Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.
sad accident--one man killed and two seriously wounded.
Lexington, Va., July 18, 1861.
I write to give you a reliable account of a most unfortunate and distressing disaster which occurred in this town on last night, which resulted in the instant death of one of our most brightly esteemed and respected citizens, Col. Cameron
, the probable death of a young man fifteen or sixteen years of age, son of Dr. McClung
of this place, and the wounding of a Third Adjutant, Smith
, a graduate of the V. M. Institute
at the last session.
The circumstances are briefly as follows: The stage from Staunton
reached here about 11 o'clock, P. M., and quite a large crowd had collected in front of the ‘"Lexington House,"’ eager to hear the latest news from the seat of war. Among the passengers was a young man from Baltimore
by the name of Sturman
, who came up from Winchester
with Colonel Wm. F. Wilson
, for the purpose of recruiting a guerilla company in this and the surrounding counties.
They both brought with them Minnie rifles, which were loaded, but the caps removed.--When the stage drove up, young Sturman
stepped from the coach to the platform, which was covered with people, with both guns in his hand, but, in the act of stepping out, the cock of one of the guns caught on the middles at, and firing back, caused the explosion of the piece with the horrible results above-mentioned.
The explosion was probably due to the fact that a portion of the fulminating powder remained on the tube.
The rifle was charged with but one conical ball, and Cadet Smith
, who was standing nearest the coach, was the first wounded.
The ball struck him on the back of the wrist, and glancing upwards, passed out through the sleeve, making a flesh wound two or three inches in length.
, who was standing just in his rear on the platform, was next struck, the ball hitting him a little forward and just above the ear, on the right side of his head, and tearing off a piece of the skull some three inches in diameter, and severely lacerating the brain, portions of which were scattered over his perron and on the pavement around him. Up to this time (Thursday night) he is still alive but unconscious, and his recovery is almost beyond hope Col. Cameron
, who was standing on the pavement near the platform, was the next and last struck.
The ball entered the neck on the left side, just above the clavicle, passing backwards it was driven against the cervical vertibræ, and glancing from these coursed downwards towards the point of the shoulder, and lodged near the surface.
He was killed instantly, dying without a struggle.
This distressing casualty has spread a gloom over the whole community, and the now almost daily occurrence of such accidents from the careless handling of fire arms would seem to call for some action on the part of those in authority to compel soldiers leaving camp to lay aside their fire-arms, or if they must needs make a display of them in the name of humanity, let the ammunition be left where it is more needed.