Richmond Dispatch, 8/3/1861

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From the Richmond Dispatch, 8/3/1861, p. 2

Railroad Disaster – Loss of Life. – A most unfortunate disaster occurred on the Central Railroad, near the Junction, in Hanover county, on Sunday night last, about 9 o’clock. A train left Richmond that evening, with a considerable number of soldiers, including the Davies Rangers, Captain L. H. Fitzhugh, and the Davis Guards, Captain Van Osten, both from Kentucky. The train proceeded safely on until it reached the point above mentioned, where, unhappily, a chasm had been made in the road by a heavy rain; but the darkness of the night prevented the discovery of this fact until too late to avoid the disaster. The locomotive suddenly plunged into the chasm, dragging after it the cars, which piled one upon another in a confused mass. A scene of indescribable terror ensued, which the darkness made still more appalling. It is miraculous that a large number of the passengers were not killed outright. As it happened, however, the two companies named above were all that sustained serious injury. To rescue the sufferers from the debris of cars and baggage, was a task of much difficulty. One only was killed, and but few were dangerously wounded. We append a list, furnished by Captain Fitzhugh.

Davis Guards. – John Larkin, immediately killed; Wm. F. Donaldson, wounded dangerously – head, left arm and left leg broken; [eight other casualties not transcribed]

Davies Rangers. – [twelve casualties not transcribed]

A dispatch for surgical aid was received the same night at the St. Charles Hospital, which was responded to as soon as possible by the departure of Drs. Beale, Hancock, and Mills. The road has been repaired, and the accident will not interfere with the regular running of the trains. The engine was not much damaged, though some of the cars were smashed up.

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