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Sabotage of the Robert J. Campbell, Jr....
The Steamer Robert J. Campbell, Jr., destroyed September 28, 1863 by Isaac Elshire, one of the Organized Boat-burners:
Excerpts of a passenger's account published in Boston:
"I was a passenger on board the steamer Robert Campbell, Jr. I stood upon the boat with four other men until everyman, women and child that was not burnt was overboard, nor did I leave it then until my neck, face and hands commenced to burn... I saw a women rise for the last time, with her two hands raised to Heaven for help. I recognized in her the mother of two children on board; and as she already sunk twice, my resolution was taken either to save her or perish in the attempt. No sooner thought of that I made for her just as she was going to sink. I got her by her clothing and pulled her into the wheel-house and seated her on the paddle. I then commenced to built a raft out of such things that floated near; and those were principally trunks and boxes of clothing... she was raving about her children—"her little angels." It was an awful moment, but not a moment to be spend in idleness. I had already broken up three boxes and lashed them together, but the raft was not needed, for they came to our relief with a boat. When we got on shore we inquired about the children, but they were not found. The little girl was seven years of age, the boy nine. Both were drowned. I held out the hope to her when we were in the wheel-house that her boy was saved. I saw a man take him under his arm, but I did not tell her that I saw a man jump right on his back as he struck the water... I need not dwell on the horrors of that scene; but the tragedy is played, and I have witnessed it all. It will never be forgotten by me. The cries of those women and children, the groaning and bellowing of the 200 cattle on board, are still ringing in my ears... It is not doubted that the burning of the Campbell is one of a series of similar rebel atrocities, and that the perpetrators of this act came on board at Goodrich's landing, leaving the steamer just before the discovery of the fire, and getting ashore by means of life preservers."
Known dead of approximately 40 fatalities:
David L. Lynch, age 28, son of William A. and Catherine Lynch, former brother-in-law of Mary Louden (her first husband was David Lynch's older brother William L. Lynch)
Assistant Adjt Gen. Lowden, of the 40th Illinois
Lt. Warner of the 53rd Illinois
Lt. Hopkins of the 40th Illinois
two children, boy aged 9, girl aged 7, of Mrs. Cooley of New Orleans
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©2001 D. H. Rule
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