th street, where the bridge leading to the Petersburg Depot crosses it, the water was drawn from the basin at an early hour yesterday morning, soon after which a search revealed, near the spot alluded to, the body of Mr. Joseph Ladd, a respectable and well known resident of Sussex county, Va., whose remains, after being viewed by the Coroner, were enclosed in a neat coffin and delivered to his friends. It appears that Mr. Ladd had been to Culpeper county to carry some supplies to soldiers hauling from his vicinity, and returning to this city on Thursday last, had started early Friday morning for the Petersburg Depot, and not knowing the way between his hotel and the depot very well, had stopped into the canal at the foot of the bridge, on 8th street, and, being unable to swim, sunk before assistance could reach him. About 1 o'clock yesterday the body of another man was recovered from near the same spot. One examination it was found to be that of G. W. Gentry, a soldier from South Carolina, who, while proceeding to the Petersburg Depot on Thursday morning last, walked in the canal and was drowned. Deceased appeared to be about thirty-six years of age, was small in stature, of round, compact form, and wore chin beard. Two other men were with Gentry when he was drowned, and all three walked into the canal. They, however, managed to scramble out with their lives. The Coroner had the remains of deceased properly cared for. It is said that another white man was drowned during last week near the shed on the north side of the basin, and a negro in the lower part, above 17th street. The bodies of neither of them have yet been recovered. It has been suggested that a railing around the more exposed parts of the dock and basin would prevent the waste of life that sometimes occurs by reason of ignorance of their presence.