August 6-16, 1860
Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi
Three hurricanes hit the southeastern coast
of Louisiana in 1860. August 8-16, the first
hurricane of the season, number 1, formed in the
Gulf of Mexico west of Tampa, Florida. It headed
west and after passing the mouth of the
Mississippi River, it made a large U turn,
crossed the Louisiana coast near the Lafourche,
St. Charles and Plaquemines parishes, turned
east along the southern shore of Lake
Ponchartrain, crossed Mississippi, Alabama,
Florida and Georgia then headed out into the
Atlantic Ocean. This was a category 3 hurricane.
The first track of the
hurricane, number 4, September 11 to 16, starts
west of the southern tip of Florida. It traveled
West North West then made a northward turn. It
crossed the Louisiana coast slightly east of the
same place as the August hurricane. It headed
North North East where it dissipated over west
central Alabama. This was a category 2
next hurricane, number 6, also a category
2, formed northwest of the Yucatan peninsula
September 30 to October 3. It travel north and
crossed the Louisiana coast west of Terrebonne
Parish in the vicinity of the Atchafalaya Bay.
It finally dissipated over northern Mississippi.
This is a series of newspaper articles
transcribed from the Daily Picayune,
describing the damage caused by these storms.
The Daily Picayune
Monday, August 13, 1860. This article also
appeared in the Tuesday morning issue, August
The Great Gale of Saturday
Saturday last was the anniversary of the Last
Island disaster, four years ago, and from the
accounts that are pouring in upon us from all
quarters, from river, lake, Gulf and coast, we
judge that the effects resulting from the gale
of last Saturday night will prove, in the
aggregate, nearly, if not quite, as disastrous.
During the whole of the 11th, there was a good
deal of wind and rain in the city. Portions of
the ruins of the buildings lately destroyed by
fires, in Royal and Tchoupitoulas streets, were
blown down, but no damage done.
There was a lively time, during the entire day,
at the Lake end of the Pontchartrain and
Jefferson Railroads. At the former, the railroad
wharf was a good deal broken up, the heavy
timbers being washed up over the track, by the
surging waves. A portion of the bath houses was
swept away, as well as the bridges generally. We
have heard the damage to the wharf estimated at
Milneburg (at the lake end of the
Pontchartrain railroad) was perfectly flooded,
and the occupants only escaped by being carried
off in boats. The pretty gardens, attached to
Boudro’s and to the Washington Hotel, were sadly
cut up and laid waste; and some of the fine
trees in front of the Washington were blown
down. The shell road, constructing from
Milneburg to the bayou St. John, was washed away
Of course, on the Lake itself, the angry wind
and waves made no little devastation. The yacht
Ripple sank off the Bayou St. John, and
there was much swamping of small craft all along
the shore. It being Saturday, the day when a
good many of our citizens go to join their
families, rusticating over the Lake, or to have
a day’s pleasure, there was a large attendance
at the end of the railroad, at the hours for the
departure of the steamers. The California got
off at about her usual time and we suppose,
shared the experiences of the Oregon,
which left Mobile Sunday, for this city.
From Capt Baker,
of the Oregon, which arrived safely at 4
o’clock this morning, we learn that the gale, on
the morning of the 12th (Sunday), was quite
severe at Mobile, but did little harm there
except blowing down some trees and submerging
some of the docks. Capt. Baker met the
California, in Mobile Bay, on Sunday, at 2
P. M. At 3:40 P. M. the Oregon took off
the crew of the sloop Eile, of Mobile,
water logged and a mast carried away. She lost
her mast and filled on Saturday evening at 8
o’clock. Roughed it on the cabin top until taken
off. All on board lost everything except what
they had on, and were without provisions. Capt.
Baker landed them at Pascagoula, at their
request. Met the U. S. mail steamer Florida
at 11:40 P. M. last night, west of St. Joseph’s.
On referring to our advertising column, it will
be seen that the Florida behaved
admirably on her hazardous trip.
At Pascagoula, as will be seen by
card, in another column, there were wild doings.
of the Oregon, reports the schooner
Venice all right, west of Grant’s Pass.
So much for the mail boats. Now for the
pleasure excursion steamers. The Alabama,
bound for the watering places, which was to
start at 5 P.M. on Saturday, was full of folks,
but the captain very wisely concluded to remain
by the side of the wharf. A majority of the
disappointed returned to town, and the rest
stuck to the steamer, and took their chances.
About 9 A.M. yesterday, the Alabama got
off, and went on her way. The Arrow
essayed to leave, during the gale, for
Mandeville, on Saturday afternoon, but was
obliged to come to anchor, and ride the waves
all night. Next morning, she made another
effort, but prudently relinquished it. Fire
Company No. 24, bound on an excursion to
Mandeville, were obliged to come on shore, and
eat their dinner at Milneburg.
As a matter or course, there were all sorts
of petty disasters on the Lake shores. At
there was quite an incursion of the water.
Fishermen’s huts were overflowed here and there,
and pistol galleries, bath houses, bridges and
piers were wildly dealt with.
Lake Borgne-Loss of Life
The gale and flood were terribly severe at and
about Proctorville. We read in this morning’s
Crescent that the Mexican Gulf cars, on Saturday
evening, could not get within four miles of the
town for the water on the track near the town.
The shell banks and many of the houses were
washed away, as many as possible of the people
escaping in boats.
We hear, this morning, that there was a sad
loss of life in that neighborhood. Officer
Brooks and others report to us that the loss of
life cannot fall short of thirty and that very
likely it will even exceed that number. There is
hardly a house remaining at Proctorville.
The following are the names of those
ascertained to have been lost:
The wife and six children of
(Mrs. F.’s remains have been found);
keeper of the lighthouse;
?] (whether Mr. or Mrs. accounts differ) and
family, five in all; the barkeeper of
coffeehouse a family of five (colored) named
and a number of fishermen whose names are not
There was a rise of some three feet in the
Mississippi. Over the river, and the whole line
of the levee, the gale swept wildly. The vessels
of all kinds lying at their docks, piers and
wharves, tossed about and chafed their sides,
but we hear of none of them breaking from their
moorings excepting the Belle Gates, who
took French leave of “the right bank” and came
over to this side as if she had all steam up.
Our reporter hands us in the following list
of marine disasters occasioned by the gale:
The towboat Landis,
Capt Davis, from the Passes, arrived
up to the city this morning, having in tow the
brig N. Stetson,
Capt. Oliphant, and schooner
Jacinto – both vessels bound down, and
whilst in Fort Reach, during the storm of
Saturday last, the N. Stetson lost her
foremast and sails, and otherwise damaged. She
was hence from Tampico. Two of the seamen were
badly injured. The Jacinto sprung a leak.
Both vessels are now at Algiers, for repairs.
reports that the schooner Wm. Colquitt,
hence for Havana, was blown ashore at Fort St.
Philip, and will prove a total loss. Portion of
her cargo, it is expected, will be saved,
although in a damaged state. No lives were lost.
The towboat James L. Day, from the
Passes, having in tow the schooner D. F.
Keeling, from Minatitlan, was blown ashore,
six miles above the head of the Passes, and both
of them are now lying high and dry.
The schooner J. H. Toone,
hence for Havana, was blown high and dry at
The towboat Victoria was coming in
over the bar yesterday morning, with the brig
M. A. Stevens, Capt
Butler, from Havana, which vessel was
The ship Confidence,
hence for New York, under sail, was passed below
Fort Reach, all right. The ship H. P. Wheeler,
also for New York, was badly ashore at
Pointe-a-la Hache. Capt. Gadd is in town for the
purpose of procuring three towboats to get her
The water at the Passes rose some 7 or 8
feet, which was blown in from the Lake, covering
the whole of the levees and lower portion of the
houses. The tenants were obliged to cut away the
floors of their building to prevent their
washing away. Several lives were lost, and among
which were three children.
The steamer Empire Parish, from the
Balize, will be us this afternoon, when we will
get further particulars.
The storm, overflowed the entire parish of
Plaquemines, from Dr.
Wederstrandt’s down to the Quarantine
Station. The water rose to a depth of four feet
on the public roads at Pointe-a-la Hache, and on
plantation it rose in some places nine feet. Mr.
Urquhart’s crop was greatly damaged, and twenty
five or thirty persons lost their lives on his
place. Many of them had taken refuge in tree
tops, and were either blown off by the force of
the wind, or the severe collision with the
trees. At Mrs.
Wilkinson’s plantation, there were
five or six of her negroes lost; also, two
carriages, her stables and kitchens were blown
away. The large new storehouse recently built at
the Quarantine Station was blown down. There
were many other sufferers by the storm, but the
above are all the names or particulars that we
can obtain at present. The water continued to
rise for twenty four hours, when it subsided,
leaving death and destruction in its path. The
orange and rice crop, all along the lower coast,
is entirely destroyed.
We obtain the following interesting
particulars of the disaster to the brig
Stetson and the schooner Colquitt
from Capt. Peterson
and Mr. Sanford,
who will accept our thanks for their courtesy:
About 9 o’clock, Friday morning, the brig
Stetson and schooner Colquitt, when
on the last turn below Fort Jackson, were cast
off by the towboat Ocean without any
warning. The wind at this moment was very strong
from the southeast. The schooner and the brig
were so close in contact that nothing could be
done with sails. Therefore the vessels came to
anchor. The schooner anchored, and no bottom
could be reached in thirty fathoms. She paid out
all the chain, forty five fathoms, the vessel
not bringing up, but constantly drifting ashore.
She was then obliged to let go the second best
anchor, paid out seventy five fathoms of chain,
when the vessel brought up within one eighth of
a mile of the shore. During this time, the brig
Stetson drifted past the schooner to the
windward and brought up about two hundred
fathoms astern of her.
At 12 o’clock on Friday night the gale
increased from the east, and the schooner
Colquitt broke adrift with her anchors and
chains, came in contact with the brig
Stetson, carried away the mainboom, and
drifted past her about a quarter of a mile
astern. She brought up alongside of the beach,
in front of Fort Jackson, left bank. At a
quarter to 12 o’clock, on Saturday, the brig
Stetson broke adrift and came in collision
with the schooner before the schooner could
guard against the collision, sinking the
schooner in five minutes. Brig Stetson
cut away her foremast and lost all her masts and
sails, and was thrown broadside, to shore, over
All the passengers were taken to a wooden
building in the fort, which soon commenced to
fill with water. As the building was in danger
of blowing down, arrangements were made to
occupy the second story of the magazine, where
the women and children spent the night.
Among the passengers were
and lady, residing in Tampico. The Doctor was
taking home his young bride.
an engineer, who was a passenger, informs
us that during thirty years experience at sea,
he has never witnessed such bravery as was shown
by Mrs. Lipper.
The Doctor and his wife came up to the city in
When the wind shifted to the northward, the
river, which had swollen about fifteen feet,
suddenly fell, when a perfect sea of water
poured into it from the land. The scene is
described by Capt.
Mr. Sanford as
more terrific than any which has come within
Up to the hour of going to press, this evening,
we are without any other accounts from the Gulf,
than those furnished us by the purser of the
steamship Bienville, which will be found
in another column.
The Daily Picayune
August 14, 1860
The Storm of Saturday Last
More Disasters at Sea
Our marine reporter hands us the following
additional intelligence of disasters by the
great gale of the 11th inst.:
The tow boat J. M. Whann,
arrived this morning with the ship Valencia,
bark Lizzie Boggs and brig M. A.
Stevens. From Capt.
Dizer we learn that he left
Bordeaux on the 6th of June last, with a
large and selected cargo of wines, brandies,
&c., and nine steerage passengers; that on the
10th inst., while in lat. 28o 30’, lon. 88o 6’,
encountered a heavy gale from the south-east,
which compelled him to heave to.
On the 11th, at 2 o’clock P. M., furled the lee
clew of mail topsail, the wind blowing a
hurricane; the bark lying under bare poles, the
wind being so high that it was impossible for
any sail to stand. At 3 o’clock P. M., struck
sounding in about forty fathoms.
At 5 P.M. struck in 15 fathoms, the wind still
increasing so much that we found it necessary to
cut away all the masts of the bark in order to
prevent her going ashore, which was done at 5:40
P. M. – the bark reeling and thumping on the
spars which fell over her sides, causing her to
At 6:30, P. M., let go both anchors and gave her
all the chains on both and brought up the
vessel. The waterway was split apart by the
falling of the foremast. On Monday morning, the
gale having subsided, got under way, the wind
being from N. N. E. Set studdingsail on the
stump of the foremast. At 10 A.M., the towboat
Victoria took the bark in tow about 3
miles from Pass-a-l’Outre. The Lizzie Boggs
is consigned to C. Cavaroc & Co., and now lies
at post 29, in the Second District.
of the ship Valencia, from Boston,
reports having boarded, on the 12th inst., 25
miles west of Pass-a-l’Outre light, schooner
Mary, of Pensacola, from this port, bound to
Galveston with a cargo of corn, the captain and
crew having deserted, leaving her in charge of
the first mate and one seaman. The schooner was
completely dismasted and entirely at the mercy
of the waves. Capt Austin tried to persuade the
men to come aboard of his vessel, but they would
not leave the schooner.
Capt. Austin reports having signalized, on 9th
inst., ship Henry Clark,
hence, 80 miles N. W. of the Tortugas.
of the brig M. A. Stevens, from Havana,
reports having lost fore and main topmast, and
jib, during the gale last Saturday. She arrived
here this morning, and was put at Algiers, for
The Gale at Mobile
The gale of Saturday night was nearly as severe
at Mobile as on the river, and lake, and Gulf,
but proved far less destructive to property,
owing to the fact that no one was taken by
surprise. From early morning it gave
forewarnings of its approach and the people had
the whole day to provide against it. Several of
the merchants, indeed, who were most exposed,
went that morning to the insurance offices and
got their property insured against water to the
amount of many thousands. And when the storm did
come, it was so gradual, that it gave time for
even the minutest precautions. The Mercury
Finally, about the middle of the afternoon,
the gale commenced blowing in fitful gusts, form
the east first, which is invariably the case
with this sort of storm here, and continued in
violence, coming with gusts harder and harder,
up to the moment it began to abate. That is to
say, it raged with increasing violence until
about daylight Sunday morning, when it began to
subside, gradually. By the time the storm had
fully established its character, the wind went
round and blew form south by southeast.
With the wind came a slanting, searching rain
that was driven through cracks and crevices not
known before to exist, drenching the interior of
apartments, always before water-proof to
ordinary showers. The night was pitchy dark, and
the wakeful observer of the howling storm, (and
many such there were, for houses shook and
rattled at every blast to a degree to disturb
the slumber of even those that were not scary)
who peered through the gloom, saw lights burning
during the whole night in the habitations around
At 2 A.M. the fire bell rang, to warn the
people that the water was rising. Before the
alarm, though, the owners of stores had turned
out, and were hard at work, moving and putting
up things from the floors, all along Commerce
and Water streets. Much was done, and a great
quantity of goods put out of harm’s way. These
efforts were continued up to about 6 or 7
o’clock, when the wind began to veer around to
the west, and all knew then that the storm was
abating, and the water would presently begin to
receded, which it did.
The water rose just about high enough to
flood Water street from Government to the north
end. The depth on the floors of the stores of
Commerce street was from four to not more than
ten inches at the deepest. Though a great
quantity of goods were elevated above the water
and saved from damage, a serious loss has been
sustained, which it was impossible to even
approximate on yesterday, when the doors were
closed and everybody away, as soon as the work
of contending against the water was suspended.
Upon inquiry, there was less damage to the
shipping and steamboats at the wharf than we
expected to find. A rumor reached us that the
steamer Wallis had sunk. We were happy to learn
subsequently the she was saved, though from some
cause she filled until she was in jeopardy. Her
chimneys were blown down. The Dick Keys broke
loose from her mooring on the opposite side,
with the hull of the burnt ship to which she was
made fast, and drifted up the rifer and stuck
upon the marsh above the ship years. The Swan
pulled her off yesterday morning. A wood boar
was sunk in the slip where Reel’s oyster flat
stays moored. We saw persons watching about, and
somebody had said – but nobody knew who – that
one or more of the crew has perished. There was
a notion, but nobody could tell why, that there
was a drowned man in the cabin. The wharves were
but slightly damaged, though entirely covered.
When the water began to subside, it was found
that the submerged streets were full of crabs,
and the Sunday boys had a lively time catching
them. A ‘gator, said to be 7 or 8 feet long, was
left on the wharf by the receding water. He
tried to hide himself under a pile of railroad
iron, but a negro spied him and captured him.
The No. 8 boys bought him, and took him up
bodily and toted him home, and put him in their
The wind prostrated trees all over the city.
But the damage in that respect is not much to be
regretted. The fallen trees are mostly china – a
poor shade tree we wish were extirpated
entirely. Decayed fences and vine arbors were
prostrated. The awnings presented a pitiable
sight yesterday morning. Those that were in use
last year were torn into shreds. The walls of
the new theatre that had been run up from the
first story were blown down, crushing some work
of value in their fall. The walls of the new
house being built for Daniels and Elgin, corner
Dauphin and Water, that were run up above the
second story were blown down, falling inward. We
observed that the iron framework of the second
story, for the Dauphin front, was thrown out of
line by the fall. We hear of some shanties being
blown down in the Orange Grove settlement, but
of no injury to life or limb therefrom. At
Eslava’s, a house inhabited by negroes was blown
down, but providentially, the inmates had been
removed a few minute before. We heard of a house
blown down on Stone street, which had been
vacated by a family the day before. The planing
mill at the corner of Conception and Eslava had
the chimney blown down.
The New Orleans mail boat, the California,
did not arrive until 5 P.M. The wind was blowing
so when she left that
Capt. Hopkins refused about two
hundred passengers for the different watering
places. The wind came on to blow so hard that
she was anchored in Pole Cat Bend, just this
side of the Rigolets, where she lay from 10 ½
last night until daylight next morning. The
Captain thought it prudent to lash down the
cabin to save it from blowing off. The boat
touched at the head of the wharf at Pascagoula.
The intervening wharf had been carried away. The
Oregon, going, was passed at anchor near
The California reports seeing a large
schooner ashore and dismasted, supposed to be
loading with timber for Government.
From the deck of the California, the
buildings at Point Clear, as seen through a
clear atmosphere, seemed to be all in good
order, but nothing was seen of the Crescent.
Fears are entertained that she was been stove to
pieces against the wharf, or driven ashore and
In town there is a report that the Junior is
ashore a short distance above the village. There
has been no arrival from that side, we think,
but the opinion of some who have observed her at
that point, through a spy-glass, is to that
new boat, recently launched at Meaher’s Mills,
is reported slewed across the creek, with both
ends ashore. A steamer had been to her
assistance to try to haul her off, but had
The water was over the rails at the depot,
and deeper between One and Three Mile Creeks,
but we hear of no damage to the railroad.
From personal inspection we are glad to
perceive that the injury to the new theatre is
not so serious as supposed when the above
concerning it was written.
The Daily Picayune
August 15, 1860
More Disasters by the Late Storm
We have been favored with the following
report by Mr. Burrows,
clerk of the steamer Texas Ranger:
At the mouth of the bayou at Southwest Pass
(northeast end) lays the schooner J. H. Toone,
which went to sea on Friday from Pass-a-l’Outre.
One mile above the head of the Passes lays
the towboat J. L. Day, high and dry;
also, a schooner. At the Salt Works all the new
buildings lately erected are swept off and 11
negroes, old and young, with them.
sugarhouse is blown down. The roof of
Antonio Vano’s new house is blown off.
place is entirely gone.
Dr. J. B. Wilkinson
lost a valuable negro,
also suffered severely.
At Quarantine Station the wooden warehouse was
blown down. Capt. Davis’s
steam file driver sunk.
Mr. Andre Carr lost 3 children at
Grand Prairie. 16 lives were lost in attempting
to cross the river; among them are
J. Beros and
Moustaelle and family.
At the Passes all the danger sustained was
the breaking down of all the fences and a
thorough washing of all the lower floors. The
Pilot Association lost the pilot boat Belle.
The coast, all the way from Point-a-la-Hache,
has suffered severely – particularly about Grand
Prairie and Buras Settlement.
The ship J. P. Wheeler,
hence for New York, and previously reported
ashore at Point-a-la-Hache, was gotten off at 8
o’clock, yesterday morning, by the assistance of
three towboats, and proceeded down to the ???
She received no damage, and would probably go to
The ship Confidence,
hence for New York, went to sea the 12th inst.
Mr. Washington, our marine reporter, has
received the following communication:
Pass a l’Outré, August 13, 1860
I herein give you the particulars of a
hurricane which took place here yesterday. It
blew a gale on Thursday and Friday, from N. E.
to E. and on Saturday, at about 2 A. M., it
increased to a hurricane, blowing from E. by N.
to S. E. until about 2 P. M. when it hauled
round to S. S. W. and then moderated. During the
blow, the water rose abut 4 feet above ordinary
tides, flooding the whole place, and doing
considerable damage to the houses. The two
lookouts at Osgood’s, and the one at the Revenue
station were blown down. The schooner Curlew,
of Biloxi, discharging lumber at Osgood’s wharf,
parted her lines and was blown across the mouth
of Osgood’s bayou, where she now lies full of
water. She will probably be a total loss. The
pilotboat Belle, belonging to the Pilot’s
Association, and lying at their wharf, filled
and sunk about noon.
About 4 P. M., she parted her lines and
drifted down abreast of the Light House, where
she now lies in about 14 feet water. She will be
a total loss. The pilotboat Fanny,
belonging to the same ???, at anchor opposite
the Pilot Station, parted both chains and was
blown ashore just above the Revenue Station. She
will probably be got off without much damage.
The Opposition pilotboat Cornelia, lying
at the wharf, escaped with but slight damage.
The towboat Victoria had her cabin all
started, but was saved by being lashed down.
The schooner Stephen Hotchkiss,
from Mobile, 9th inst., bound to New York, with
a cargo of 371 gales cotton and a deck load to
rosin, was dismasted and blown ashore about 12
M., near Pass-a-l’Outre. The vessel and cargo
will probably be saved.
The schooner Edward S. Jones, which
came down on Thursday, remained at anchor in the
river. She received no damage and went to sea
this day. Sunday.
The bark Iola Wylis went to sea on
Thursday afternoon, with a head wind, and has no
doubt felt the gale.
P * * * * *
The Daily Picayune
August 16, 1860 Morning edition
Letter from the Balize – The Storm
[Correspondence of the Picayune.] Balize, Aug.
Eds. Pic. – I give you, as interesting to your
readers, a brief description of the effects of
the storm at this place.
For some time past the weather had been
extremely warm, the atmosphere sultry and smoky,
and the luminaries of the day and night covered
with a lurid mist – certain indication of a
coming storm – when, on the evening of the 9th,
the very time at which four years ago Last
Island was destroyed, a dark, heavy cloud
commenced rising in the north-northeast,
illuminated by fierce and constant flashes of
lightning; but, strange to say, it passed,
accompanied by neither thunder, wind nor rain.
During the night the sky was covered with dark
clouds, and although a few stars appeared now
and then, the more experienced and knowing ones
of our people predicted “a bad time coming;” and
it was too true. On the morning of the 10th, the
light breeze which had been prevailing grew
stronger, shifting during the day gradually to
the east; the sun was hid by the thickly
gathering clouds, and the aspect was such that
even the spirit of the more strong hearted grew
fainter as the storm grew fiercer. A cheering
sight to the inhabitants of this place was the
arrival of the pilot boar Robert Bruce,
Capt. J. Preble,
which anchored at dark in our bayou and landed
half a dozen pilots, who, well knowing the
indication of a storm, came to protect their
families and the lend helping hand wherever it
was needed. As it is, perhaps, unknown to many
of your readers, allow me to remark that the
life of our pilots (and more especially those
who live at this place) is indeed a hard one, as
their place of business is at present at
Pass-a-looter (there being the deepest water),
twelve miles from the Balize; they are therefore
compelled to leave their families by themselves,
with no means of protection against wind and
water, save their dwelling houses. Many are
anxious to remove their families, but the
building of a new house is equal to a capital of
some $4,000, a sum which not many can dispose of
at any moment.
The wind had now grown into a violent storm,
which was driving the waters of the sea towards
us; and to add to the scene of horror, rain came
pouring down upon us, which being driven by the
violence of the wind underneath the shingles
were and soaked every article in the houses,
leaving not a dry spot to lay our heads. It was
a terrible night. The morning of the 11th found
us, without exception, in the most pitiful
condition imaginable, for in many houses the sea
water had risen to a considerable
height-besides, there was not the least prospect
of a change in the weather. Families were
gathering to console each other, should destiny
bring on a sure destruction to all. It would
have been folly to attempt to get on board the
pilot boar, although it was but thirty yards
from shore; no human power was able to fight
against the raging elements. With no sources of
relief therefore, we were left to the mercy of
the waves, and all were patiently awaiting the
will of heaven.
But danger of being swept away was approaching
the wind shifted, first to southeast and then to
south, when the waters receded to the very
direction they came from. Towards noon the
weather cleared up, and our poor depressed
hearts were relieved.
The devastation done to the property, however,
is considerable. Quite a number of out-houses,
chimneys and fences are blown down, not to speak
of the many shade trees that were rooted up;
wharves are destroyed, and two schooners and
several smaller craft were blown on the land.
One of the dwelling houses stands half unroofed;
another is twisted, and still another is level
with the ground. The damage done can at present
hardly be estimated; but we should judge it to
be from $3000 to $10,000. Fortunately, no lives
To show the fierceness of the storm, let me
add that all our drinking water is made brackish
by the wind beaten surge that fell upon the
The storm has been equally destructive at the
Pass-a-l’Outre. One of the pilot boats which was
moored to the wharf, tore the same to pieces,
and went drifting down the river some distance,
when she sunk, probably a total loss. The damage
done to the houses is also considerable.
The Southwest Pass we have no tidings as yet.
The Daily Picayune
August 16,1860 Morning edition
The Storm in Mobile Bay
The Mobile Mercury, of Tuesday
morning, 14th inst., continuing its report of
the gale in and near that city, says:
We feared that the steamer Crescent
had gone the way that all the good boats must
finally go. We were happy to see her come up to
time yesterday morning, all safe and sound, and
we must congratulate
Capt. Denah upon saving his boat
under such circumstances. He steamed out into
deep water, and safely rode out the storm during
The Crescent brought up about four hundred
passengers from Point Clear and the Eastern
shore. By her arrival we gathered what news we
have from that side. At the Point the south
wharf stood, with some little damage. The new
wharf on the north side, in process of
construction, was entirely carried away. Some of
the bath houses along beyond the Point were
carried away. The gentlemen’s bath house for the
Point stood, and the ladies went down. Battle’s
wharf was slightly injured, but expected to be
On Sunday evening some passengers, who
arrived at 5 P.M., by the California, hired a
sailing vessel from
Capt. Files, and went down to the
Point. They carried the news that there had been
no arrival from the upper eastern shore, and the
Junior could be seen ashore through spy-glasses.
In consequence of that news the Crescent
came all along shore, taking off passengers from
the various points, which accounts for the great
crowd she brought over. She found all the
wharves gone entirely or partially, except the
Hollywood wharf, which stands as perfect as it
was before the storm. Howard’s wharf was not
greatly injured, but rendered unfit for use
The Crescent reports the Junior ashore in
a precarious situation: She lies across the
mouth of a little creek, with either end resting
upon a sand bank, and a heavy pressure in the
middle. When it became apparent that it was
unsafe for her to lie in her usual berth, steam
was raised and she went out into deeper eater
and cast anchor. The violence of the wind and
waves parted her cable; and having exhausted her
wood, and unable to raise steam, there was
nothing left for her but to go on shore.
Assistance had gone down to her, we hear and
effort is to be made to get her off.
The schooner Cuba, used for lightering
purposes, was blown loose from her moorings at
the dry dock, and went upon the marsh behind
Cox, Brainard &
Co.’s wharf. It is said she will be a total
loss. The yacht Avis was fastened to the
schooner, but parted company, and is lost.
The yacht Venus, over at the
bathhouse, owned by Mr.
Belknap, was smashed to pieces by
portions of the wreck of the steamer
Jeanette, to which she was fastened, falling
little schooner, Rapid, was coming up
from Biloxi, and ran into Heron Bay and rode out
the storm in fine style.
A party left her to go down to the island and
their boar had been picked up adrift. Some fears
are entertained for their safely, but it is
believed that they may be on Dauphin Island, as
they went prepared for erecting a tent on shore,
and that their boat got away from them. Capt.
Files was to go down last evening to look about
to see if he could discover and body in
distress. That is right. Every nook and corner
of the bay and adjacent water ought to have been
scoured immediately after the subsidence of the
storm, but nobody seem to have thought of it or
cared if they did.
The same paper corrects, as follows, its
statement in reference to the risks taken by
of the Fulton Insurance Company:
It was true that he had plenty of application
on Saturday morning, but he declined taking any
risks. He would not have taken risks upon goods
in reach of high water on that morning with the
threatening appearance of the weather.
The Fulton had but about $15,000 risks
on submerged goods, and
having been around yesterday to inquire into
their losses, was of the opinion they would not
amount to more the $3,000.
The Daily Picayune
August 16, 1860 Afternoon edition
Letter from Biloxi
The Late Storm
[Correspondence of the Picayune.] Biloxi, Miss.,
Aug. 14, 1860
We were visited on Saturday night last by one
of the severest gales which our coast
experienced since 1852. Saturday morning, the
day broke gloomily amid dark and angry masses of
storm clouds, which scudded across the heavens
from the N. E., as if marshaling their forces
for another attack of the sons of Titan. The
thermometer indicated a fall of 20 degrees below
the mercurial point of the preceding day, a fact
which was sensibly felt by everybody, with out
the barometrical aids of scientific instruments.
The seekers of health and pleasure from your
city began indulging ideas of returning home,
and to dream of cozy firesides and comfortable
easy chairs hid away amid the multitudinous
streets of the Crescent City. While overcoats
shawls and blankets became suddenly
indispensable to personal comfort. The wind
veered form N. E. to N. W. and N., and back to
N. E., increasing in violence every hour, until
sundown of Saturday, when a night of pitchy
darkness set in after a day of incessant rain,
and from the time until 4 o’clock A. M., of
Sunday morning, the storm raged in all its fury,
nothing being heard save the rushing of the
mighty wind, the remorseless dash of the
agitated billow, and the hard howling of Storm
King, as amid torrents or rains, and Erebusean
darkness, he ordered the elemental carnival.
After 4 o’clock, M. N. Sunday, the wind shifted
gradually to the S. W., decreasing in violence
until it subsided into a fresh breeze.
We strolled over town Sunday morning, and
although the streets of Biloxi bore evidence, in
the debris of sundry shade trees, broken down
fences with there and there a dilapidated wharf,
or mutilated bath-house, stranded schooner, or
broken skiff, of the severity of the late gale,
yet the amount of damage sustained, was by no
means equal to what we anticipated, from the
fury of the preceding night’s storm – an
agreeable evidence of the eligibility of the
site of Biloxi for a seacoast city, and of the
safety and shelter afforded by our harbor to
vessels during high and dangerous winds. While
hardly any thing, in the shape of a wharf or
bath-house was left standing anywhere else along
the coast, during the night of Saturday, but two
small wharves and bath houses were blown down in
Biloxi, and no very material injury sustained by
any of our citizens, in either the bath of
dwelling houses belong to them.
The most serious incidents of the late
disaster were experienced by those “who go down
to the sea in ships.” A pleasure yacht, whose
name, as our informant states, was the Ariel,
hailing from Pottersville, Louisiana, was
capsized in our bay, in the early part of
Saturday night. Upon righting her the next day,
one of her crew, a negro boy, was found dead in
her cabin. The remainder of her crew, who turned
up at Pascagoula, betook themselves to her boat
after the occurrence of the accident, were
driven out to sea, and when the wind shifter the
boar drifted into Pascagoula. They state that
another negro boy was drowned before they left
The steamer William
C. Young, loading lumber some three
miles east of this place, having been chartered
by Hon. J. B. McRae,
for the purpose of furnishing a cargo of lumber
for an English ship, lying at anchor off Ship
Island, is a total wreck. Seven of her crew met
with a watery grave. Mr. McRae was aboard when
the steamer went down. He was drifted ashore on
Ship Island on a raft, to which he had lashed
himself, some twenty miles from the wreck.
The Voltiqeur, a pleasure schooner,
belonging to Mr. J. W.
Belfour, of Mississippi City,
Mr. J. R. Young,
of this place, captain, was capsized at the
former place, and drifted out to sea, going
ashore on “The Keys”, southeast of Ship Island.
Mr. Young endured great hardship, having been
exposed on the wreck for sixty-three hours.
The English ship, referred to above, is also
a wreck; she went ashore on Ship Island, where
she was found with her masts cur away. It is
presumed her crew are safe.
We are hourly receiving intelligence of loss of
life and property at other points along the
Our town is healthy and weather delightful.
Au Revoir Mac.
Nancy. Thank you, Nancy!
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