Today in Southern History: The Prison Trainwreck

15 July 1864  

On this date in 1864…

An Erie Railroad train jammed with Confederate prisoners, collided with a freight train in New York. More than 100 injured prisoners were dumped into the Elmira, New York prison compound without treatment. Most died within a few days.

Other Years:
  • 1539 – Spanish Conquistador Hernando de Soto’s expedition began its march inland from Tampa Bay on his exploration of the South.
  • 1830 – The Sioux, Sauk & Fox tribes signed a fourth Treaty of Prairie du Chien guaranteeing the U.S. government control of most of Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri.
  • 1862 – The ironclad ram C.S.S. Arkansas survived a night attack by the federal fleet of U.S. Admiral David Farragut as his ships downriver ran past the batteries at Vicksburg, Mississippi.
  • 1870 – Georgia was the first Confederate state to be readmitted to the U.S. during reconstruction.
  • 1973 – Nolan Ryan of Refugio, Texas became the first pitcher in two decades to win two no-hitters in a season while playing for the California Angels.

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