Bachelor Creek, NC Torpedo Explosion, May 1864

(Correspondence of the New York Herald.)

A terrible disaster - FORTY MEN Killed.

At four o'clock yesterday afternoon, on the arrival of the train at this station from Newbern, a terrible explosion attended the removal of four torpedoes from the cars to the platform. Forty odd soldiers and negroes were blown into eternity in an instant, white and black, were wounded and mangled in a manner frightful to behold.

The train which left Newbern at three o'clock in the afternoon brought to the outposts the remaining four of thirteen torpedoes, of monstrous weight and proportions, intended to complete the blockade of the Neuse river in the direction of Kingston. The last of the four was about reaching the station platform, when an accidental blow from a stick of wood striking the cap, exploded the torpedo. The concussion was so great that the other three followed on the explosion of the first, and so quick as to make but one mighty report, like the crush of a thousand pieces of artillery fired simultaneously. The disaster was one of the the most appalling and heartrending that has happened in this country in a series of years. Soldiers whose gallantry has been displayed on battle fields, and whose eagerness to hear the news from their brave comrades in Virginia had brought them clustering around the station, were hurled, mangled and torn, into eternity in a moment's time. Heads, bodies and limbs were scattered for a quarter of a mile around, and in many instances it was found impossible to recognize the remains of the unfortunate victims. The signal tower and a commissary building, twenty feet by eighty feet, bulit [sic] of logs, were thrown into the air a distance of 800 feet, and strewed the country for a great distance around with the fragments.

Deseret News Utah 1864-07-06