ohio river tragedy

Ohio riverTragedy

The Steamboat in this old print is the America. Two miles above Warsaw, there's an historical marker that notes the site of the crash of the Steamboat America with the Steamboat United States on December 4, 1868. It is easily the worst tragedy ever in Gallatin County, with over 40, 80, or 170 deaths, depending on which source you believe.  The Official Historical Marker says 162, but a later report by the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission claims 74. There's a textual account of  the tragedy, here, and another one here(pdf). The New York Times covered the story for four consecutive days, here, here, here and here. (All pdf's.)

Veteran riverman Capt. Perry McNeeley, opines on the America-United States crash, here.

Ohio riverTragedy Ohio riverTragedy Ohio riverTragedy Ohio riverTragedy
Map of the collision
Here's what happened.
Harper's Weekly published
this illustration of the collision.
This is the United States
 after the collision
This is the United States at
 Lock #1 in Carrollton
Scavenging the disaster wreck in low water, 1895, here.

  

Ohio riverTragedy Ohio riverTragedy

Maps of Sugar Creek River Disasters

Ohio riverTragedy

Read an article from the August 3, 1855, NY Times about the sinking of the Kentucky Home Steamer at Sugar Creek, here. Thirty-five die as the Belle of the West burns to the water, just below Warsaw, in April of 1850.  The story is here.

“On Monday night last the steamboat Telegraph ran into the stern-wheeler Kentucky Home, breaking her in two and sinking her in twenty feet of water.  The Kentucky Home was a new boat, running from Pittsburgh to Louisville, and was insured.  The collision took place between Sugar creek and Warsaw, a short time after eight o'clock.  Several lives were lost.”  from the Vevay Reveille, August 8, 1855

More on the Telegraph Disaster is here.

“On Friday night last the Quaker City encountered a storm, and struck a snag at Warsaw, Ky., which caused her to leak badly.” Evansville (Indiana) Journal, February 18, 1858
The C. T. Dumont wrecks in a hurricane in Warsaw, here. The Herald burns, in 1838, here.
“Last night, about 8 o'clock, during a heavy fog, the steamer Dr. Kane, having on board the skeleton of the Webster Regiment, collided with the Telegraph #3, on her way up from Louisville, a short distance above Warsaw .   The latter steamer sustained no serious damage, and the officers called out to the Dr. Kane, asking if they wanted assistance.  The answered returned was“Yes!” but before the Telegraph reached her, the Kane had drifted out of sight.  The fog was very heavy, and it was impossible to follow her.  the extent of the damage to the Kane is not known, and nothing more was seen or heard from here.”  Cincinnati Daily Press, November 29, 1861

“The Submarine No. 6 is at work at the wreck of the Kentucky Home, recently sunk near Warsaw, Ky.  The cabin and boiler deck have been torn off,  and part of the machinery and freight taken out.  One hundred kegs nails, fifteen tons dry goods, and eight hundred barrels of flour was a part of the freight taken on last week.”  from the Vevay Reveille, August 29, 1855

gallatin line

Bodies from Pennsylvania's Johnstown flood (Wikipedia) wash to Warsaw:

“Two floaters were caught in the river at Warsaw, Ky., on Sunday, supposed to be from Johnstown. Bodies of animals and a cart were also seen passing.” Indianapolis Journal, June 10, 1889

gallatin line