#45 The Riverboat Explodes Memphis, Tennessee June 5, 1863


Memphis, Tenn. June 5, 1863

EXPLODING BOAT BRINGS DEATH TO 98

Disaster struck on the Mississippi River this afternoon when a riverboat blew up, killing 98 passengers and crew members. The huge blast was heard for miles along the banks of the river. Confederate authorities are convinced that the explosion was the work of Northern saboteurs. In the past, military meetings have secretly been held on riverboats like the one which was destroyed today. Believing Confederate officers were aboard the vessel, its destruction was plotted. The Army has sent men to the area where they are trying to find some clues as to who might be behind the sinister work. Eyewitnesses on the shore said the boat suddenly burst into flames and a tremendous explosion followed. The riverboat was completely demolished in minutes.