Railway incident at Wabash Railroad Switching Yard in St. Louis, MO., May of 1882

SDolson822

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St. Louis, Missouri
An ancestor of mine, Stephen J. Dolson, was a guard at the prison on Gratiot Street in STL during the civil war. After the war, he got a job for the Wabash Railroad Company as a switchman at their yard in North St. Louis, switching cars between rails and trains. However, in May of 1882, he was involved in an accident that ended with him being a double amputee of his legs, both above the knee. through old family stories, I have been told that he was called "peg-leg Dolson" for the rest of his life (and I have also heard that the accident occurred because he showed up to work drunk that day, but I feel that this is just a story to make light of the incident :giggle:). I have tried to find out more details about the incident, which has proven to be difficult as Wabash has not been in operation since the early '60s. I felt that if someone would know where to find documentation on post-Civil War railroads, this would be the place.
 

Lubliner

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An interesting story of a very traumatic accident. I have met a man in New Mexico that had a leg amputated when he tried jumping on one. Another man had both legs at the knee cut off, similar to your ancestor, that was on a late show talking about his train-jumping and his accident. I have read a few instances where the men were cut in half while undoing the couplings that connected the cars.
It may take some time to locate a specific instance such as yours from that era. Hopefully it can be done, and someone will have some good ideas of where to search. Thanks for the post.
Lubliner.
 

steamman

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Before the wide acceptance of knuckle or Janney couplers, the ones that mate when two cars back into each other, accidental amputation or death were a common occurrence in railroad yards.
1607920592386.png
 

Lusty Murfax

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Northwest Missouri
The infamous Gratiot Street Prison was used by Union military authorities in Missouri primarily as a political prison. A few years back the Columbia Tribune, the daily paper in Columbia, Missouri ran a year long series to celebrate the sesquicentennial of the War in Missouri. A relatively large number of the entries were taken from the Provost Marshal archives. Included were many orders sending Missouri citizens to Gratiot Prison. Some of the entries concerned friends and relatives of inmates petitioning local courts, political figures and the PM for their release. Some inmates were incarcerated for pro-Confederate activity, some for being overheard making pro-Confederate statements and others were merely accused of harboring anti-Union beliefs.

Gratiot Street Prison (civilwarstlouis.com)
 

SDolson822

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St. Louis, Missouri
Some inmates were incarcerated for pro-Confederate activity, some for being overheard making pro-Confederate statements and others were merely accused of harboring anti-Union beliefs.
Sadly I forgot the name of them, but as I was searching for soldiers in my family from the Civil War, I stumbled across the court filings of a relative who was arrested from Cole County, MO on treason charges. He was just overheard by a lady in town saying that the "Confederates are going to invade this county and kill all the federals" and "the feds have had the reigns long enough". He was originally going to be sentenced to prison time in Gratiot, but that was overruled and he was required to stay North of Springfield and East of the Mississippi until the war ended.
 

Lubliner

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Sadly I forgot the name of them, but as I was searching for soldiers in my family from the Civil War, I stumbled across the court filings of a relative who was arrested from Cole County, MO on treason charges. He was just overheard by a lady in town saying that the "Confederates are going to invade this county and kill all the federals" and "the feds have had the reigns long enough". He was originally going to be sentenced to prison time in Gratiot, but that was overruled and he was required to stay North of Springfield and East of the Mississippi until the war ended.
Knowing that prominent men in Illinois had petitioned Simon Cameron at the beginning of the war, labeling the city of Saint Louis as a hot-bed of confederate sympathy, I bet he had to move beyond that State as well. Do you know where he resided during the war?
Lubliner.
 

SDolson822

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St. Louis, Missouri
ah, here it is. George Washington Coonce.
GWCoonce Charges.jpg

There's a basic summary of the court case, the rest of the documentation can be found here and here

Do you know where he resided during the war?
Sadly no, I have seen no record of GW Coonce outside of Missouri. I have not dug very deep into it though, so I possibly could when I get to it. I know the Coonce family was quite large and spread out, so it is entirely possible he moved in with a relative.
 

Lubliner

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ah, here it is. George Washington Coonce.View attachment 384541
There's a basic summary of the court case, the rest of the documentation can be found here and here


Sadly no, I have seen no record of GW Coonce outside of Missouri. I have not dug very deep into it though, so I possibly could when I get to it. I know the Coonce family was quite large and spread out, so it is entirely possible he moved in with a relative.
In other words, the court said, "Let somebody else deal with him." It makes me wonder if enough relatives and friends might have taken out revenge if he had been locked away doing hard labor. Interesting story.
Lubliner.
 

Lusty Murfax

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Feb 18, 2017
Location
Northwest Missouri
Sadly I forgot the name of them, but as I was searching for soldiers in my family from the Civil War, I stumbled across the court filings of a relative who was arrested from Cole County, MO on treason charges. He was just overheard by a lady in town saying that the "Confederates are going to invade this county and kill all the federals" and "the feds have had the reigns long enough". He was originally going to be sentenced to prison time in Gratiot, but that was overruled and he was required to stay North of Springfield and East of the Mississippi until the war ended.
Provost Marshal orders were often inconsistent. One of my Grandmother's Uncles was of military age. He was ordered to remain in and not leave Atchison County and to pay a $1000 bond. A couple of years later he was ordered to leave the County and as he traveled south attempting to resettle in Arkansas, was stopped in Vernon County and forced to register for Union service. The family owned a farm in Andrew County and thankfully it was not confiscated. I own and farm it today.

The Missouri State archives has extensive Provost Marshal actions for each County.
Missouri Digital Heritage : Union Provost Marshal Papers: 1861 - 1866 (mo.gov)
 

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