Night Watchman Thomas Edward Drawbond

Night Watchman Thomas Edward Drawbond

Norfolk and Western Railroad Police Department, Railroad Police

End of Watch Friday, March 19, 1909

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Thomas Edward Drawbond

Night Watchman Thomas Drawbond was shot and killed from ambush while patrolling the Norfolk and Western Railroad tracks approximately south of Vesuvius, Rockbridge County, Virginia, in an area known as Cedar Ridge Cut.

He was on foot, checking the railroad bridges along the South River when he was shot from behind by a subject armed with a shotgun. The man then stole Watchman Drawbond's service revolver and personal belongings before placing his body on the railroad tracks. His body was discovered early the next morning after it had been struck by two different trains.

The man who shot him was arrested, convicted of murder, and sentenced to death. He was subsequently executed in the electric chair on September 24th, 1909.

Watchman Drawbond had served with the Norfolk and Western Railroad Police Department for several years. He was survived by his wife and several adult children.


  • Age 51
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Virginia
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Executed in 1909

Most Recent Reflection

View all 7 Reflections

Nightwatchman Drawbond, today marks the 114th anniversary of your brutal and senseless murder. After all these years, I cannot mourn the loss of your murderer, but I mourn your loss. You gave your all to help protect one of America's greatest assets, it's Railroads and I thank you for that service.

God Bless you, Brother and may you forever Rest in Peace.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Department

March 19, 2023

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