Mark, this is a paragraph from our page on the wreck...
Official records of the Seventh Mississippi list 22 killed at the scene, 7 others died subsequently of injuries, and 14 received injuries in varying nature, one-half serious enough requiring discharge for disability. Arriving at Jackson, Col. B.F. Johns drew 24 blankets to replace those used to cover the dead that morning.
From research it appears at least ten died after the wreck. This would put the death toll in excess of 30. How many were permanently crippled is unknown. Some died after being taken back to New Orleans.
Wayne Cosby has found some reports that state the collision was around 30-40 M.P.H. when the combined speed of the two engines is added. It also states the boilers on both engines blew up. That by itself frightening to think of. When you factor in the flimsy wooden cars the men were in you can see how bad this may have been.
There was an investigation of course. The engineer of the lumber train, William D. Foster was arrested and was cleared of the accusations that he was a Union sympathizer but he was guilty of several violations of railroad laws. He got off scot free on those. However it worked out he should have been punished. Maybe the railroad gave him the boot, I don't know.