#53 Train of Doom Chattanooga, Tennessee September 15, 1863

Chattanooga, Tenn. Sept. 15, 1863


Train tracks were destroyed along a narrow mountainous stretch of land and caused the worst wreck in the history of Tennessee. Northern soldiers plotted the wreck for weeks, anticipating the arrival of a supply train this afternoon. The train plunged from the track into the river below, a drop of 85 feet. The engineer saw the break in the tracks but couldn't halt the train in time. He shouted a warning to the soldiers, which enabled some to jump to safety before the steel coffin carried its victims to their doom. Confederate forces needed the supplies and reinforcements on board the train, in order to continue fighting the Northern soldiers. Medical supplies for treating the wounded in Southern hospitals were also lost in the crash.