From the Richmond Whig, 1/28/1863, p. 2, c. 1

A BRIDGE CRUSHED – LOSS OF LIFE. – An appalling accident occurred at an early hour yesterday morning, on Eighth street, where it intersects with the canal, in this city. A large number of prisoners-of-war, nearly a thousand, we are told, were making to the Petersburg depot for the purpose of taking the four o’clock train on the way to City Point, and as they crowded upon the foot bridge crossing the canal, the structure gave way and the unlucky soldiers were precipitated into the water. The confusion was rendered worse by the darkness, and the scene is represented to have been frightful in the extreme. It was reported that no less than twenty-five prisoners and five of the guard were drowned, though the number may be considerably exaggerated. The water, though not very deep, was running quite rapidly into the Basin, and several doubtless lost their lives in struggling to release themselves from their equally unfortunate companions. Two dead bodies were taken out about midday, and preparations were making to draw off the water in the afternoon, with a view of finding the remainder. The bridge was a frail structure, built by Northern contractors a few years ago, and it was a hazardous experiment for any number of persons to cross it simultaneously. The prisoners might have been taken down Seventh street, where a more substantial bridge spans the canal, and where crossing would have been attended with no danger.

Those who had the good luck to escape proceeded on to the depot, and are probably by this time on their way down James River towards Fortress Monroe.

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