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Orangeburg, South Carolina Tornado

May 6, 1861

Fearful tornado

--A correspondent of the Charleston Mercury gives the following description of a tornado which occurred in the neighborhood of Orangeburg, South Carolina, on the 6th instant:

It began about half-past 4 o'clock, going from West to East. It first broke out in its fury upon the plantation of L. C. Glover, Esq., doing much damage to the fences, and very seriously injuring one of the negroes Rapidly passing from this locality, it rushed in its desolating course successively over the plantations of R. T. H. Legare, J. J. Andrews, H. Ellis and H. Wannamaker, tearing the fences to pieces and ripping up the crops most frightfully. It next swept through the plantation of Mrs. John O'Cain utterly destroying all the buildings upon her place, crippling one little negro, and throwing Mr. George H. Pooser about one hundred feet, literally covering him with lumber. It next passed to the plantation of Dr. J. G. Jenkins, and here the work of devastation was most complete. The doctor's dwelling and out-buildings were entirely new and well arranged, but so utter was the destruction wrought in a moment by the furious whirlwind, that scarcely a vestige of any of the houses remain. Two of his negroes were instantly killed, and he himself, his wife and child, and two negroes, were badly bruised and wounded.

The hurricane next passed over the plantation of Jno. Rickenbacker, Esq., destroying all his negro houses, and wounding one or two of his negroes. It then passed over Four-Hole Swamp, but what damage it has occasioned beyond is not yet ascertained.

The course of the gale which I have indicated extends for a distance of twenty-five miles, and the width of the path of the whirlwind was about a quarter of a mile. The roar of the tempest was frightful. When first seen, the whirlwind was red, but soon afterwards it became very black. Its power was wonderful, and it bore heavy fragments of Dr. Jenkins's houses more than two miles from the site of the houses. In traversing the wood it twisted up and prostrated the largest pine trees in every direction, and in one instance it tore up a stone wall entire, leaving it with its foundations highest.

The Daily Dispatch, Richmond, VA 13 May 1861

       

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