Will Richards

The Cartersville Courant
Cartersville, Georgia
October 21, 1886, page 3
Transcribed by:  

Fearful Accident.
Bartow Carter Accidentally Shoots and Kills His Best Friend, Will Richards.
Full Statement of the Sad Occurrence by Mr. Carter.

Will Richards, fireman on the E. & W. railroad was accidentally shot and instantly killed Tuesday night at Broken Arrow, Ala., by Bartow Carter, who was his most devoted friend and constant companion.  It was one of those terrible and heartrending accidents that sometimes startle and shock a community.  The two men were almost inseparable and loved each other with a strong devotion.  Mr. Carter is mail agent on the E. & W. road.

The particulars are best given by Mr. Carter himself, who reached here on the afternoon train yesterday.  He is nearly crazed with grief, but kindly gave a Courant reporter the following statement:

“Will and I have been for a long time special friends, we were together a great deal; indeed we were nearly always together when not at work, and as he could change his run on the road easier than I could he always changed so as to be on my train.  We have never had any trouble but have always been warm and loving friends.  I loved him truly and devotedly, and I believe he was one of the noblest hearted and truest men on earth.  Last night about 10 o’clock we were in the telegraph office waiting for Bill Hudgins’ train to come in.  Will and young Peacock were sitting on a table in the office and I was standing near by them.  We had been together all day; it was pay-day with Will and he and I had been around to the different stores; he had been paying some bills he owed.  I was standing in front of the table on which they sat; they had been telling me about a boy named Bruce who was caught by two men who made to give up his pistol, and then whipped him.  I had my pistol in my hand; it is a self-cocker, with a ring over the trigger.  I said, ‘Will, I think I would have handed my pistol to them this way,’ and I intended to roll my pistol around, with the handle towards him, but in whirling it I kind of missed it and slapped at it to catch it I struck it with my thumb, and as it was a double action pistol, it went off.  When the pistol was discharged the handle was sloping at a considerable angle.  The ball penetrated Will’s left breast about an inch from the left nipple, and lodged just under the surface of the skin near about the seat of the left kidney. I immediately caught him up in my arms, when Moody, conductor on the E. & W. came in and assisted me.  I was plumb wild with excitement and grief and I didn’t know what to do.  Will only said “O.”  I pulled open his shirt, and hollowed for some one to come, and go for a doctor.  Peacock had run off, frightened. I went for the doctor, myself, but he was dead then, though I didn’t know it.  We had been just as intimate as friends could be and he was worthy of the confidence I gave him, and O I am nearly crazed by this terrible occurrence.

Mr. S. R. Phillips, the engineer, under whom the deceased worked was seen and corroborated Mr. Carter’s statement.

The body of the dead man was brought to Cedartown his home, yesterday, and will be interred today.  No inquest was deemed necessary by the authorities at Broken Arrow, but Mr. Carter left on last night’s train for Atlanta to see the Superintendent of the mail service and advise him personally of the sad affair.  Both parties are well and favorably known in this section and intense regret is expressed at the lamentable occurrence.


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