“Wreck of the C & O Sportsman”


"Far away on the banks of New River, While the deep shades of twilight hunglow," engineer Haskell and fireman Anderson drive the trail. It goes off the train on a curve. The two are killed. The singer recalls the loved ones at home


Cohen notes that this wreck "was possibly thelast to be memorialized in song" -- but hardly a popular one; fewer than 500 copies of the original disc were sold, and the odds that the song became traditional arevery poor. - RBW

Historical references

  • June 21, 1930 - The Sportsman wreck. Engineer Homer E. Haskell (who had been with the line 35 years) and fireman Henry G. Anderson are killed and three others injured


  • Roy Harvey and the North Carolina Ramblers (=Si Coleman and his Railroad Ramblers), "The Wreck of the C & O Sportsman" (Superior 2701, 1931


  1. Cohen-LSRail, pp. 264-266, "The Wreck of the C & O Sportsman" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, LSRai264


Author: Bernice "Si" Coleman (1898-?)
Earliest date: 1931 (recording, Si Coleman and his Railroad Ramblers)
Keywords: train wreck death