|NEW ORLEANS DAILY PICAYUNE
Tuesday Morning, May 12, 1863
CRUSHED BY THE CARS - Yesterday morning a shocking sight presented itself
to those who reside in the neighborhood of St. Charles and Philip streets, in the
Fourth District. There were, lying on the Carrollton Railroad track, the terribly
mangled remains of a human being who had evidently been crushed to death when
the train made its last trip on Sunday night. All the facts and circumstances of the
case lead directly to the supposition that the act was intentional. One of the legs of
the deceased was crushed both above and below the knee, and the head and other
parts of the body were contused and mutilated. Deceased was evidently a
German, and between 30 and 35 years of age. From registry papers found in the
pocket, it is supposed that his name was William Fidler (sic), and that he had
never abjured his original nationality. A Masonic chart and a memorandum book
were also found about his person, the first of which was inscribed with the name of
Robert Saunders, and the other was half filled with scraps of German poetry,
some original and some selected. The original poetry was peculiarly of a
crackbrained order, being evidently the offspring of "a mind diseased." Among
the last lines there were direct allusions to his fate, which may be translated thus:
"I am now upon the rail.
The spirits of earth and air invite me.
I come. My back is turned upon my fatherland.
Shaking off mortality, I become immortal.
The thirsty earth will drink my blood,
And flowers will spring into fragrance
Where I fester. Spirits of my fathers, welcome me.
I hear the whistle of the iron horse:
The catastrophe approaches."
A verdict was returned, setting forth the manner in which deceased came to his
death, though it could not be definitely ascertained by the jury whether the
occurrence was intentional or accidental. The above translation, however, seems
to leave no doubt upon that subject.
|William Fiddler Newspaper Report