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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Artifact is Direct Link

 Page  1 of The Vincennes Weekly Sun, published in Vincennes, Indiana on Saturday, September 13th, 1862

“Terrible Railroad Accident—Civil War Soldiers Killed and Wounded

A deplorable accident occurred to a soldiers train on the O and M RR at Bridgeport Il about 9 o’clock Monday night by which 12 members of the 95th Illinois regiment were killed and about 80 severely wounded, of whom three or four will probably die.

The accident was caused by the switch having been left open, throwing the train off the track, and causing it to run into a freight train smashing and piling the cars up in a frightful manner.  The scene is represented as heart sickening many of the poor victims being terribly mangled and lacerated.  From all accounts, it is a miracle that more lives were not lost. 

Among the dead was Capt. Kelly of Co—of Effingham County.  No other officers’ names have been learned.  Col Ed Kitchell of Olney in command and Quartermaster F D Preston were on the train but escaped unhurt. The regiment was raised in Jasper, Clay, Effingham, and Richland counties. 

Several doctors from Vincennes and Drs Garrard and Powell of Lawrenceville rendered invaluable aid to the wounded.”

Later, Dr W M Garrard wrote a letter to the Vincennes Weekly Sun that was published September 13, 1862, praising the citizens of Bridgeport for their unremitting attentions to the sufferers.  Every house was thrown open and became a hospital, the best bedding and the best bed chambers were alike tendered for the use of the wounded; and the ladies of the town and vicinity devoted themselves to the work of nursing with as much interest as if they were ministering to kindred.”   Dr Garrard made special mention of Messrs. Turner, Lewis, and Lockwood families where the wounded remain and receive the kindliest care and attention. 

A friend of the Historical Society, using a metal detector, found a Civil War Bridle piece on location and donated to LCHS and for which we are grateful.  This artifact is a direct link to the horrible accident.

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