From the Richmond Whig, 9/28/1864, p. 1, c. 4
ENGINE LOOSE - SMASH UP. - As the locomotive "Washington," with tender attached, was climbing 8th street, this morning from some cause unknown, she, on reaching the middle of Main street, near the Spotswood Hotel, refused to make steam, and immediately began to run back. An attempt was made to check her with a billet of wood, but proved unsuccessful. The wood was knocked aside and down the hill she went at the rate of thirty miles an hour, and dashed against the draw-bridge over the canal, near the packet office.
The substantial uprights at the further end of the draw-bridge were mashed forward eight or ten feet, and the front of the engine, plunging into the canal, came to a stand. Just a moment before the collision the engineer and two firemen who were aboard the engine leaped off and escaped injury. The engine suffered no great injury apparently, though her smoke stack is knocked into a slouch hat. The greatest difficulty will be in getting her out of the canal. The draw-bridge is but slightly damaged, and can soon be repaired.