On the night of Feb. 19, 1863 a troop train that left Meridian, Mississippi carrying Confederate soldiers to help bolster and fortify the garrison at Vicksburg before the siege wrecked and plunged into Chunky Creek. The wreck occurred at the railroad bridge 1/2 mile upstream of the confluence of Chunky Creek and Potterchitto Creek that form the Chunky River. The bridge had shifted from debris pushed against the pilings due to heavy rains which caused the train to derail. Some of the soldiers bodies were recovered from the waters and said to be buried along the right of way at Temple's farm in view of passing trains. Temple's farm was about 1/2 mile west of the bridge and listed as place of burial on several of the soldiers civil war records. An effort has been made to find the location of their graves but their trench type graves were not permanently marked and overtime their exact locations were lost. The soldiers listed as dead were recorded by a reporter at the crash site and published in a story by the Southern Daily Crisis, a Jackson Newspaper in 1863. The body of William Towles was recovered and taken by his servant to his home in Louisiana. One of the rescuers of this accident after the wreck was Jack Amos a Choctaw Indian scout . According to a story written 40 years later a battalion of Indian scouts were camped close by and was said to have helped in the rescue. The Indians most likely helped greatly in the recovery of bodies and not so much as rescuers in the cold swift February waters in the darkness of night.
This contributor along with others working with The Lauderdale County Ms. Dept. of Archives & History researched this accident in the late 1980s which enabled this story to be pieced together.
GPS Coordinates: 32.31851, -88.97209
- Added: 3 Jul 2012
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2455913
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