Belle Memphis
The MEMPHIS (officially so, but referred to in contemporary newspapers as the BELLE MEMPHIS) was a side-wheel packet, built in Jeffersonville, Indiana, by Howard, in 1860. 645 tons; 263 x 38 x 7 ft (length x beam x depth of hold); wood hull; engines, inside diameter of cylinder 27 in, length of stroke 8 ft; 4 boilers, each 44 in by 24 ft. Norman S. Russell's paper on American river steamers, in Transactions of Naval Architects, 2 (1861), contains three detailed drawings of her. She frequently served as a U.S. army transport during the Civil War. February 1862, carried the 66th Illinois Infantry from St. Louis to Fort Henry, where the troops occupied the vacated fortifications. She spent most of March and the first week of April 1864, on a sand bar opposite Tiptonville, Tennessee. She was anchored at St. Louis, at the location of the east pier of the Eads Bridge, in the winter of 1865-1866, and test borings were made from her forecastle. She was at that time solidly frozen in ice, and was lost on 12 January 1866, when the ice gorged, the crew, including the captain and two pilots, getting ashore only with some difficulty. The wreck lodged near Duncan Island, where on 13 February 1867 it was struck by the steamer WHITE CLOUD NO. 2, which sank [ Frederick Way, Jr., Way's Packet Directory, 1848-1994; Passenger Steamboats of the Mississippi River System Since the Advent of Photography in Mid-Continent America (revised edition; Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1994) p. 319, packet #3897].
Citation: [Posted to the Emigration-Ships Mailing list by Michael Palmer - 16 December 1997]