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A blog of Nineteenth Century history, focusing, but not exclusively, on the American Civil War seen through the prism of personal accounts, newspaper stories, administrative records and global history.
A thousand tales. A miscellany. A maze of historical tangents.

A Capitol View

A Capitol View
Images of 1861 juxtaposed- Union Square, New York vs. Capitol Square, Richmond

Friday, April 25, 2014

"Blown to atoms"

Horrible Explosion and Loss of Life in Danville-

A Raid on the Commissary Department.

From a gentleman of intelligence, who has reached this city on foot from Danville we have some interesting particulars of events that occurred there after the surrender of Gen Lee's army. When this event became known in the town and surrounding country, a crowd of citizens of all classes, ages and colors, and a large number of soldiers, collected around the buildings in which were stored immense quantities of commissary stores, and after a short deliberation, made a general rush upon the establishments. The parties in charge of the stores at first attempted to resist the mob but were quickly forced to desist and seek their own safety in flight. The individuals of the mob scattered throughout every part of the buildings, each one plundering according to his or her fancy. In one of the buildings, it appears, there was a large quantity of arms and gunpowder in kegs and percussion caps. The soldiers and country people swarmed around the powder eager to secure it for fowling purposes. While they were thus engaged, by some means fire was communicated to the powder, and in an instant the building and its contents, including over fifty persons, were blown to atoms. This horrible tragedy for a time put a check upon the plundering, which, however, was soon recommenced, but with some what more circumspection.

 -Evening Star (Washington, D.C.) April 26, 1865

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