Explosion of the gunboat Chattahoochee--sixteen persons killed.
The C. S. gunboat Chattahoochee
exploded at Blountstown, Fla.
, on the 27th ult, with the most disastrous results, sixteen persons being killed and the vessel sunk.
She was lying at anchor at the time, with only seven pounds of steam on. A correspondent of the Columbus (Ga.) Sun
A few moments prior to the accident the two engineers in the engine room (Messrs. Hodge
) were heard contending as to whether there was water enough in the boiler, one asserting that there was enough, and the other that there was not. Soon after the donkey pump was started, and Mr. Fagin
left his bed to go down and see to matters.--The disaster happened immediately after the cold water entered the boiler.
The magazines of the ship were within three feet of the boiler, and the shell room as near.
As soon as the explosion occurred a panic commenced, the men jumped overboard, fearing the explosion of the magazine and shell rooms.
At this point, the gunner, Mr. John
A Lovett, in the absence of the 1st Lieutenant
, took charge and displayed great energy and courage in saving life and property, and in reassuring the panic-stricken men. It is to be hoped that he will receive the proper reward for his conduct.
The ship was found to be filling, when the poor wounded and burned sufferers were landed, together with the personal effects of the crew and officers.
, seaman, deserves special notice for having burst open the magazine scuttles and passed down water to drown the powder, when it was believed that fire was within a short distance.
It was raining and blowing very hard, and the bank was very muddy upon which the wounded were landed.
Here the picture was horrible.
The poor fellows lay writhing and groaning in the mud for some time before they could be got to a cotton gin near by.--Assistant Surgeon Marcellus Ford
, although scalded, remained and continued to render aid during the entire night, exposed to the storm.
Our country can boast of but few better men than Dr. Ford
The ship was hauled in near the shore, and has sunk to her deck, settling firmly on the bottom.
The powder and shells are a total loss.
The guns have been landed and the 9 inch and rifle are already in position at a strong point, and although the loss of the vessel and the brave men is much to be deplored, yet with the guns ashore, manned by the splendidly drilled crew of the late Chattahoochee
, the river is much safer than ever before.
is the same gallant little fellow who pushed his way first aboard the U. S. frigate Congress
, at Hampton Roads
, after she had struck her colors to the Virginia
Those killed by the explosion were Mid-shipman Mallory
; Henry Fagan
, of Key West, Florida
; Euclid P. Hodges
, of Maryland
; Frederick W. Arents
, Richmond, Va.
, (recently transferred from the 3d co. Howitzers to the naval service) Ass't Engineers; Eugene Henderson
's clerk, Tuskeegee
, Ala.; W. B. Bilbro
, Ga; Chas. H. Berry
, Fia. four landsmen, two firemen, one coal heaver, and one seaman.