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Friday, December 24, 2010

Bowie Knife Duel Atop Railroad Car

A news story from 1885:
Murderous Affray on a Freight Car.
LOUISVILLE, KY., Jan. 12.--George Jackson, conductor, and James Wilson, brakeman of a freight train on the Louisville and Lexington Railroad, were taken to their boarding-house in Louisville on Friday evening suffering from wounds inflicted upon each other in a duel fought with bowie knives on top of the train while it was running at the rate of thirty miles an hour. Jackson was traveling to Louisville from Lexington with his train, when he and Wilson quarreled over a woman in the caboose.

The men were about to come to blows when a proposition was made to fight a duel on top of the caboose with bowie knives, with which both men were armed. No sooner was the proposition made than it was accepted and, drawing their weapons, the men climbed to the top of the car. The other employees on the train gathered around to witness the combat. The train was whirling along at a lively rate between Christiansburg and Louisville when the men announced themselves ready for battle. They rushed upon each other and closed with each other. Blood trickled from the knife blade and bespattered the roof of the car. The train sped along, and the men separated once when the signal was given that the train was to pass under a bridge. They renewed the fight after the bridge had been passed. Both men were badly hacked, and the train men, dreading to witness a murder, put a stop to further fighting. Jackson got the worst of the fight, being badly cut across the breast.

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