Fayetteville, TN Tornado Devestation, Feb 1851
From the Baltimore Sun.
FAYETTEVILLE (TENNESSEE) IN RUINS - GREAT DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY - LAMENTABLE LOSS OF LIFE - FULL PARTICULARS OF THE CALAMITY.
We gave a brief telegraphic account of this terrible tornado last week. In the Louisville Courier of the 27th ultimo we find the following thrilling particulars:
Nashville, February 26 - 6 p.m. By the mail tonight a house in this city received the following intelligence:
Fayetteville, (Tennessee,) February 25.
A few minutes past four o'clock yesterday morning a great portion of our town was laid in ruins by a storm which swept everything before it. Webb & Smith's, Goodrich's and John McPhail's stores, were blown down to the second floor. Both hotels were badly injured. Hine's new building was riddled: Bagley's, Isaac's, Mrs. J. V. McKinney's, B. S. Russell's, Homon's, Wm. Neild's, Jr., C. P. Church's, Berry's, Washburn's, Mrs. Shall's, the Garvin House, and many others, were blown entirely down - not even the foundations left. Dr. R. R. McKinney's, Dr. C. McKinney's, Mrs. Greer's house, James L. Thompson's, and others, are in an entire wreck. The chimneys and east gable end of Sneed's house, fell on the roof of Nick's store and crushed it in. Dr. M. H. Bormus's and J. M. Bright's houses were unroofed. Several offices, the market-house, stables, and smoke-houses were blown down.
MRS. BOWZEE and child are dead. A. H. BERRY'S oldest child was killed, and he nearly so. Several others were dangerously and many seriously wounded. Cows, horses, and stock are dead in every direction.
Mr. Nell's stables and kitchen were blown down. Pen cannot describe the awful scene. The world seemed to be coming to an end. The wind roared and blew, with fearful violence, a perfect hurricane, amidst which could be heard the shrieks of women and the screams of children, falling houses, crumbling walls, timbers dashing against timbers, mingled with peals of thunder; and the air was alive with electricity, followed by rain in torrents, and an impenetrable darkness, while still from every quarter came agonizing cries for assistance. Truly, it was a terrible scene. The heart sickens at the recollection.
The tornado came from the southwest. The streets are almost entirely blocked with a confused mass of timbers, and not unfrequently the whole wreck of large houses was thrown and strewn for hundreds of yards.
The following is a hasty summary:
The Presbyterian Church, Cumberland Presbyterian Church, market-house, Stonebreaker's tanyard, and all the buildings around, were totally destroyed.
[A list is here given of 42 persons whose houses were greatly damaged, including the jail, and of 12 slightly.]
The above is only partial and hasty. Imagine a storm sweeping everything before it - houses, trees, fences, rails, planks, &c. - and you have even then failed to realize the full extent of the havoc. But the saddest scene of all was to witness the human sufferings. Scarcely could you meet a citizen that was not bruised or maimed.
In addition to those mentioned as killed, the following were seriously hurt:
DR. R. R. McKINNEY.
MRS. R. R. McKINNEY.
C. C. McKINNEY.
A daughter of L. S. STONE.
MISS MARTHA McKINNEY.
Two sons of J. L. THOMPSON.
Two sons of MR. ROGERS.
Son of R. L. RUSSELL.
Daughter of MRS. EWEN, and many others, whose names are not remembered.
Another dispatch of the 26th says:
Among the killed were MRS. RANSEL and child, and a son of A. H. BERRY. MR. BERRY is thought to be mortally wounded. A daughter of MR. RECORD, Methodist preacher, had her thigh broken. The stores of Crawford & Maleroy and Mix, were literally demolished.
North Carolina Standard Raleigh 1851-03-12