Cincinnati, OH train explosion, Jul 1864

Further about the Cincinnati Explosion.

From the Cincinnati Columbian.

When approaching Seymour our train was signalled to stop, when news was brought to us that a powder magazine had exploded on the Aurora train, and that several men had been seriously hurt. Reports of various kinds, and of the most contradictory character, were freely circulated, but, on reaching the depot, we were put in possession of the following most painful facts:

The train from Aurora, when nearing the Seymour depot, was firing salutes from a cannon, which was attached to the last platform of the train. A small furnace, used for heating the rod with which the cannon was set off, lay close by the breach of the gun, and the wind, it is supposed, blew a spark of this fire into the chest where about a keg or two of powder had been emptied. An instantaneous explosion was the consequence, and six men who were on the car at the time were blown into the air and horribly mangled. We arrived on the ground some five or six minutes after the accident had occurred, and found the men in a state of terrible agony. They had been picked up and conveyed to a house a short distance from the scene of the distaster, where they were speedily attended to and their wounds carefully dressed. We have seen may exhibitions of hospital practice, and many outside cases of mutilation and accidents "by flood and field," but we never in our lives saw anything to equal the appalling scene which was presented to us yesterday. The six victims of the unfortunate catastrophe were literally stripped naked, every particle of clothing having been torn from their bodies by the force of the explosion, their limbs were fractured, their bodies were mangled, the hair of their heads was burned off, and the groans and cries of the sufferers filled the house where they lay.

One man, Mr. SQUIBS, had both his legs broken, and the flesh torn from his hands, arms and body; the soles of his boots were blown off, and every shred of clothing was torn from his person. Mr. S. was thrown some sixty feet from the train. Mr. WATKINS had his left arm broken in two places and was badly burned in various parts of his person. JOHN BAILY had one of his legs broken in two places, and was otherwise seriously injured. JAMES L. REDDING was badly burned and severely contused on the chest and back. HENRY DOOLAN had one arm and one leg broken, and sustained several severe injuries internal and external. Our stay at Seymour was too short to enable us to gather full particulars, but the general facts given above are correct.

Before our train left last night a report was current in the town that Mr. SQUIBS had died while being conveyed to the Aurora return train, but the excitement was so great, and the accounts of the unfortunate transaction were so exaggerated that but little reliance could be placed on the report. In a harrowing scene like that of yesterday, painful to all the gentler feelings of our nature, it is some consolation, it is something ennobling to poor frail human nature, to witness the untiring exertions, the whole-souled devotion to this suffering fellow-men, exhibited by JAMES C. HALL, the President of the Road.

Everything that a kind and humane heart could suggest was done by Mr. HALL on the occasion, and he left many grateful hearts behind him in Seymour, who, in spite of all the pain and agony which they suffered, could appreciate the kindness, the womanly gentleness, and the careful forethought which propted his actions under the melancholy circumstances. Many gentlemen from Cincinnati, among whom we noticed Dr. WARDER, also exerted themselves to allay the sufferings of the injured parties. Dr. ROGERS, of Aurora, was the principal physician in attendance, and in justice to him we must say that he worked most untiringly to allay the sufferings of the wounded men. The names of the injured parties are as follows: JOHN M. BAILEY, JOHN BAILEY, JOHN R. WATKINS, R. P. SQUIBS, JAMES L. REDDING and HENRY DOOLAN.

The New York Times, New York, NY 5 Jul 1864