Mobile magazine explosion

related topics
{build, building, house}
{ship, engine, design}
{god, call, give}
{war, force, army}
{black, white, people}
{food, make, wine}
{day, year, event}
{area, part, region}
{city, population, household}

On May 25, 1865, in Mobile, Alabama, in the Southern United States, an ordnance depot or "magazine" exploded, killing some 300 persons. This event occurred just after the end of the American Civil War, during the occupation of the city by victorious Federal troops.

The depot was a warehouse on Beauregard Street, where the troops had stacked some 200 tons of shells and powder. Some time in the afternoon of May 25, a cloud of black smoke rose into the air and the ground began to rumble. Flames shot up into the sky and bursting shells were heard throughout the city. In the nearby Mobile River, two ships sank, and a man standing on a wharf was blown into the river. Several houses collapsed from the concussion.

A reporter for a local newspaper described "bursting shells, flying timbers, bales of cotton, horses, men, women, and children co-mingled and mangled into one immense mass." He continued: "The heart stood still, and the stoutest cheek paled as this rain of death fell from the sky and crash after crash foretold a more fearful fate yet impending ... old and young, soldier and citizen vied with each other in deeds of daring to rescue the crumbled and imprisoned."

On the heels of the explosion came fires, which burned until the entire northern part of Mobile lay in smoking ruins. A huge hole where the warehouse once stood remained for many years, a reminder of the disaster.

The exact cause of the magazine explosion was never determined. Some northern newspapers tried to pin the blame on an imagined gang of unreconstructed Confederate officers. Most people, though, accepted that it was the result of simple carelessness on the part of workers handling wheelbarrows full of live ammunition.

Full article ▸

related documents
Mission La Purísima Concepción
World Cotton Centennial
Fairview Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Mission San Juan Bautista
List of windmills in the United Kingdom
Blithfield Hall
Amberley Working Museum
The Center
Haddiscoe Cut
Mission San Antonio de Padua
Mortlake
Vanderbilt, Texas
Hartshead
Carmel, New York
Aon Center (Chicago)
Keller's Mill Covered Bridge
Liskeard and Looe Union Canal
Fulgence Bienvenüe
Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation
Delanson, New York
Dean Cemetery
Ground zero
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Pinetown Bushong's Mill Covered Bridge
Clarendon Building
Sesquicentennial Exposition
Radcliffe Camera
Charles Joseph Bonaparte
Itaipu
MV Blue Marlin