Awful Calamity
Two Children Burned to Death

The Guard, February 28, 1843

Mr. Editor. On Friday 24th instant, a little grandson of Mr. H. McClatchy, four miles west of Holly Springs, and a little orphan boy, were burnt to death at the residence of Mr. McClatchy. The oldest was the son of Edmund and Jane Haltom, and was about five years old; the youngest was the son of Wm. Walker and three years old. The little boys took fire into a corn pen near the house, supposed to be about half full of corn and shucks. Their cries were heard by a portion of the family, but too late to rescue them from the devouring flames. All the assistance that could be procured in the neighborhood immediately repaired to the place, but the little sufferers were not taken out, until they were burnt almost entirely to a cinder. Their legs and arms were burnt off, when taken out of the fire. The scene to me was awful in extreme. Never will the shrieks of the mother and other relations of lovely little Oscar be eradicated from my mind. Such a scene is calculated to melt the heart of any man that has a soul. What adds to the severity of the calamity, is that they were both favorite children, and very promising, and their fathers both absent and unconscious of their untimely end. Truly the hand of Providence seems to have born heavily on Mr. Walker. On the 21st of Feb. 1840, his wife died soon after the birth of two sons, and but a few months elapsed until his eldest son died, and soon after the little twin brother of poor little Thomas, who was burnt, also died. Upon the death of Mrs. Walker, Mrs. McClatchy, with that degree of kindness and true christian feeling which alone prompts the great and good, took little Tommy and adopted him as one of their family, and the whole of the family were particularly partial to him.

I am sure that every acquaintance of Mr. McClatchy's family, sincerely sympathizes with them in this unfortunate calamity. None ever become acquainted with the family cherish for them the highest esteem.

There was also burnt fodder, oats and seven or eight hundred bushels of corn, to render it mostly unfit for use.

An Eyewitness

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