Vicksburg Evening Post, Nov 6, 1889

Vicksburg Evening Post, Nov 6, 1889

Terrible Broad-Gauge Railroad Accident.

The above picture is from an instantaneous photograph “taken on the spot” at 6 o’clock yesterday evening, when the so-called “Broad-gauge” train ran off the track and turned bottom side up. The train was running at such a slow pace that no one was killed, but all on board were badly “shook-up” and bruised in spirit if not in body. They were dumped in the mud, and are now “in the soup.”

The “b-r-o-a-d-g-a-u-g-e” train started out under serious difficulties and disadvantages. Its track was old and obsolete, being of a pattern used in slavery days. The axeles were rusty, and although grease and soap were used in profusion, the old rattle-trap cars could not make good headway. The engine could not make steam fast enough to pull the heavy load, although a considerable quantity of fuel was used.

Mr. O. S. Robbins was conductor of the train, but it is believed that he was asleep during the whole trip.

Col. Jim. Hill was engineer, but did not appear to understand the machinery, and when he wanted the train to go forward, he pulled the lever so that it went backward. Rev. T. W. Stringer was assistant engineer but his extreme age prevented him from being of much service. Mr. Andrews was fireman, and piled on the fuel, and greased the wheels, but all to no purpose, for the train could not make good time.

Mr. E. B. Robbins, Mr. John Bush, and Mr. Martin Marshall were brakemen, and when the engineer whistled “down brakes” they had left their posts, and consequently could not assist in preventing the disaster.

Capt. Hebron, Col. Booth, Messrs. G. M. Batchelor, D. H. ALverson, D. C. Lauderdale, Geo. H. Tompkins, Peter Crouch and S. B. Auter were on board, and were badly disfigured by the accident. Like the little boy who was kicked by a mule, they well know more hereafter.

The C.-h. was in the closet of one of cars when the disaster occurred, and of course “its offense smells to heaven.” The dead-weight of the C.-h. was the principal difficulty in the way of the train making better time; but the disaster would have occurred anyhow owing to the bad track. The rails were spread out so far (in an endeavor to take in whites on one side, and to “take in” colored on the other) that the train would not keep on the track.

There was very little baggage on the train, and of course not much damage in that way. Col. Booth’s Democratic stove-pipe hat was smashed out of shape, and can never be restored to its original beauty. Mr. Lauderdale had a sewing-machine along which was badly broken up; and, it is said, Mr. Andrews had a barrell on board which was completely “busted.”

When the crowd had picked themselves up from the wreck, Rev. Stringer offered a prayer returning thanks that the disaster was no worse.

The managers of the “b-r-o-a-d-g-a-u-g-e,” so it is stated, will make no attempt to repair the engine and cars. The engine will be sold for old iron, and the cars for kindling wood. The track will be torn up and the somewhat celebrated broad-gauge will be a thing of the past, going out of existence “unwept, unhonored and unsung.”

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