From the Richmond Whig, 1/29/1863, p. 2, c. 1

THE BRIDGE ACCIDENT – CORONER’S INVESTIGATION. – After a diligent search in the waters of the Basin, with a view to the discovery of the victims of the accident at the Canal Bridge, in this city, only two bodies of Yankee soldiers have been found. They proved to be the remains of George Ephart and Daniel Lempia, of the 30th Indiana regiment. Another body was found, an unknown Confederate soldier, but appearances indicated that he was drowned some weeks ago. Though by a call of the roll of Yankee prisoners at City Point, Tuesday evening, it was believed that five were missing; the officers at the Libby prison have informed the Coroner that this is an error – that in fact only two are unaccounted for, and they have been found in the water. An inquest was held yesterday, by Acting Coroner Sanxay, at the headquarters of the City Battalion, and the jury rendered a verdict that George Ephart and Daniel Lempia came to their death, on their passage over the Canal Bridge, at the foot of 8th street, by the falling or breaking of the bridge, by which they were precipitated into the water and drowned; and that the unknown stranger came to his death by falling into the Canal Basin.

Undoubtedly many of the exchanged prisoners will circulate most exaggerated stories of this affair on their arrival at the North; and in fact they had not got beyond the limits of this city before it was remarked amongst them that “they had been trying to drown us all.” It may, therefore, be necessary to state that the bridge which fell beneath their weight is a Northern invention, and was built by Northern contractors. On the 11th of August, 1858, upon the recommendation of their Chief Engineer, the James River and Kanawha Company accepted the proposal of Mosely & Co., of Cincinnati, Ohio, for the construction of a farm bridge at Columbia, and a foot bridge across the Canal on 8th street, in the city of Richmond, on the plan of their tubular wrought iron bridges. This foot bridge was built in Cincinnati and brought here by Gen. Moseley. – The plans submitted by the contractors were accompanied by copious extracts from Northern newspapers, boasting of the great durability of this style of bridge, and its capability to sustain immense weights. It has proved, however, like thousands of other Yankee notions, cheap and showy, but frail and unsubstantial.

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