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Was Sabotage to Blame for 1869 Budds Creek Disaster?

The record as to the precise cause of the 1869 wreck at Budds Creek is somewhat hazy. In the immediate aftermath of the July 28, 1869, wreck on the Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville Railroad, speculation was rampant, but accounts disagree on details, including the cause, the number of cars on the train and the names of those involved.

History

Crossing the Cumberland

By all accounts, August 6, 1860, started as a typical Monday. But, by the time Benjamin Bartle eased the locomotive W. B. Munford onto the bridge crossing the Cumberland River in Clarksville, Tennessee, he was entering the annals of history. His train was the first to cross the bridge, a major hurdle in building a vital portion of the rail line linking Memphis and Louisville.