Camp Hill, PA Train Wreck, Jul 1856

Etching of the Disaster CAMP HILL PA WRECK 1856

All the bodies and remains that could not be identified, were yesterday afternoon removed from the depot of the North Pennsylvania Railroad to St. Michael's Church, by LIEUT. SPEAR and his officers. Coffins were there provided for them, and at about 5 o'clock they were buried in the graveyard attached to the church.

A boy, about 15 years of age was found in the woods near Frankford yesterday afternoon, in an utterly deranged condition. He had escaped from the disaster, but the fearful scene had so preyed upon his mind that he was bereft of reason. He was lying upon the ground tearing the grass, and the only expression that could be obtained from him was, "I live in Jefferson street."

As new details of this appalling calamity reach us, it appears that its extent is much greater than was at first supposed. It is believed that the number of wounded will fully reach on hundred, and the number of dead at least sixty-five, besides other bodies that cannot be recognized.

The Huntingdon Globe Pennsylvania 1856-07-23

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HORRIBLE RAILROAD ACCIDENT.

Collision with a Sunday School Excursion Train - Thirty-nine Lives Lost, and Sixty-nine Wounded - A Number of Bodies Consumed by Fire -- Heart-Rending Scenes, &'c.

PHILADELPHIA, July 17. -- A serious accident is reported as having occurred on the North Pennsylvania Railroad this morning to an excursion train containing the Sunday school of St. Michael's Church. The report is that the locomotive exploded and set fire to the cars. Several lives were lost. The accident occurred near Fort Washington.

[SECOND DESPATCH]
PHILADELPHIA, July 17, 11 A. M. -- The accident was a collision. It occurred about 7 o'clock, between the down train and the Excursion train. Horrible rumors have reached the city, some making the number of killed from fifty to sixty, others say two hundred lives have been lost.

[THIRD DISPATCH]
PHILADELPHIA, July 17, 2 ½ o'clock. --- The latest accounts from the scene of disaster report thirty-five killed and nearly one hundred badly wounded.

Among the killed is FATHER SHERIDAN, the priest of St. Michael's Church.

[FOURTH DESPATCH.]
The excursion train contained eleven hundred children, parents and teachers. The train came in collision at a curve near Fort Washington with the down train; the latter was going very slowly. The excursion train was going very rapidly, endeavoring to reach the stopping place. Both the locomotives were crushed and three cars of the excursion train, together with those that were consumed by fire. A number were crushed beneath the ruins so that extrication was impossible. The scene was most heart-rending.

The names of the killed are as follows: ---
REV. DANIEL SHERIDAN, chorister of the church, body not recovered; HUGH CAMPBELL, BARRY KELLY, JAMES McINTIRE, JOHN DOGAN, EDWARD HALL, JNO. RIVERS, JAMES HICKEY, WM. BARNARD, HENRY HARRIS, MARY McLAIN, CATHARINE McBURK, ELLEN CLARK, SARAH McGRUGAN, KATE McGIRR, JOHN BRADY, MARGARET MEANEY, JOHN McQUIRE, JAMES CARNEY and HENRY HARRISON, the engineer of the up train.

In addition to the above, seventeen bodies were counted beneath the ruins of the cars, mostly consumed; eleven men and women and two children were consumed in one car. The total killed is 39 and the number wounded 69.

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