Rockingham Register, Harrisonburg, Virginia, March 16, 1876. See also the account of the disaster from the Shenandoah Valley, March 10, 1876, as recounted by John Walter Wayland in “A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia.”
The Railroad Disaster
The details of the fearful Railroad disaster at Narrow Passage, on the night of the 6th of March, do not mitigate the horrors of the accident. We follow up the account of last week, of the particulars, as far as they have reached us in an authenticated form.
The train was in charge of Conductor James Russell, Florence Dunnavan, Engineer; T. Cunning, fireman, and J. Chapman and T. Jefferson, Brakemen. There were eleven loaded cattle cars, five freight cars and one passenger coach.
The accident occurred about 12 o’clock at night. It is impossible to ascertain certainly the particulars of the breaking through of the train. From the information given by those who escaped as well as from the position of the engine in the creek, it is believed that the break first occurred under the two freight cars immediately behind the tender, and that in their descent they dragged down with them the engine and tender. The rear cars followed the others, one after another, down the terrible chasm, until the last one of the train was mingled in the horrible wreck of cars, bridge timbers, iron rods, flesh, blood, flour, cattle, sheep and hogs.