Memphis, TN Steamer R F SASS Wreck, May 1860
Another Steamboat Disaster.
WHOLESALE LOSS OF LIFE.
[From the Memphis Enquirer.]
Following close in the wake of the terrible disaster occasioned by the burning of the steamer A. T. Lacey, a short distance above this city, a few weeks ago, we are again called upon to record another, and one of the most appalling accidents which it has ever been our province to notice, connected with the many disasters which of late have happened on the Mississippi. Thursday evening, between 11 and 12 o'clock, as the Cincinnati and New Orleans steamer R. F. Sass was passing Clark's bar, about fifty miles below this city, she picked up a monstrous snag, which was lying directly in the middle of the channel, its location not even making a ripple upon the surface of the water.
The snag entered the boat at midships, careening her to the starboard side, causing her to sink in less than five minutes in over twenty-five feet of water. Of the passengers and crew of the Sass there were aboard, in all, over one hundred and thirty souls, the greater portion of whom had retired to bed at the time of the accident. No sooner had the boat struck than the alarm was given by those who were on watch to the passengers, who were speedily aroused and made sensible of the imminent danger in which they were placed. Many of the passengers, including a number of ladies and children, in almost a nude state, rushed to the hurricane deck; while others, in the frenzy of excitement, sprang into the river and were drowned. Even a portion of those who attempted to get above - so rapidly did the boat fill - were drowned, being foiled in their endeavors to escape by the encroaching waters.
PASSENGERS KNOWN TO BE LOST.
No sooner had the passengers who were so fortunate as to clear the cabin reached the upper deck than the boat parted, the cabin floating off, carrying with it over one hundred souls, all of whom were saved, the wreck landing about three miles below. Of the passengers known to be lost we give a correct list as far as it goes, through doubtless many whose names are not given here found a watery grave:
MR. JAMES V. LINDSAY, New Orleans.
MRS. KATE WHITTEN, and son, fifteen years old, Lafayette, Indiana.
MRS. H. C. NEOL and daughter, four years old, Parkersburg, Virginia.
MRS. WM. HARRIS, Parkersburg, Virginia.
JOHN PANKEY, Illinois.
MR. KLINGMAN, Iowa.
WM. WILSON, Cincinnati.
CHAS. ALLENDALE, Syracuse, Ohio.
FRANCES EAVITT and WILLIAM EAVITT, respectively 12 and 9 years old - daughter and son of MRS. CANNAH, of Louisiana - going to Indiana.
WM. H. DEWITT, (colored) fireman, Cincinnati.
________ GRAFF, porter, Cincinnati.
Two servants of DR. ROBERTSON, of Nashville.
ROSS, servant of MRS. CONEY, New Orleans.
Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler. Thank you, Stu!