From the Richmond Dispatch, 4/29/1863, p. 1, c. 6

Accident on the Danville Railroad. – While the cars on this road were coming to this city yesterday, about forty minutes past 3 o’clock, their progress was interrupted by an accident of a serious and fatal nature. It appears that the train was a short distance this side of Coalfield station, 13 miles from the city, going at its usual speed, when two of the rear passenger cars tumbled over a steep embankment and rolled to the bottom, carrying their living freight with them. By the casualty, Mr. Bowden, of Danville, and a brakesman, a slave named Albert, lost their lives, while eight or ten were reported to be seriously wounded, and twenty-four of the passengers were found to be slightly so. – When the passengers had been extricated from the cars it was found that the jar and tumble had broken nearly all the seats, and otherwise damaged the cars. The train was expected in last night at 8 o’clock, and arrangements had been made to care for the wounded, a number of Confederate omnibusses being stationed at the depot so as to remove them speedily to the hospitals.

The cars arrived about 8 ½ o’clock, bringing the wounded and other passengers, of which there were 200 on board of six cars. From Mr. Vincent Bargamin, who was wounded, we learn that the accident was caused by the engine running over a cow, whose carcass was dragged several hundred yards. When the curve of the road was being neared, and the cars going at full speed, the two rear ones were thrown off the tracks, which continued on the rails, and were hurled down an embankment about forty feet high. The cars turned over once or twice before the bottom was reached. None of the lady passengers were injured. A Mr. Keeling, of Danville, was reported dangerously hurt. Mr. Bowden, who was killed, was standing on the platform. His head was crushed, and he died instantly. He was on his way to this city to meet his mother. The escape of a large number from death is considered providential, when the nature of the accident is taken into consideration. It was impossible last night, owing to the confusion at the depot, to obtain the names of the wounded. Much solicitude was evinced by those of our citizens who became aware of the accident to learn the particulars, many people from this city being passengers.

Go to top