Columbus, MS Arsenal Building Fire, Dec 1865



From the Mobile Times, Dec. 1.
We have reliable information that there was an extensive conflagration at Columbus, Miss., last Saturday night.
About 8:30 o'clock the alarm was given, and it was soon ascertained that the extensive building known as the "Confederate Arsenal Building," and occupied as a government warehouse for storing cotton, was on fire. This building was about 300 feet long, with two wings, forming three sides of a square. It was of brick, and probably cost $75,000 or $100,000.
The fire was discovered issuing from all sides of the building at once, which fact soon made it apparent that it would be impossible to rescue any of the cotton from the flames. There was about 200 bales of cotton outside the building, which was rolled off, and saved by the citizens. MR. H. JOHNSON was present, and personally assisted in getting the cotton out of the way of the flames. It is estimated that there were about four thousand bales of government cotton in the Arsenal Building, and all of it was entirely consumed.
The loss of the cotton and building is estimated at about $1,000,000 !
We learn that the cotton and building were guarded by United States soldiers, and how it could have been set on fire, so as to be enveloped in flames in all parts of the extensive building at the same time, is a mystery yet to be solved.
The fire was undoubtedly the work of incendiaries, and it is to be hoped that a rigid investigation will disclose the names of the guilty parties, that they may be blasted with the breath of popular indignation.

The New York Times New York 1865-12-10