Sunday, January 27, 2013

January 28, 1863 (Wednesday): Accident in Petersburg

Old Petersburg RR Station-Canal Was Behind Station (Google Earth)

C. S. MILITARY PRISON, Richmond, January 28, 1863.
Captain W. S. WINDER, Assistant Adjutant-General.
     SIR: In reference to the accident which occurred yesterday morning when the prisoners were being sent off I wish to report the following: The prisoners were started from this prison at 4 o'clock a. m. and were marched by the nearest and usual route to the Petersburg depot. The train was waiting to receive them but had backed nearer to the foot bridge that spans the canal than is usually the case, in consequence of which the prisoners had to be halted before they were all over which left a portion on the bridge and on this side. Before those in front could be gotten on board the bridge gave way and about sixty or seventy were thrown into the canal. All were rescued except two whose names I inclose. * This is clearly proven from the fact that at City Point the roll was called and the prisoners counted in the presence of the Abolition officer in charge of the Yankee boats and only two were missing. The rolls sent down called for 794 and I have the Federal officer's receipt for 792.
     Proper persons were engaged all day yesterday in dragging for the bodies supposed to be drowned. Two were discovered as mentioned above. The coroner took charge of them. None of the guard who accompanied the prisoners were drowned.
     I am, sir, your obedient servant,

    T. P. TURNER,
    Captain, Commanding.

*Not found. 

Official Records, Series II., Vol. 5, Part 1, Page 823.

The foot bridge described was up river from the station.  The rail line ran adjacent to the canal with a foot bridge crossing.  This is the bridge described as having collapsed.  Prisoners released in Richmond were sent to Petersburg and then on to City Point where they returned north by ship.

No comments:

Post a Comment