Daily Event for August 3, 2005

The steamer Ruth was built in Jeffersonville, Indiana in 1862, she was a 702 ton 270 foot long sidewheel river boat. After her completion she was immediately put into service as a Union Army transport. On August 3, 1863 Ruth departed St. Louis bound for Vicksburg, Mississippi, loaded with war supplies and a large military payroll for General Grant's army. A fire broke out six miles south of Cairo, Illinois and the ship was totally destroyed. Thirty people were killed in the blaze and the supplies were lost but, (treasure hunters don't even think it) the money, which was stored in a safe, was recovered. The cause of the fire was considered to be arson set by a Confederate mail-runner. A book by Absalom Grimes, also a Rebel mail-runner, confirmed this and named Robert Louden as the culprit.
© 2005 Michael W. Pocock