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Ancestry.com

The following articles appeared in the Atlanta Daily Constitution and
spanned several days, beginning 21 March 1875, the day after at least three
tornadoes came through and devastated several Georgia counties.

All the original articles (and more) can be viewed online at Ancestry.com with
their Historical Newspaper Collections.


21 March 1875
A fearful and destructive tornado visited the town of Camak, on the Georgia railroad, 48 miles above Augusta, yesterday about one o'clock. The wires of the Georgia railroad line being blown down we are unable to obtain full particulars, it being only in working order to Barnett. At last accounts, no train had passed up since the disaster. Mr. Newman Hicks left Union Point with a special train to clear the track of the debris of the tornado.

Our information is that the storm king ravaged that section with fearful and relentless power. Such was the force and fury of the wind that every house in town was blown down except one. The air was filled with flying timbers, creating consternation in every heart. It was a scene of terror that pen cannot depict or painter portray.

The office of the telegraph was blown to pieces and the operator injured, but to what extent we are unable to say, as the wires are down.

We could not ascertain whether more lives were lost, but our information is that Mr. Thomas Geesling was killed by the blowing over of a car loaded with with guano upon him, crushing him into a shapeless mass. Mr. Geeseling was watchman at that point, and had just recovered from an attack of pneumonia.

The Georgia railroad track was covered with the debris of the buildings, and the overturned car. We are satisfied that Mr. Newman Hicks, with his accustomed energy, has cleared the track by the time this article is read.



Monday, March 15 witnessed a fearful tornado that swept portions of Jefferson, Johnson, Laurens, Bibb, Twiggs, and Wilkinson counties, leaving a scene of ruin along its track. All accounts agree that the storm king caused more damage than ever before known. It passed from miles west of Bethany in Jefferson county, between one and two o'clock, leveling fences, overturning houses and destroying the timber in its pathway. The...[unreadable]...was only few hundred yards wide. Every house on the plantation of Mr. A. J. Cook was blown down. His family were in the house at the time. Mr. Cook and several members of his family were slightly bruised, and his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Edwin A. Cook, had her collar bone broken.

Many of the shingles from Mr. Cook's house were blown one and a half miles, and some pieces of lumber were found three miles distant. The body of a wagon was blown away and has not been found. Even fence posts and the well curbing were blown out from their positions and sent whirring through the air. Mr. Cook's buggy was seen sailing on the wings of the storm, one hundred feet in the air.

An iron pot wieghing eighty pounds, was carried half a mile. Hogs and cattle were killed in the fields by flying fence rails carried with fearful velocity by the hurling storm. Fortunately his horses and mules...[unreadable]...Mr. Cook's loss is over $3,000. His neighbors turned out and are rebuilding him a house to live in.

For several minutes during the storm,...[unreadable]...darkness covered the scene, surrounded by a heavy fall of rain.

A number of gin houses were blown to pieces, and Judge A. F....[unreadable]...lost several horses and nearly all his fences.

So far as heard from, it extended as far as Wrightsville, in Johnson county, blowing east, crossing the Central railroad just below Bartow, a distance of about twenty miles, and we fear much further, and about two hundred yards in width. Trees, houses, fencing of every description, wagons, carts, indeed everything within its sweep, was torn into atoms. A number of gin houses were totally destroyed.

The cyclone also appeared along the line of Laurens and Wilkinson counties. The gin house and store of Nelson Stucky was completely demolished, the barn of Jackson Cook was blown over, the roof and upper portion of the residence of Mrs. Slaughter was blown off, also, the roof of the dwelling of Wm. Crumley was carried away. All...[unreadable]...fences around the place of Mr. Jas. Slaughter and others were blown away and...[unreadable]...in every direction. Trees were torn up, and the destruction was great for many miles.

The damage to Twiggs county was very heavy. The track of the hurricane was not over seventy-five or a hundred yards wide. It entered the county from the west, and as it approached the middle, it appeared to separate and two divergent cyclones passed on and out of the county, each doing its own work of desturction.

All the houses on Mr. Geo. Asbell's place, except his smoke-house, were destroyed. As the storm came up, by some impulse which cannot be accounted for, Mrs. A. was enduced to abandon her residence and seek refuge in the smoke-house together with her children.

Nearly every building was blown down on one of Mr. Robert Hill's farms. Roofs were blown away and never found.

Mr. Reuben Lowe's place was also seriously damaged. His cart wheels, to use the expression of his son, "were blown inside out" and the tongues twisted off.

Mrs. Arnold, a widow lady, attempted to get to the house of Mr. Lowe, with her son and daughter. The daughter got in safely, and Mr. Lowe was reaching out to assist Mrs. Arnold in when the tornado actually blew her and her son away from the door, rolling and tumbling them about like mere playthings. Mrs. Anold received a severe cut over her right eye, about six inches long. Her son was not seriously hurt.

Great trees were twisted off and their tops carried to a considerable distance and tumbled over into the fields. In one place in the road trees were scattered so thick that it would be impossible for a person to pass on foot. Plenty of large trees were torn up by their roots and borne a smart distance.

The tornado kept so well in its path that fodder stacks were left standing and not damaged, within twenty yards of where houses were demolished and blown entirely away.

The destruction of fences was wholesale, none being left in the track of the wind. In many places no sign was left to show that a fence had ever stood there.

The store of Mr. John Gilbert, in the Warrior district of Bibb county, was demolished and his goods scattered wildly by the wind. Barrels of syrup rolled many yards before the current of wind, and sacks of flour were borne to a considerable distance. It is reported that his iron safe was blown two or three hundred yards.



23 March 1875
The Tornado:

Frightful Destruction of Human Life and Property!

Desolated Track of the Tempest Strewn With Household Goods and Dead Stock.

Large Horses Swept Away or Dashed in Pieces.

Entire Families Hurled Into Eternity With a Crash.

Thrilling Details From Various Sections of the State.
Below we give thrilling details of the ravages of the storm, by letters from our own correspondents, by telegrams, and news collated from our exchanges, by which it will be seen that it was more severe elsewhere than here.

We give first an interesting letter from Sparta, the details of which will certainly touch every heart. The loss of human life, we fear, has been great.

In Hancock County. Terrible Fury of the Tornado -- Houses Swept Away and
Dashed in Pieces -- An Entire Family Slain -- Full Particulars of the
Desolated and Heart Rending Scene.
Sparta, GA, March 20, 1875.
Editors Constitution: There passed over the western portion of this county last Saturday the most terrific and destructive storm ever known to the present inhabitants. About one o'clock a pretty stiff blow passed over our town, but little dreamed of the work of destruction at that moment going on nearby. Shortly afterwards a messenger arrived with the startling intelligence that a cyclone of mighty force had passed some six miles west of us, carrying death and destruction in its way.

Soon a party was fitted up with a conveyance and proceeded to the scene of devastation. As they approached the track of the tornado thier progress was more and more impeded by fallen timber, which in some places rendered the road, which is a very old one, almost imperceptible.

The greatest damage in this county was at the home of Mr. S. D. Massey, six miles west of Sparta. Arriving at that place a scene of indescribable horror presented itself to their view. A few hours before there had stood a comfortable frame house, with negro house, stables, gin houses, etc., now the entire place was a waste, in the fullest sense of the word. The dwelling house sat on a plane sloping westward, so that the wind had a fair sweep, and it was so completely swept away that a stanger to the premises could not have told of what material it had been built -- whether a framed ot log house. Some of the outhouses were carried away without leaving a trace of their former situation.

The woods, for miles, were strewn with household effects of the unfortunate occupants.

But the saddest part of the story is yet to be told. The recital of the sudden cutting off of three human beings in the full flush of vigorous life, is calculated to carry a thrill of terror to stout hearts, the actual scene is more startling.

The Scene: Mr. Massey and his family were all in the house at the time, besides Miss Barney, a young lady relation, and a negro girl. Mrs. Massey and the girl had just entered the house from the kitchen, where they had been preparing some cakes, and the family were engaged in eating, when Mr. Massey says he heard the strangest noise he ever heard in the elements -- a rushing, howling, crashing, indescribable noise. The clouds were threatening, and he had anticipated a storm, but its suddenness was a surprise, and just as the first thought of removing his family passed through his mind there came with a mighty crash, and he was knocked insensible. When consciousness returned, he found himself out in the pelting storm -- his family lying mixed with the debris in the yard -- dead.

A heavy timber had struck Mrs. Massey on the head, crushing it in, and causing instant death. The bright, beautiful little boy, three years old, was picked up nearby, terribly bruised, and nearly every limb broken. He also was instantly killed. Miss Berry had a large wound in the head, and her body was badly mangled, though she was conscious, and lived about 1 hour, when death relieved her terrible suffering.

The bodies were conveyed to this place late in the evening to be prepared for burial. Mrs. M., and her babe were buried here Sunday afternoon, and Miss Berry's remains sent to her home near Devereaux station for interment.

Mrs. Massey was an adopted daughter of Mr. Wm. Fraley, of this place, and a most amiable and much-loved lady. Miss Berry was a noble girl, nearing womanhood, and had some relations and many warm friends in Sparta.

Several persons occupying houses on Mr. Massey's and adjoining places, are not expected to recover.

The house of Mr. Little, nearby was lifted some twelve feet from its foundation; but fortunately he had removed his family into the yard, and none were seriously hurt.

The track of the tornado can be seen for several miles at a glance, and fowls and stock of various kinds are scattered along its way.

I am preparing to visit the scene this morning, and may write you further. - E. Christian

Warren County. Camak Swept Away -- Loss of Life and Persons Injured.
Union Point, GA, March 21, 1875.
Editors Constitution: I am a subscriber, both literally and metaphorically, to your valuable paper, and have paid my subscriptions. Now, I am aware that you have a small account of another character against me. But, feeling assured that you do not discredit it my intention to discharge this little claim as soon as possible. I am not, on thi account, afraid to ask through your columns, to give the reading public a brief account of the tornado, which passed over a portion of Taliaferro, McDuffie, Warren and other counties, on Saturday, 20th...[unreadable]...Our village was startled Saturday afternoon by a telegram from raodmaster Hicks to another railroad official of this place -- ordering two trains with their hands, and all other help that could be obtained to come immediate to Camak to clear the railroad track of obstruction, thrown upon it by a tornado. Two trains were soon put in readiness. A number of our young men, including myself, volunteered our services, and were taken aboard. The whistle sounded, and away we dashed; flying over the track at almost lightning speed. On reaching Camak, a scene of utter destruction met the eye. We stood...[unreadable]...at the spectacle. The powerful agent had...[unreadable]...effectively done its work. The tornado it semms, came from the southwest towards the northeast. There are various estimates as to its width. Some stimate it half a mile -- others a few hundrd yards. Camak is somwhat elevated, and unprotected by woods.

Only one house in town was left standing...[the rest of this colum is unreadable]...killed outright. The horse was blown some fifty yards. The watchman, it seems, took shelter behind a freight car box, loaded with guano. The car was blown over almost instantly, and capturing the unfortunate man under it, crushed him. Two young ladies were caught under the roof of the hotel,...[unreadable]...a large building. They were taken out unhurt. Major Toy, a very old gentleman, and his wife were seriously hurt.

The people at Camak are left in a destitute condition. In the short space of ten minutes all their earthly possessions were swept away or destroyed.

Elam church -- some eight miles from Camak -- was blown down. Preaching was going on at the time. Several reported killed. We learned only one name -- Thomas Pilcher,...[unreadable]...of Warren county. Mrs. Pilcher is reported seriously hurt. At Camak much guano, corn and other freight was destroyed. After some hours of hard work the rubbish was removed from the railroad track, and our party set out on their return home. Three young men -- Messrs. Hunt, Randall, and Davis, all of Union Point, gallantly remained to give the distressed citizens their assisstance in protecting and collecting the little remnants of their property.

Now, Messrs. Editors, I have given you the facts as ascertained by an eye-witness. If they are worthy of publication, publish them; if not, consign my communication to your waste basket. Yours, W. R.

Mrs. Wright has two ribs broken, Mrs. Jones has her back broken. Mr. T. C. Kneller, conductor on one of the trains of the Macon and Augusta railroad, was painfully hurt. His injuries are principally internal. Mr. S. E. Fielding, the telegraph operator, was also injured, but not seriously. The skull of Mr. Edward Skinner, fireman, was crushed in and one arm broken. He will probably die. Mr. Albert Tunison, another fireman, crawled out from among the debris of the fallen building, and escaped with a few bruises. Two negroes took refuge under the depot at the commencement of the storm and have not been seen since. It is supposed they are buried under the ruins.

In McDuffie County. Nine Persons Reported Killed at Thomson.
After leaving Camak, the storm took a northerly course, then turned to the east, touching Thomson ten miles below. Then it apparently ascended to the clouds and passed south of Augusta, and crossing the Central railroad between Allen's station and Waynesboro. It also struck the Port Royal railroad beyond the river, but did no damage further than blowing down a number of trees.

J. N. Morgan's dwelling and outhouses, except the barn, were completely demolished. The wind struck the rear of his dwelling, raising it from the floor and carrying it off, demolishing everything. His wife and two children were left on the floor. His two daughters were badly injured and one negro woman mortally wounded. James Benson's houses were all carried away, but none of his family were hurt. A negro man in the gin house was blown some distance and killed. A negro child was badly inkured. Captain John T. Stovall's house was blown down, fracturing his leg badly in two places, and also crushing his wife's ankle. Mrs. Stovall, in that badly crippled condition, crowded out, got a saw and attempted to saw the timbers from around him before help arrived. One of his children was saved by jumping in a wardrobe. John E. Smith's premises were all blown away, except the main building, and only the front of that is standing, and the gin house. Two negro men were killed and several seriously wounded. Faucett's mill is also reported blown down, and reports of disasters are constantly coming in. The latest from Capt. Stovall is that they hope to save his leg and his wife's without amputation. Mr. Dorsey, of Columbia, S.C., was killed.

In Columbia County. Several Killed and Wounded.
In Appling and vicinity, the houses of S. Hutchinson, Salon Reese, John Boston, and several others, are destroyed. No persons in them injured. George Darcey's house was destroyed, and his mother, Mrs. Martha Darcey, killed. Geo. Grey's house was blown down and his mother seriously injured. Dr. Bailey's house, at Appling, was blown down and his sister, Miss Maggie Bailey, killed, and Miss Malone seriously injured. One end of the courthouse was blown in.

In Baldwin County. Two Children Killed -- Fifteen Houses Destroyed.
In Milledgeville the storm passed along the suburbs of the city, traveling a little north of east. The cloud is represented to have resembled an hour-glass in shape, was in vertical position, and as luminous as blazing fire. In fact, it so closely resembled fire that all the alarm bells in the city were rung and the people turned out, thinking that there was a fire.

Fifteen houses are reported destroyed. The residence of Mr. Martin, near Milledgeville, a new building, was blown away, and one of his children and a colored child also were killed. The fine residence of Judge Hunter, between Milledgeville and Midway, was unroofed. The carriage house and stables of Mr. T. H. Latimer were destroyed. A bale of cotton which had been packed was blown to pieces. The ties were broken and the cotton scattered about through the trees.

The storm struck a team that was passing from the asylum to Milledgeville. The wagon was blown away, the harness blown off the horses and the horses severely mangled.

In Harris and Talbot Counties. Great Destruction of Property -- Eight
Persons Killed and a Number Wounded.
A gentleman, who was in the storm about Waverly Hall, in Harris county, reports that at about eleven o'clock Saturday morning, the most terrific storm he ever witnesses, passed in the neighborhood of Waverly Hall and Ellerslie in Harris county, blowing from the southwest, doing great damage to property and killing several people, blowing down houses, trees, fences and everything before it. The storm extended to within twelve miles of Columbus.

Major John Walton, of Talbot county, had his house blown away, and was badly hurt himself. Dr. Neal had his house blown down and received slight injuries.

The storm extended fifteen miles, and half a mile wide, leaving not a house or tree standing in its track.

Mount Airy church, near Ellerslie, and many houses in that neighborhood were blown down. The house of Capt. John Cannon, near that place, was blown down, killing Mrs. Cannon, three of her grown daughters and two of her sons. Captain Cannon and two of his little sons escaped, as they were absent at the time. Captain Hilliard Pitts, of Hamilton, had two daughters killed, another daughter had both ankles and a thigh broken, and two more seriously, if not fatally injured. Mrs. Pitts is reported to have gone deranged in consequence of her heavy affliction.

Chattahoochee County. Houses and Trees Demolished.
The tornado that visited Chattahoochee county occurred on Monday last, between 9 and 10 o'clock. The tornado came directly from the northwest. Whole forests were bended under its terrible force like reeds in a breeze. Fences were destroyed, and fruit trees torn up by the roots and carried high in the air and far away from the place where they grew.

In many localities women and children rushed from their houses in horror, and encountered the fiercer dangers in the open air. The tornado does not seem to have been very wide, and only took a belt of the county. Near Pineville it rages with great violence and caused great damage to property. Here it appeared the character of a whirlwind and twisted fruit trees around until their roots were torn loose, and then carried them along in its wild course. The destruction of fencing was quite heavy.

The greatest sufferer from the tornado was Mr. Nathan Nicholson. Nearly all his fruit trees were destroyed or totally ruined, and his wood-land suffered severely. The severest damage, however, was done in the immediate vicinity of his house. No less than seven houses were blown down...[the rest of the column is unreadable]...

A woman named Davis was lying on the place. Her house was blown completely to pieces and she was severely hurt. A negro living nearby had his leg badly sprained and torn by the falling of his house. The saddest occurrence of the whole calamity was the severe injury od a little child bu the falling of one of the houses. The little creature was mashed by some falling plank and fully one-half of its tongue was completely cut off. It is now suffering great pain and cannot possibly live.

One of the stables which was blown down contained a fine pair of mules, but fortunately they were taken out just before the building fell. The damage to Mr. Nicholson's place was truly fearful, and falls heavily on that gentleman. His farm is said to be one wreck.

The storm also caused considerable damage in Marion county. It is said that Mr. Potter Ingram's place is greatly injured. Several buildings on it are blown down, and fruit trees torn up by the score. The fencing and woodland is also said to have suffedered greatly. Mr. John Mathew's farm is reported to have been badly damaged. The tornado extended to Buena Vista. Everywhere in its course loss of property and damage to real estate is reported.



24 March 1875
The Tornado:

Heart Rending and Appalling Scenes.

A Striking Incident of Woman's Devotion.

The Power of Prayer.

Debris of Ruins Carried Miles By the Tempest.

Full List of the Killed and Wounded.


By Telegraph and Mail to the Constitution.
Augusta, March 23 -- Eight counties in Georgia and three in South Carolina need relief from the effects of the tornado. The list of killed and wounded is appalling.

Course of the Storm: The march of the tornado was west from Harris county, across Talbot, Upson, Monroe, Jones, Baldwin, Hancock, Glascock, McDuffie and Columbia, touching Richmond also, and passing into Carolina.

In Harris County: The tornado seems to have commenced on the east side of the mountain this side of Hamilton, Harris county, passed Mount Airy and Raugheville, Talbot county.

Mr. Cannon, of Harris county, lost five children, and his wife and two other children were badly hurt. He was not at his house at the time, but knowing that his family was in danger he was struggling to get to them, when he met the bodies of two of his little daughters being carried along by the cyclone.

The store of Mr. Sparks, in Harris county, was demolished and his goods blown away. His...[unreadable]... and other goods are now fluttering from the limbs of trees outside the track of the storm.

In Talbot County: There seems to have been two cyclones -- one in the northwest part of the county and the other in the middle part.

As the storm neared Talbotton, it became more furious. Mr. W. J. Raine's dining room was blown down, and a lottle daughter was badly hurt. Elisha Culpeper was killed and his wife and daughter badly hurt; a young man by the name of Crawford was killed; A. B. O'Neil's houses were all blown away; J. B. Gorman's mill and gin are all gone; J. H. Walton had his houses all unroofed, but none of his family were hurt; J. A. Clements had his house blown down, and all the family in it were covered with timber, but no one was hurt; B. Trussel's houses were all blown down, and their furniture and clothing were all blown away.

Mrs. Culpeper found her husband crushed under a sill. With superhuman strength she lifted the immense piece of timber from his body, only to find him crushed to death. No two men in the county could lift that piece of timber under ordinary circumstances.

At Baugh's shop, the academy, church, and the residences of Messrs. Baugh, Calhoun, Wilson and Jones were all blown down and away.

Mr. Clements, when he saw the storm coming, gatheres his family together in a corner of one room of his house and began to pray. The house was lifted off and utterly ruined, but no one of his family was hurt.

Near a little place called Red Bone, Mr. Robert Bryant's house was blown down and his arm was broken, his wife seriously injured, and a little niece who was boarding with him had her leg broken.

The cyclone passed about a mile and a half off Talbotton, but the cloud was plainly seen, and its roar distinctly heard. Mr. Maund, who was twelve miles off, heard the roar with great distinctness. John B. Gorman's mill and gin were utterly ruined. His dam[?] was damaged by the wind and his mill stones were blown twenty feet from their position.

In Monroe County: Near the Towaliga river, the hail stones which fell were large, and fell with such force as to wound men and animals caught outside of shelter. The premises of Mr. Early Cleveland lay in the track of the tornado, and his place left in ruins. His dwelling-house was not seriously damaged, but every out-house with two exceptions was either partially or totally destroyed. He had a large number of out-houses, and the loss will amount to fully fifteen hundred dollars. Six horses and two mules were in the lot, where there were several buildings, barns and stables. These houses were so completely wrecked and the timbers were blown about freely, but dtrange to say not one of the horses or mules was injured. No personal injury was sustained by any of the damily, but several narrow escapes were made.

Near the High Fall the storm was very severe. Mr. Wm. Childs, son of Mr. White Childs, of Jones, had been with his wife some distance from home in a buggy and was returing when the storm and rain came. The party took shelter under the gin house of Mrs. John Ham, where they had not remained long, when they saw the house falling. Mrs. Childs tried to escape, but running in the direction the wind was blowing, she was caught by the falling house and covered with the debris. Mr. Childs, together with the horse which he was holding, was also buried in the ruins. Fortunately for him the timbers fell across his feet and was able to call for assisstance. A negro came to his relief, and succeeded in getting him out with no ijury except bruises across his ankles. he told the negro that his wife was under the ruins and was doubtless dead. The negro pulled off the roof and flooring in several places before finding her. She had been caught by the falling timbers, one large piece laying across her feet and another across her body. She was unconscious, but recoved consciousness when carried home and was able to tell some of the particulars of the accident. She lies in critical condition. The horse was killed and the buggy mashed into fragments.

On the Russelville road, a short distance from Forsyth, several houses in which negroes were living were partially or wholly destroyed. The roof was taken from a house, leaving a negro woman exposed to the rain.

In Jones County: In the upper part of the county, near the Putnam line, the residence of Mr. Wm. Gore was destroyed. Mr. Gore was badly injured, and Mrs. Horne, a widowed sister, was killed.

In Baldwin County: The tornado swept across Milledgeville from west to east, over the southern limit...[unreadable]...everything before it. Its pathway of about one hundred yards in width, houses were literally demolished, and many persons killed and wounded. The broad spex[?] of the funnel-formed demon of the cloud floated rapidly along, probably at the rate of more than a hundred miles an hour; and the narrow base which touched the...[unreadable]...lifted up and destroyed everything in its path. The handsome gothic cottage recently purchased by Mr. Edward Lane, was utterly demolished and blown away.

Seven are wounded in the plantation belonging to the McComb estate, and every house but one, on the place, in ruins. Doctors are being sent for from over the country. Two are reported killed on Mr. Jas. Martin's place, and every house in ruins. Others are probably injured on the place. Two are reported killed on the road between town and the lunatic asylum. Others are so badly wounded that they will probably die.

...[unreadable]...On the place of Mr. Richard Brown the destruction was terrible. Mr. Brown's skull is fractured and he is lying insensible and will probably die...[unreadable]...Should Mr. Brown die (and we see no hope of recovery,) it will make an aggregate of four killed on this farm.

On the plantation of Mr. Charles Harper,...[unreadable]...are reported killed,...[unreadable]...On the Midway place of Mr. Robert Trippe, a negro child was killed. In this locality the wind did great damage. On the east side of the river, the damage is also very great. Many plantations are almost completely ruined...[unreadable]...

Mrs. Stappleton, on the McComb place, had her scalp severly lacerated and her life is seriously in danger from concussion of the brain. A great deal of poultry was...[unreadable]...and people are gathering it up for food. The loss and damage to property, including the damage consequent upon the loss of fences, will probably amount to $175,000. In one locality between Midway and town, eight houses are total wrecks. Mr. Edward Lane, Mrs. Wm. Lane, and Mr. Joseph Lane, all belonging to one family, have suffered most. Each of them owned a dwelling, two of which were completely demolished.

The killed and dying are known to be ten in number. The wounded will probably reach forty-five in Baldwin county alone.

The course of the cyclone seems to have varied. At first, it seems to have come from north of west, crossing the Macon and Augusta railroad near Haddock's station. It then traveled east until getting nearly to twon, when it made a bow and passed around the city. It then continued on its eastward course until it had gotten about ten miles beyond the river when it seems to have taken a northeasterly direction and recrossed the Macon and Augusta railroad between Carr's and Devereaux's stations.

On Mr. Robert Harper's place two negros were killed, two mortally wounded, and several more seriously injured. There were no white persons on the place.

In Hancock County: The details of the calamity on Mr. S. D. Massey's place, near Sparta, are most pitiful.

When he saw the storm coming Mr. Massey made a frantic effort to save his wife and child. He ran into the house and seizing them attempted to get them out of doors, but before he reached the door the walls were crushed in. He thrust them toward the door and was himself caught in the timbers. When the storm had passed he discovered his wife lying near him with her brains crushed out. His child, an only one, about two years old, he found in the garden with a fearful hole torn in its side. It was dead. Miss Sallie Berry had been blown into the top of a pine tree, which had fallen neary. Her legs were broken in seven places and she was otherwise awfully mangled. She lived four hours.

The places of Mr. Thomas Little and Mr. Carpenter were sadly torn to pieces, and a number of negroes wounded.

The following houses and plantations were wrecked in Hancock county: John T. Massey's. His wife and child and a Miss Singleton were killed. The houses of Jessie Reynolds, Carter P. Whaley, G. T. Rhodes, including two fine orchards, were totally destroyed.

In Glascock County: In Glascock county the loss of life and property was immense. It is reported that thirty-five persons were killed. Mt. Zion M. E. church, four miles below Gibson, was struck by the tornado about 1 o'clock and totally demolished...[unreadable]...The dwelling of Mr. Mathis, an old citizen of the county, was blown down, and Mr. Mathis, his wife and children killed. Mr. Vincent Davis' house, one or two miles from Mr. Mathis', was destroyed and Mr. Davis killed. Sunday, while Dr. Barton was preaching at Zoar church, he received a message from J. L. Usry seven miles below Gibson, asking for help, as sixty persons had been killed and wounded in that vicinity.

...Mount Moriah camp ground was demolished, and it is reported that out of a family of eight there were seven killed.

In Warren County: The following are reported casualties:

...Mrs. Louis Jones was killed. Mrs. S. Robinson, Mrs. Martha Howell and Benjamin P. Atkinson were dangerously wounded, F. Turner had his jaw-bone broken. Mrs. T. J. Pilcher had her arm broken. Lewis Jones had his head and face wounded. W. C. Barksdale, Robert Barksdale, Sterling Avery, Mrs. Katherine Nelson, R. W. Nelson, W. A. Anderson, Mrs. Hubert, Mrs. Atchison, J. S. Dozier, Rev. J. Wellington and three other of the [Elam church] congregation were slightly wounded.

The storm crossede the Ogeechee two miles and a half above Mayfield and struck and demolished the Linn place. Then it reached Mrs. Virginia Hubert's in Warren county, killing three and wounding two negroes...[unreadable]...It demolished Elam church. The next houses destroyed were John W. Hubert's, Mrs. Catherine Nelson's, R. W. Nelson's, Rv. T. J. Pilcher's...[unreadable]...

[After the tornado crossed into Columbia county, it] struck and demolished the house of John Bartlet, killes his child and wounded several others...[unreadable]...One of Mr. Walton's children was killed.



25 March 1875
The Last Account Received.

A Number of Churches, School Houses, etc. Destroyed.

The True Course of the Tempest.

The Velocity With Which it Traveled.

Additional Incidents and Scaries.

The List of the Killed and Wounded Filled Out.
The Course of the Tornado: The tornado came from the west and went to the northeast.

Velocity of the tornado: The tornado started in Harris county about 11 o'clock AM and left the state about 3PM, traversing about 210 miles in three hours, making the velocity seventy miles per hour.

Where it Started: The Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel says it entered Georgia from Lee county, Alabama. The first county it struck was Harris, lying immediately on the Chattahoochee river. It then passed through the following counties: After leavin Harris, Talbot, Upson, Monroe, Jones, Baldwin, Hancock, Warren, McDuffie, Columbia, and from thence passed into edgefield county, South Carolina...

There were six churches destroyed -- Bethesda and Prospect churches in Harris, and Salem, Mt. Vernon and Olive Branch churches in Talbot county, and Elam church in Waren county. Two school houses -- one at Mt. Airy, and one at Baughville -- were demolished.

List of Killed and Wounded: Harris county -- Killed: John Todd, wife and five children, Mrs. John Cannon, three daughters, two sons, two daughters of Hilliard Pitts, four negroes, two negro children at Mr. Pitts'.

Wounded: Dr. Peters and family, E. Brannon, Charlie Hunt, M. Pitts, two daughters and son, Mr. Clark, four men names not given, Rev. J. McGehee, Mrs. Dennis Miller, Mrs. Burdett, Mrs. Tommy.

Talbot county -- Killed: W. J. Raines' daughter, Mr. Elisha Culpepper, Mr. Crawford.

Wounded: Mrs. Culpepper and daughter, Robert Bryant, wife and neice.

Monroe county -- Wounded: Mrs. W. Childs.

Jones county -- Killed: Mrs. Horne, three negroes whose names are not reported.

Wounded: W. Gore.

Baldwin county -- Killed: Mrs. Thomas Johnson, Dick Gander (col.), Tom Hason (col.), Georgia Ann Lewis, Laura Wright, John Collier and Thomas Lester, and 5 or 6 other negroes names not given.

Wounded: R. Brown, Mr. Thos. Johnson, Mrs. Stappleton, Mrs. Oxford, son and daughter, and 10 or 12 negroes.

Hancock county -- Killed: Mrs. S. D. Massey,...[unreadable]...

Wounded: S. D. Massey and a negro woman.

Glascock county -- Killed: Mr. Mubis[?], wife and five children, Vincent Davis, Mrs. Johnson, two of Mr. Kitchen's family, Mr. Brooks, daughter of James Chalker, two negroes.

Wounded: B. B. Kitchen, child of Mr. Chalker.

McDuffie county -- Killed: Mr. Dorsey and 5 or 6 negroes.

Wounded: J. T. Stovall, since died, and several negroes.

Warren county -- Killed: Thomas Geesling, Mrs. Lewis Jones, and several negroes.

[The rest of the column is unreadable.]



26 March 1875
Tornado Items.

Additional Facts and Incidents.

A Husband's Devotion -- A Mother's Heroism -- Sad Sequel to a Hunt.
From the McDuffie Journal: At Mr. Ivey's place in McDuffie county, a horse was blown into a well in which there was not much water, but was rescued without being seriously injured.

The Oldest Baptist Church: The old baptist church, I believe the oldest in the state, is a wreck, and a plank hurled therefrom shot like a shell through Mr. Harden's store.

Miss Maggie Bailey: Miss Maggie Bailey was in her thirty-sixth year, and for the past fifteen to twenty years a bright and shining member of the Methodist Episcopal church. One of the last acts of her life was in the discharge of a pleasant duty. In her satchel were found her Bible, hymn book, catechism[?] notes for the next day's Sabbath school.


For Further Reading About Historical Tornadoes, You Might Want to Check:
Historical Catastrophes: Hurricanes and Tornadoes

The Forgotten Storm: The Great Tri-State Tornado of 1925
Wallace Akin was two years old when the Tri-State Tornado picked up his house-with him and his mother inside-and dropped it atop two other collapsed buildings. Across town, his father lay unconscious near his auto shop, close to death, and Akin's brother managed to crawl from beneath the collapsed shop. All survived. Many others were not as fortunate: Earlier that afternoon, a supercell thunderstorm had spawned a tornado so deadly that it set records against which we still measure all other twisters. The storm ripped through southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, and southwest Indiana, killing 695 people and wounding 2,000, in a record-breaking 219-mile, three-and-a-half-hour path of destruction. Akin's hometown was the worst hit, losing 243 people to the tornado... Using first-person accounts from his family and neighbors, newspaper stories, and diaries, Akin offers a blow-by-blow account of the storm from its first sighting to its final minutes. He also attempts to explain how it began-and how it changed his life.

Eye of the Storm: Inside the World's Deadliest Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and Blizzards
The Great Cyclone at St. Louis and East St. Louis, May 27, 1896: Being a Full History of the Most Terrifying and Destructive Tornado in the History of the World, With Numerous Thrilling and Pathetic Incidents
Not long after 5PM, on Wednesday, 27 May 1896, a tornado devastated the St. Louis area. 255 people died, 311 buildings were destroyed, 7,200 others were damaged, and 1,300 people were injured. It remains the deadliest incident in that area.


Southern Graves


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