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Deputy Warden Willoughby Howard Nelson | Tennessee Department of Correction, Tennessee Tennessee Department of Correction, Tennessee

Deputy Warden

Willoughby Howard Nelson

Tennessee Department of Correction, Tennessee

End of Watch: Friday, July 27, 1894

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 50

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Military veteran

Cause: Bomb

Weapon: Explosives

Offender: Not available

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Deputy Warden Nelson was killed when a bomb devised by convicts exploded at a coal mine in Tracy City.

More than 100 convicts, from the Tennessee State Penitentiary were sent to the Tennessee Coal Company at Tracy City to replace striking workers. The convicts declared they would not work and seized the powder magazine inside the mine. After negotiations failed, the convicts placed a keg of blasting powder in an empty coal car, lit the fuse, and pushed it down the track to the entrance where it exploded. Deputy Warden Nelson was killed instantly and two guards were injured. Guards opened fire on the convicts, killing the ring leader. After a brief standoff the convicts surrendered.

Deputy Warden Nelson was a member of the Tennessee General Assembly, representing Maury County. He was survived by his wife and nine children. He was a Civil War veteran having served with a Tennessee confederate regiment.

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Remembering you on this date that you gave your life protecting the citizens of your state, thank you for your service.

July 27, 2016


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