Randolph, TN (near) Steamboat BUCKEYE Explosion, May 1839
From the Baltimore American, June 10.
The Cincinnati papers contain the particulars of a fearful explosion on board the steamboat BUCKEYE, attended with the loss of several lives, which occurred on the 29th May, at midnight. We find the following account of it in the Republican of the 5th instant. derived from a passenger in the boat at the time of the explosion:
"The Buckeye left New Orleans on the 26th of May, in company with the Gen. Brown, or within a few hours of her departure. There was a competition for speed, each boat claiming a superiority, which, we have no doubt, was a principal cause of the disaster which we have now the painful duty to record."
"The Gen. Brown had passed the Buckeye above Vicksburg, the latter boat under a high pressure of steam had entered the chute of Island No. 34, about six miles above Randolph, Tenn., a short distance from the Mississippi line, when an explosion took place, which made nearly as complete a wreck of the boat as that of the unfortunate Moselle."
"The boilers were thrown up perpendicularly; and in their descent, were broken into innumerable pieces and completely wrecked the upper works of the boat. The room of the first clerk, MR. CHARLES STARKEY, was almost annihilated, and himself considerably although not dangerously injured. The pilot at the wheel, MR. CHAS. GRETZINGER, (commonly pronounced CUTSINGER,) of Louisville, was thrown into the air thirty or forty feet, and instantly killed on alighting on deck. The mate, MR. THOMAS ROGERS, of this city, is among the missing, supposed to have been killed. A person on watch at the time, reported to be an engineer, MR. PRENTISE, of Portland, Ky., was killed. The other persons known to be killed by this explosion are one fireman, (colored,) and one deck passenger, name unknown. The second pilot, BUTLER RANDOLPH, is dangerously injured, and little hopes of his recovery."
"Captain JACOB THOMPSON was on the boiler deck at the time of the explosion; he was thrown some distance above the wreck, into the water, much injured, although not dangerously. The carpenter of the boat was blown ashore, without a single article of clothing; and, as remarkable as it may appear, we have the most unquestionable authority for the assertion, he was but slightly injured."
"The day previous to the fatal catastrophe, a dangerous accident, which liked to have proved fatal to the Buckeye, was experienced. A snag ran through the larboard guard, carried away two state rooms, and was in close proximity, in its ascent through the cabin, to the steampipe. The Buckeye was towed to Louisville by the Sultana."
The Adams Sentinel Gettysburg Pennsylvania 1839-06-17