Still, they might be of SOME use; so we decided
that if a disaster ever fell within our experience we would at least
stick to the boat, and give such minor service as chance might throw in
the way. Henry remembered this, afterward, when the disaster came, and
The 'Lacey' started up the river two days behind the 'Pennsylvania.' We
touched at Greenville, Mississippi, a couple of days out, and somebody
'The "Pennsylvania" is blown up at Ship Island, and a hundred and fifty
At Napoleon, Arkansas, the same evening, we got an extra, issued by a
Memphis paper, which gave some particulars. It mentioned my brother, and
said he was not hurt.
Further up the river we got a later extra. My brother was again
mentioned; but this time as being hurt beyond help. We did not get full
details of the catastrophe until we reached Memphis. This is the
sorrowful story -
It was six o'clock on a hot summer morning. The 'Pennsylvania' was
creeping along, north of Ship Island, about sixty miles below Memphis on
a half-head of steam, towing a wood-flat which was fast being emptied.
George Ealer was in the pilot-house-alone, I think; the second engineer
and a striker had the watch in the engine room; the second mate had the
watch on deck; George Black, Mr. Wood, and my brother, clerks, were
asleep, as were also Brown and the head engineer, the carpenter, the
chief mate, and one striker; Captain Klinefelter was in the barber's
chair, and the barber was preparing to shave him.