Diary entries by Matthew Marvin, Corporal in the 1st Minnesota Regiment who was wounded at Gettysburg and is convalescing at his family home in St. Charles, Illinois. This week Marvin writes of visiting friends and neighbors, and the return of his sister from Minnesota. One day this week Marvin has his photograph taken, writing “had my likeness taken with long finger Nails in sight”.
On October 29th Marvin returns to the hospital in Chicago, accompanied by his brother Jack. After a few days marked only by letter writing and changes in the weather, tragedy strikes just outside Marvin’s hospital window. He writes:
About 4 oclock Pm Their was a drove of cattle being driven across Rush St. Bridge & when nearly all across the tenders swong the bridge & precipitated two men two horses & 3 or 4 ladies into the River[.] One man & the wimen wer drowned[.] One of the bridge tenders is missing[;] Two wer [...] about 60 head of cattle wer on the bridge[.] it looked rough to see them all go down[.]
See week’s worth of entries here: 1863-11-02_Marvin_combined
The Rush Street swing bridge over the Chicago River was located one block east of Michigan Avenue. Marvin witnessed the disaster from his vantage point at the US Marine Hospital just south of the river on Michigan Avenue. For a detailed description of events, see the Harper’s Weekly newspaper article on November 21, 1863.
See this for more on the Rush Street Bridge.
Citation: October 25 – November 3, 1863 Diary entries by Matthew Marvin, Diary notes and memos. Matthew Marvin Papers. Minnesota Historical Society. [P2355 box 1]