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Hurricane

September 30 - October 3, 1860

Louisiana, Alabama

The 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. Source

       

The Daily Picayune, Afternoon Edition
Thursday, October 4, 1860 [The following three articles also appear in the Oct. 5, Friday Morning Edition]

The Lake Coast: The Gale – Mobile Mail Boat Florida Aground
We regret to learn, as we do from Mr. Geddes, the agent of the mail boat company, that the steamer Florida, which left Mobile for this city Tuesday morning, the 2nd, got aground at Grand Pass the same night, where she still is. The boat, however, sustained no injury whatever in grounding, and now is in no danger. Her mails and passengers were taken off and brought over this morning by the California.

The California stopped at Pass Christian and Bay St. Louis, and we are happy to learn from Captain Hopkins that but little damage had been done by the storm along the coast.

The California brought several passengers from Pass Christian and the Lake coast watering places.

Disasters at Baton Rouge and Neighborhood
By the arrival of the steamer Lizzie Simmons, this morning, from Vicksburg, we have received the following accounts of the damage cause by the storm of the 1st inst., at Baton Rouge and its immediate vicinity. Along the river 18 coal boats, belonging to the company that owned the yard opposite Baton Rouge, were sunk, and the Mason Mining Company lost three of their boats in the same manner; both companies together losing nearly 150,000 barrels of coal. The steamer Uncle Ike, belonging to and owned by the Baton Rouge and Grosse Tete Railroad Company, was sunk at the company’s wharf; no lives lost. The boat will prove a total loss.

The old steamer Natchez, used as a wharf boat at Baton Rouge, was blown from her moorings to the opposite shore, some two miles above the city. The steamer Henrietta was blown along side a barge loaded with railroad iron, and the barge and boat both sunk in a short time. Two boats belonging to the State were also sunk near Baton Rouge. In the city, no damage to any considerable amount occurred, except the unroofing of the Harney House. The clerk of the Simmons informs us that no damage was sustained by any of the numerous villages along the coast, though several sugar houses were blown over.

The Late Storm
From Louisiana and Mississippi we begin to obtain sad accounts of the loss by the gale of Tuesday last. For its duration, and for the force of the wind, it has scarcely been equaled for many years. No similar record of large and deplorable losses of buildings and machinery, to say nothing of the growing crops, has been lately experienced.

From the Lafourche parishes, from the river below and above, the evidences of destruction, even now, when only the first items of intelligence begin to be received, are startling. The preparations for cane grinding were fully made on almost every plantation, and in some few instances the machinery had been started. Hundreds of sugar planters have now extensive and costly repairs to make before they can crush a cane or light a fire. Such a disaster, coming at this inopportune moment, is a calamity that cannot be fully appreciated by those who are not thoroughly acquainted with the whole routine of sugar making.

But added to this is the fact that the cane, by being prostrated, is seriously endangered. Every joint that touches the ground, if the weather continues warm, will soon throw out rootlets and commence to grow, destroying all the saccharine properties of the cane, and rendering it useless in the present crop.

The derangement of machinery and the destruction of sugar houses, bagasse chimneys and other buildings, will delay all attempts to save the crop by early resort to grinding. The prospect of the sugar crop is most seriously damaged by the late storm. It is to be hoped the great damage reported is confined to a very narrow belt of the sugar region.

The loss of the cotton planters, though not so serious, will still be unusual. We have heard sufficient to believe that the storm has been violent far into the interior. Monday night it was blowing a half hurricane at Canton. The violence of the wind was the cause of delay to the trains on the Jackson Road, from Jackson to Frenier station, creating the apprehension that the best cotton district at least of Mississippi, has felt the full force of the storm experienced in this city and vicinity. The wind fell upon fields white with open bolls. At least twenty-four per cent would have blown out of its receptacle, much of it being entirely carried away. That which remained in the field cannot but be deteriorated in quality, being stained with dirt and rendered trashy.

It is impossible to estimate the loss which has been sustained, but it is not improbable the impression that this disaster will influence the markets temporarily, will be realized.

The barometer, on Monday night, fell suddenly to a point below which the mercury has not descended for ten years. It gave ample warning of the storm that was near – the gale, at its worst, scarcely, however, realizing the anticipations that had been created by observations of the sudden barometrical changes.

The Storm in the Interior
The Sugar Region

The storm in the sugar region west of the Mississippi river was even more severe than it proved in this city. Its extent also was much greater than had been anticipated, proving that in its diameter it was as remarkable as in the destructive results which have followed. Yesterday we gave some particulars of the wreck caused on the coast above this city. The rumors of destruction that were then in the street have been fully confirmed, and the list of losses appended, furnished us after they have in part been made public, are reliable. Such a list of disaster had not within the memory of the oldest inhabitant been chronicled as the following:

Damages received at Little Caillou
H. M Thibodaux, sugar house blown down and one life lost.
H. T. Collins,
purgery blown down
A. T. Cage,
purgery blown down
In Terrebonne
T. A. Robinson,
purgery blown down
Baste & Guanee
[Bush & Gueno?],
purgery blown down
T. & S. Beatay,
purgery blown down
Mrs. S. A. Nicholas,
sugar house blown down
_____ Downing,
purgery blown down
On Bayou Black
T. Gibson,
purgery blown down
Bodin & Bourillin,
sugar house blown down
Evaresto & Porche,
purgery blown down
E. M. Boykin,
purgery blown down
W. S. Miner,
purgery blown down
On the Lafourche
Pugh & Darden,
sugar house blown down
A. Brousseau,
purgery blown down
P. Landreaux,
sugar house blown down
_____ Egana,
sugar house blown down
_____ Nelson,
sugar house blown down
H. E. Ledet,
purgery blown down
C. Gillis & Co.,
purgery blown down
_____ Caullut,
purgery blown down
T. Braud,
sugar house blown down
T. Beatty,
purgery blown down
M. Braud,
purgery blown down
Mrs. Trosclair,
purgery blown down
P. Butto,
purgery blown down
Ch. Barras,
purgery blown down
Mrs. Thibodaux,
purgery blown down
H. M. Daurris
[Daunis?],
purgery blown down
_____ McCullum,
purgery blown down
_____ Williams,
sugar house blown down
Bellow & Perkins,
sugar house blown down

Damages in St. Mary
A gentleman of this city writes us that he received a letter, dated yesterday, from Pattersonville, St. Mary parish, stating that the sugar houses of Messrs. Corney Brothers and Capt. Bradley were blown down entirely on the 2d inst., and the cane generally in that vicinity had been prostrated, but not very seriously injured.
In Plaquemines and St. Bernard, it is said, by those who witnessed the gale, that such a visitation has never before been witnessed.

The greater part of Plaquemines parish was submerged by the overflow of the Gulf. Pointe-a-la-Hache was almost ruined, and the scene at the Balize was terrific.
As the papers are received from the interior, we fear we shall have sadder incidents and graver losses to record.

The Gale in the GulfCapt. Talbot, of the steamship Atlantic, which arrived last evening from Brazos Santiago, reports that on the 1st, inst., when off Ship Shoals, he encountered a terrible gale from the northeast, which lasted eight hours. The wind afterwards shifted to the southwest, from which direction it blew with increased violence, so as finally to compel Capt. Talbot to throw overboard his deck load, consisting of sixty-five head of cattle. The ship behaved very well, but still labored heavily, and finally sprung a leak from various damages. As elsewhere recorded, the Atlantic reached her wharf, with all her passenger, in safety.

Telegraph, Mails and Express – The telegraph lines still continue down, and all communication with Northern and Eastern cities interrupted. On the line direct north we understand some three or four miles of wire are prostrate in the overflowing waters near Pass Manchac. Judging from the energy of the different companies, however, the whole will be up again probably in the course of twenty-four or forty-eight hours at farthest.

The mails are, of course, equally behind. From Mobile we received nothing whatever yesterday. The boat due, the California, in all probability did not start out at all on Tuesday. She will, however, without doubt be here this morning, when we shall learn what damage the gale has done, not only in our sister city, but all along the coast.
By the Jackson Railroad we have received no mails since Monday. There are four now overdue. That which should arrive this morning will make five. And the same may be said of the Northern and Eastern Expresses. Mr. McKeever had now some six or seven messengers out. The most of them, however, will probably be in during the day, as also, we have reason to hope, the mails and passengers.

Passengers by the Jackson Railroad. – We understand that the Jackson Railroad Company dispatched the steamer Ariel, yesterday afternoon, to bring down the passengers detained, as before stated, at or near Manchac. As the distance is only some thirty miles by the lake, we may expect them all down at an early hour this morning.

The number of trains detained above is four – the two of Tuesday, and the two of yesterday. That due, at 9 o’clock this morning, will make five. The passengers by the first two or three will probably be brought down by the Ariel, as also the mails by the same, if a favorable connection should be made. The rest will doubtless remain in safe quarters at Summit, Brookhaven or Jackson, where their trains were stopped.
On the line of the road, also, between the city and Frenier, all possible communication is constantly kept up by the company, and everything is being done that could be done to relieve the traveling public of this great calamity. The whole number of passengers so unpleasantly detained by the gale cannot be less than two hundred, to say nothing of the mails, expresses, freight, etc.

Capt. Wilson, of the steamship Texas, arrived yesterday evening from Galveston, reports having experienced the gale of Tuesday in the Gulf, but received no damage. He was compelled to come in Pass-a-l’Outre instead of the S. W. Pass, owing to too low water on the bar. He saw several vessels at anchor outside Pass-a-l’Outre bar, but could not learn their names. Steamship Magnolia, Capt. Crowell, hence for Havana, was at anchor inside the bar yesterday, about 1 o’clock, when the Texas crossed. Capt. Wilson passed the Texas Ranger at Quarantine Station, but could not learn whether the lower coast sustained any damage.

The City
The Water in the Rear of the City
– The residents of all that section in the rear of the city, from the Carondelet Canal to the New Canal, are suffering the greatest distress. The water covers the sidewalks as high as Robertson street; there it merely covers them, but as we go further back, we find the depth increasing to Galvez Canal, where the depth is said to be as much as three or four feet. The floors of the stores near Claiborne Market are inundated, as well as the market itself.

The sufferings of the families in that neighborhood may well be imagined. The portion most under water is from Common street to the New Canal. That portion comprised between Common street and the Carondelet Canal, had not been so completely overflowed, but still, has suffered much damage. The bridges over the gutters are most all washed away, increasing the difficulties attending the removal of furniture, etc., as the cart horses are in continual danger of breaking their legs. Many such accidents have taken place.

The consequences of this terrible disaster are fearful to think of, and even in presence of the disastrous reports that come to us from every quarter we must take in account the suffering and loss to the hundred of families whose residences have been overflowed, their gardens destroyed, and in some cases their only means of subsistence taken away. Truly this is a sad calamity and it had cast a gloom over the city at a moment when every one was looking confidently for the advent of winter.

The Daily Picayune, Friday Morning Edition, October 5, 1860

Disaster on the Jackson Railroad We are indebted to Mr. A. W. Rountree, U. S. mail agent on the N. O., Jackson and G. N. Railroad, who was on the train whose critical condition we mentioned yesterday, for the following graphic and interesting statement of the trials and sufferings experienced by the passengers, about whose fate so much anxiety had existed for the last three days:

On the evening of the 1st October, the mail train south, on the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad, with a large mail and about 250 passengers, was detained some three hours at Canton, Miss., by a car that was off the track at the switch just below the depot.

We started from Canton about midnight, and went to Jackson, where we left about one hundred persons, and proceeded on with the balance. When we got to Pass Manchac, the train stopped on the side track, and waited for the up train from New Orleans, which was then due at Manchac. After waiting about thirty minutes, we started south, and had got about six miles, when we met the up train, which had been detained by the water on the track. Our train backed up to Pass Manchac, to let them get by, and then we started once more for New Orleans. We were informed by the officers of the up train, that we could get through, but that we would have a right tight time of it, as the track was under water in a great many places.

After getting about five miles, we found that the water had risen since we had left and was still rising. We pushed on, hoping to get through, but after going a mile more we cane to a dead halt, and could get no further, as the track was afloat and washed up ahead of us. We were then at Bayou Desert, within 150 yards if the Lake shore and could see the waves rolling in from the Lake. The water around us was about seven feet deep and covered with large logs, which were driven by the waves with such force against the track as to break and wash it off all around us. The water was nearly up to the bottom of the cars, and large logs, two feet in diameter, were forced in between the cars and the track. We were anchored by the locomotive, which held us fast, the weight of the train alone preserving that portion of the track on which we stood.

In this dreadful position we remained, contemplating a scene of most awful grandeur. Above and around us the tempest roared with ceaseless fury, torrents of rain continually falling on the motionless train, with a violence increased by the force of a fierce wind. The dreary sheet of water surrounding us was covered with fallen timber and pieces of wreck forced up by the angry waves which came incessantly from the lake, making the water rise higher and higher around us to our imminent peril. Among this floating timber we could see the cattle struggling to resist the waves and keep their heads above water. A thing that many of the poor animals could not succeed in doing, and were washed away. We could see, but without being able to go to her relief, an old negro woman, nearly 70 years old, floating on top of a hay stack. She disappeared in the darkness, and it was only next morning that we could ascertain her fate. She had got to the old embankment and clung to a piece of the wreck. She was saved and remained with the men at the camp.

The scene on the cars was certainly an exciting one. We were in what can be called a “bad fix” – thirty miles from New Orleans, in the midst of a cypress swamp, surrounded by brackish water, with nothing to eat, and only about half a barrel of water for one hundred and fifty persons. The whole forenoon had passed; it was now past 1 o’clock, P.M., and we had nothing to eat since the day before, at dinner. One gentleman among us had the good fortune to have a basket of provisions with him. He was traveling with four orphan children under his care, and the provisions were for their use; this he generously divided amongst all – the ladies and children being, of course, first provided with the scanty ration.

Since I have mentioned the ladies I must here give them due credit for the noble courage and fortitude with which they stood the terrible trials of these three days. Far from giving way to a weakness natural to their sex, and often found among the strongest men, they remained composed, cheerful, I might say, and tried their best to be as comfortable as possible under the circumstances, revealing the truth, that a woman’s courage rises with danger, until it often reaches heroism.

Night came, increasing the horror of our condition. Here again, we had an instance of generosity and humanity that I must not let pass unnoticed. Mr. E. R. Howard, proprietor of the sleeping car, put the fifty beds it contained at the disposal of the passengers, declining all remuneration, under the distressing circumstances. Thanks to this gentleman’s kindness, all the ladies and children and as many of the male passengers as could be accommodated, could enjoy rest, if not sleep, for the awfulness of the scene kept almost every one awake. Mr. Howard’s considerate humanity did not stop there, for he had large pots of coffee made and distributed among the passengers. Fortunately, the violence of the wind had driven away most of the mosquitoes, and we were spared the stinging caresses of too many of these unwelcome visitors, though the few that came were enough to drive away sleep.
At last that long night was over and morning came, (we were then on the 3d) to find us weary and hungry, and with no prospect of a change in our position. There happened to be a coop of chickens on board. Some of the gentlemen succeeded in securing a large piece of wreck, part of a roof, I believe, and built a fire on top of it; and old frying pan was discovered on board, and soon a huge pile of fried chicken was passed around. This was all our food, and the mode of cooking was rather primitive, we had besides no bread, and condiments were scarce; but I vouchsafe to say, that no poulet sauté a la Marengo, prepared by Victor’s or Moreau’s best cook, was ever devoured with more relish than these same fried chickens, by the starving passengers. This meal restored our strength, and we looked around more hopefully. The storm had abated during the night, and the water seemed to be receding; slowly, it is true, but still receding. We waited impatiently, and the first hours of the forenoon appeared to us of unusual length, but relief was at hand, and this first period of our sufferings was nearly at an end.

When the storm had abated, Mr. Williams the General Superintendent, started from New Orleans (on the morning of the 3d) to come to our relief, and succeeded in getting to us after several hours of hard travel, having had sometimes to wade or swim in water up to his middle. It may well be imagined what pleasure his arrival caused among our weary crowd. He had come to ascertain our condition and by what means relief could be provided. He therefore remained with us only a few minutes, and started back on his mission of salvation. Mr. William’s energy and self sacrifice on this trying occasion was duly appreciated by all the passengers. He did – at the peril of limb and life – all that could be done for us.

Later in the day, a relief train came down from the piney woods and succeeded in getting within about three miles of us. The water had then receded considerably. A number of us got down and waded to a distance of about half a mile, where we had seen a hand car. This we brought back to our train, and placing three or four ladies and children on it at a time, succeeded, after several trips, in getting them all safely on the relief train. This was no easy work, for we had to lift the had car over gaps in the track and sometimes to let it down a couple of feet, where the track was broken into and one end was higher than he other. At last every one was on the relief train, and in an hour and a half (it was dark by this time) we were all landed safely in the piney woods, at the Pontchatoula [sic] depot, where we found three other trains that had been kept there by the storm.

This made a crowd of about 500 people, and the citizens of Pontchatoula [sic] opened their houses, and did all that lay in their power to provide food and lodgings for the crowd. Thanks to their generous hospitality, we enjoyed the luxury of a good meal and a comfortable bed, and awake early in the morning to hear the welcome news that a boat was at Pass Manchac to take us to New Orleans. We got on the cars and were soon at the Pass, where we found the Ariel. Our troubles were now at an end, and we were at last landed safely in New Orleans.

The destruction on the lake shore has been very great. About twenty settlements (all but one on the lake shore) have been entirely destroyed. Capt. Jacob’s wife and two of his children were drowned. His other two children were found after twelve hours on the railroad embankment, guarded by dog who would let no one approach them except a negro whom he knew. The children must have drifted at least half a mile. They were probably saved and dragged on the embankment by the faithful animal found watching by their side.

There are three other families missing and unheard of. It is possible that they many have taken skiffs and gone back in the swamp, seeking shelter among the timber. The men in the employ of the railroad at Bayou Desert, 12 in number, were saved in that way. The water ran into their house at the camp, four feet deep; they took to a skiff and went among the timber, where they remained until the storm was over, when they got back safe. The house was washed away.

The damage done to the road is incalculable, and will take time to repair. The track is not only torn up and washed away in many places, but in others it is completely obstructed by huge masses of timber.

All the passengers did not come together on the Ariel for fear of overcrowding her, but those that have remained at Ponthcatoula [sic] will come down by her next trip.

The Mails – We received, last evening, Boston, New York and Philadelphia papers of Saturday, the 29th ult., together with some back dates from Western cities, by the boat that came in yesterday afternoon from the Jackson Railroad. We suppose we shall have an avalanche of over-due papers in the course of the day.

The Gale on the River – The steamer B. J. Adams, hence for Louisville, returned to the city last evening, with both her chimneys down. Her officers report that on Tuesday night, just after dark, when at Glasscock Island, the steamer encountered the storm and had her chimneys carried away. She returns to the city for repairs.
We also learn from the clerk of the steamer Golden Age, which arrived here last evening from Fort Adams, that their boat was compelled to lay to at the mouth of Red River, for thirty hours.

The officers of the Golden Age likewise report that the steamer Home, lying at Red River landing, had her chimneys, together with her pilot house, blown down during the gale. The wharfboat Laurel Hill had her fore and aft hog chains shattered to pieces and a passenger, name unknown, who was waiting for an up river boat, fell from her upper deck and was killed.

Another Disaster in the Gulf Capt. J. A. Morse, of the brig Kineo, of New York, bound to this port from Vera Cruz, arrived up to the city yesterday, reporting another disaster during the late gale in the Gulf, as follows: “On the 24th, encountered a heavy gale from the eastward, during which sprung my fore yard and carried away my foretop and trestle tree. On the 27th and 28th, experienced still further heavy gales from the same direction, and on the 29th, anchored off the Southwest Pass, the light house bearing southeast by east, fifteen miles distant, in six fathoms of water. It was blowing a lively gale from east northeast at the time. On Tuesday morning, 2d inst., at 8 o’clock, the wind hauled round to the southeast, still blowing a hurricane. At 10 o’clock the same day, parted both chains and went ashore high and dry, forty miles to the westward of Balize, where the vessel still lies.”

Judging from the direction of the storm, which appears to have raged most violently directly in the track of Vera Cruz shipping, we may expect to hear of still further disasters. Several vessels from that port are now long over due, among them the Potomac, with important mails, specie, etc.

The Gale at Mobile – It is very gratifying to learn, as we do from the mobile papers of Wednesday morning, that our sister city, twice before visited this season by disastrous gales has this time been in great measure spared. The Tribune says:
We have experienced some very bad weather during the last twenty-four hours. On Monday afternoon clouds began to congregate, and from their appearance almost every one expected a heavy shower. The clouds, however passed off and we had only a slight sprinkle, and a few drops during the night. Early yesterday morning it came down freely and continued steadily all day until about 6 o’clock P.M., when it ceased. The wind for the most of the time was blowing out from the east to the southeast.
At about 4 o’clock P. M. the wind began to increase and blew quite fresh all the evening. The water began to rise at about 1 o’clock, and we are informed by a gentleman who measured the water that it had risen over two feet up to about 6 o’clock – faster the last hour than previously. The merchants near the river, fearing that there would be danger took the necessary precaution to preserve their good by hoisting them up out of danger. The proper fastenings were made to all the steamboats and vessels lying in port that was requisite for their safety.

At about dark Capt. Wm. Haywood came up from the lower fleet on the steamer Swan. We learn from him that the wind was blowing down there from the east northeast and is very violent that there were no pilots out, and the steamer Swan was unable to discharge her cargo, which she had on board for a ship lying in the bay. The wind blew so heavily she was unable to stay alongside, and so returned to the city. It is now about 7 o’clock; the rain had again set in and is coming down gently. The whole city is saturated with mud and water. The wind is on the increase, and the water is rising at the rate of six inches an hour.

It is now 8 o’clock. The rain is falling in torrents and the night very dark and gloomy. It is generally believed that there will be no damage done by this blow. If there be, we will give the particulars in our next issue.

The Daily Picayune, Afternoon Edition, October 5, 1860

Letter from Baton Rouge
The Late Gale
(Correspondence of the Picayune)
Baton Rouge, Oct. 3, 1860

Yesterday morning set in with a heavy rain, and a light wind increasing toward evening until the former fell in perfect torrents and the latter blew a continuous, steady hurricane for several hours, surpassing in violence any storm that has occurred here for many years. The effect of the storm was disastrous in the extreme.
Twenty one coal boats, valued between fifty and sixty thousand dollars, went down and the same fate befell the State steamer Atchafalaya, the Grosse Tete railroad steamer Uncle Ike and Frederick Arbrous’s steamer Henrietta.

The steamer Lone Star and wharfboat Natchez were blown across and up the river, where they safely lodged against the West Baton Rouge bank.

The sugar houses of James Lobdell, in West Baton Rouge, and Messrs. Castle & Pike’s, in East Baton Rouge, were blown down as were also many cane sheds, out buildings, and trees and fences innumerable.

The total loss cannot yet be estimated, as it will embrace the almost total destruction of the open cotton and lessen the sugar prospect greatly – the cane in many places is pretty effectually windrowed.

Some thirty trees were prostrated in the garrison avenue, and the streets and roads are full of trunks and branches.

More Disaster Near Baton Rouge – A gentleman of this city informs us that his letters, this morning, report the following damages by the storm of Tuesday, in the vicinity of Baton Rouge, on the west side of the river. He adds that none are reported on the east side, except to canes, trees, fences, etc. The Carolina plantation, belonging to John A. Dougherty, had cane shed and cane carrier destroyed, and fences and canes prostrated. The Poplar Grove Plantation, the property of Mrs. E. M. Stewart, had its warehouse destroyed, the gable end of the sugar house blown down and canes and fences prostrated. James L. Lobdell had his purgery entirely prostrated, and his canes and fences are down.

Letter from Red River
The Storm and the Crops

(Correspondence of the Picayune)
Angola Plantation, Oct. 3

It is not often we of this section trouble you with reports of disasters or prospects of crops, etc., but the gale of yesterday and last night is certainly deserving of notice. It commenced to rain on Monday about 2 o’clock P. M., wind from east, and continued showery up to Tuesday, 10 o’clock P.M., when the wind changed to the north, increasing up to 5 o’clock, when it blew a perfect gale till 11 o’clock. I had on the six places fully 1000 bales cotton open, some fields having never been picked, all of which is blown or thrashed out and buried in the mud, even the leaves are whipped into threads. What cotton is left in the boll is twisted to a thread. I have never in all my planting experience witnessed such destruction. Shade and forest trees are scattered in all directions. My wire house, a strong building, was lifted entirely clear of pillars and set four feet from its foundation. The storm must have been general. I saw a gentleman from Fort Adams this morning, he relates the destruction to crops and property as being terrible. Much of the cotton in this vicinity was prematurely opened owing to the long continued drouth, there having been no rain to lay the dust ever since the 16th April till Monday evening, in the parish of Pointe Coupee especially, the Atchafalaya section, where they have been more favored with a good season, therefore, the stalks being large, the destruction must be greater than with us. I had from twenty-five to thirty bales on my scaffolds, all of which was blown away, hardly a lock left. I judged on Saturday I had fully 1800 bales to gather, now I will be satisfied with one-half, and do not think I will get it. Yours truly, A. C. Brown

Sequel of the Gale at Mobile – The Mobile Tribune, of Thursday morning, continuing its account of the gale, says:
After eight o’clock A. M., on Tuesday, the rain continued to pour down in very heavy showers at intervals, and the wind to blow out from the east southeast, which was kept up till a late hour in the night. At about twelve o’clock it blew heavy. Quite a crowd of our interested citizens were on hand watching the progress of the storm until after one o’clock yesterday morning, one of whom informs us that the water at no time during the night rose higher than the top of the broken wharf, adjoining south of Government street. At about that hour they all broke up and repaired to bed, perfectly satisfied that there would be no danger of there being another storm. The wind had entirely subsided and had veered round more to the westward. The rain however commenced to come down in real earnest and continued during the night, completely flooding the southwestern and the northern part of the city.

The streets leading to the river resembled small mill tails, and in many places were completely inundated. On Broad street, from Conti to the Spring Hill road, was presented a perfect sheet of water. In some places the water was over four feet deep. At about 8 ½ o’clock yesterday morning another very heavy rain came up, which continued for about half an hour and then ceased; the clouds receded and the morning opened quite propitious for a fair day, which was granted to us, though at times the clouds had the appearance of more rain. We are satisfied with what we have had, and say “enough.”

Barataria, Oysters – The Storm, Down River – Politics, etc
(Special Correspondence of the Picayune)
Parish of Plaquemines, Oct. 3, 1860

Barataria Bay, In Jefferson parish, as I am informed from good authority, is literally filled this season with marketable oysters. As you are well aware, the oysters taken out of this estuary of the sea enjoy a world wide reputation, as being the best fished on the Southern coast of the Union, for their good taste and flavor. As Barataria Bay is easily accessible by water from New Orleans, being about sixty or seventy miles distant from the city, oysters will, in all probability, sell this fall and next winter, cheaper in your market than at any other period during the last fifteen years.
Barataria Bay, or Grand Lake, as it is sometimes called, is nearly thirty miles in length, by twenty or twenty-five in breadth, and is separated from the Mexican Gulf by the three little islands known on the map as Grande Terre, Grande Isle and Cheniere Caminadas. The bottom of this vast sheet of water is represented now as forming but one single oyster bed, whose bivalves are said to be unusually large.
The storm which swept over this section of the country yesterday, was probably the most terrific ever experienced here. In the upper part of the parish, as far as I have heard, the cane fields were injured, but to what extent I cannot say in the present letter. The left side of the river, from Poverty Point down to Pass-a-l’Outre, must have greatly suffered. I am just now informed that Dr. Wederstrand’s plantation, ten or twelve miles above the Court House, left bank of the river, was completely under water. Strange to say, the waters of the sea scarcely rose at Point-a-la-Hache, which is below Dr. W.’s place. Grand Prairie, so I am told, was but slightly touched by the gale. If all the reports I hear are correct, our community was miraculously saved from a general overflow. No lives, it is said, were lost. Before the end of the week I hope I shall be able to furnish you a full account of the losses sustained here in the hurricane of yesterday.

The Daily Picayune, Saturday Afternoon, October 6, 1860

Further News of the Storm – We learn from a gentleman who arrived here yesterday that the storm was very severely felt at Grand Isle and Cheniere Camanada, whose islands having been completely overflowed, the water rising, it is said, five feet in three-quarters of an hour. Much damage was done to the small craft, and the crops and orange trees suffered greatly; but no loss of life or property occurred.

The Timbalier Islands, we are informed by the same gentleman, were completely devastated and some thirty or forty fishing crafts, having on board some 50 or 60 men, who had started for the oyster beds previous to the storm, have not been heard of and are supposed to be lost.

The City
The Inundated Section
– The Mayor visited the rear of the city yesterday, examining into the condition of the inundated houses and the wants of the poor families driven away from houses by the angry element, and will, doubtless, prompted by his well known feelings of humanity, as well as by official duty, call the attention of the Common Council to the scene of desolation he has witnessed, and invite them to adopt some measure for the relief of the sufferers,

Many small houses have been shaken from their foundations and made insecure, whilst all buildings large or small, invaded by the water, have suffered more or less damage. The floors and door steps have been in many instances forced out and washed away; the plastering of the walls, and even that of the ceilings affected by the dampness, have fallen in large pieces, making considerable repairs necessary. The inundated families, besides damage to their buildings, gardens, poultry, etc, have also lost much furniture and clothing, and the condition of some is quite distressing. Amidst all this suffering, we are sorry to say that human vultures have been found, who, like the birds of prey hovering over a battle field, have under the cover of the darkness of night, pounced upon the deserted buildings, and robbed the poor victims of the overflow of such little articles of value as had been left behind. We sincerely hope that some of the fiends will fall in the hands of the police, and meet with a merited punishment.

The water is still receding, and it is calculated that by tonight the inundated section will be so far drained as nature can make it. The openings will be cut in various parts of the levee, by which all remaining water will run out in 48 hours. The levees will have to be consolidated at much cost and labor. It is apparent that the people allowed to remove the mud thrown out of the canal when it was cleaned, have dug further and attacked the old embankment itself, considerably reducing its thickness and solidity. Notwithstanding this criminal imprudence, the breaks in the levee could have been stopped, were it not that the water rose so high that it overflowed the Metairie ridge, an event of which we have had no example since 1831.

The Daily Picayune, Sunday October 7, 1860

Letter From Plaquemines
The Late Gale and Its Effects – Mosquitoes – Crops
(Correspondence of the Picayune)
Parish of Plaquemines, Oct 6, 1860

The late gale, after all, proved far more disastrous than was at first thought of. In the upper part of the parish, where, as you know, lies the sugar region of this parish, the damages were really great. Fences and trees, but no buildings, were blown down, the cane fields with but few exceptions were prostrated to the ground, and lost almost all their leaves by the violence of the wind. Undermined by the constant beating of the waves, the banks of the western side of the river caved in, and to such an extent on several plantations and farms as now to require the building of new levees. The embankments at Jesuits Bend and immediate vicinity were, I think, more badly injured than in any other locality on the river. The storm blew with so much force and for so considerable a length of time as to have caused the almost entire destruction of all kinds of garden vegetables throughout this section of the country.
True, the waters of the sea overflowed the eastern side of the Mississippi, but they did not rise more than twelve or fifteen inches at Point-a-la-Hache, scarcely more at Grand Prairie, Quarantine Station, and this region, located below the Forts; but nowhere caused any serious loss. Dr. Wederstrand’s place suffered but lightly from the inundation, as the waters there never were more than a foot high. As far as heard from, no lives were lost on the river, our bays or bayous.
That our sugar crop was materially injured by the late hurricane nobody here questions the fact; but to what extent, I leave this question to be resolved by those who profess to be better qualified to form an opinion on the subject than your humble servant.

Mosquitoes, which were unusually numerous before the blow of last Tuesday, are now – and this is no exaggeration in this assertion – ten times greater in number, and, if possible, a hundred times more ravenous. Traveling on land is almost suspended for the time being, and the field works greatly impeded by these incommodious visitors. Methinks the plagues of ancient Egypt were nothing compared to what we are now enduring form these voracious insects.

Alexander Grant, Esq., I understand, has commenced grinding. Two or three others will begin operations early next week. By the 15th inst., if not sooner, sugar of the new crop, from this parish, will probably have been shipped to your market. Our sugar growers, with few exceptions, will commence manufacturing sugar this fall earlier than usual for this cane growing section.

Rice of this year’s crop has been sent to your market, where it has brought from 4 1/2 to 5c. A mighty big price for this kind of cereal. It is a pity our farmers first could plant but a very small extent of land, which was afterwards overflowed by the waters of the ocean.

The Daily Picayune, Morning Edition
October 9, 1860


Louisiana Intelligence

The effects of the late storm in the Parishes are disastrous beyond anything before on record. The Thibodaux Gazette of the 6th inst. Says, in that town a parallel has not been witnessed in that part of State. The wind carried everything before, uprooting trees, tearing down fences, and in some instances blowing down tenements. The Presbyterian church, at the corner of St. Louis and Thibodaux streets, was seriously damaged. A two story tenement, corner of Green and Budget streets was also damaged. Fortunately no lives were lost in the town. The only instance of serious personal injury was a severe wound of a negro received from the bricks of a falling chimney. The Gazette gives the following list of losses by planters in addition to those published by us immediately after the catastrophe.

Lafourche Messrs. Adam Perilloux, Gaude Bros., Taylor Beatty, H. E. Ledet, Caillouet Bros., P. J. Theriot, Billiu and Perkins. David McLeod and Capt. C. Dalferes have had the purgery of their sugar-houses blown down. Messrs, C. M. Gillis and Geo. S. Guion have had but little damage done on their plantation. Nelson & Donaldson have had their purgery somewhat damaged. On the Rienzi place, one of the sugar-houses and purgery blown down. Mrs. Leufroy Trosclair and Mrs. Andrew Collins have had the purgery of their sugar-houses blown down. Mr. C. F. Gaude had his bagasse chimney blown down. On the estate of J. W. Tucker the purgery and cooling-room were blown down. Legarde Bros. had the chimney of their sugar-house, corn crib and stable partly blown down. Messrs. Achille Braud and H. Folse, Jr. & Bro. had their sugar-houses entirely blown down.

Assumption  – Messrs. Miles Taylor, W. W. Pugh and Mr. Simoneau, sugar house blown down; Mr. P. Landreaux, Trinity Plantation, purgery blown down; Mr. Charles Kock, sugar house and purgery blown down; Dr. Ford’s warehouse blown down in the road.

Terrebonne – Messrs. Thibodaux Bros., Leufroy Barras, W. D. V. Downing, W. J. Minor, H. T. Collins, and Mrs. M. J. Ellis, had the purgery of their sugar houses blown down; Mrs. V. P. Winder, Ducros Plantation, purgery and cane shed blown down.

Little Caillou – Messrs. Bush & Gueno, and J. B. Robinson, purgery and boiling room blown down. A man employed on the plantation, named John Malbroux, killed, and Mr. L. Thibodaux hurt.

Bayou Black Messrs Evariste Porche, K. M. Boykin, A. Miltenberger & Co., Tobias Gibson, and W. J. Minor, purgery blown down; Mrs. A. Butler and Mr. A. McCullum, cane shed blown down; Mr. M. H. Daunis purgery and boiling room blown down; Messrs. Bodin & Bonvillain, sugar house blown down.

This list is far from complete, says the Gazette, news being obtained every hour of still further disasters. The cane fields are almost level with the ground.

The Pointe Coupee Democrat, of the 6th says:
The open cotton was scattered, so as to make the ground in some places white, as if covered with snow. The cane, too, has greatly suffered; thus blasting the last hopes of our sugar planters for this season. The warehouse of Mr. Trudeau, at the Hermitage, was completely demolished. The storm has committed ravages, at least from Natchez to New Orleans.

During the storm on Tuesday the river rose at Baton Rouge from six to seven feet.

From Iberville we obtain the following account of the storm:
The great loss produced by flattening the cane to the ground, and breaking it off at the joints to a considerable extent, overshadows all other losses in Iberville. Short as the sugar crop was before estimated, we may now cut it down one-half or a third more. The roof of Mrs. Edwards’ purgery, and the cane shed of Petit & Allain were blown down.

The storm on Bayou Lafourche was quite destructive. A gentleman on the Bayou in a flatboat loaded with provisions says:
Five or six sugar houses on the bayou, and one opposite Donaldsonville, were blown down flat with the ground; two loaded flatboats were blown from the left bank of the river across, and completely wrecked and destroyed. He saved himself by extraordinary exertions, and the help of plenty of good lines.

The Sugar Planter, in addition to the losses already published by us, adds, in regard to the effects of the storm in West Baton Rouge.

We learn of a number of cane-sheds, cabins, &c., belonging to our planters, having been blown down, principally in the upper part of our parish. These losses are not very heavy, but are very annoying, from the fact that the rolling season is at hand, when the usual business of the plantation requires the entire force to be engaged in other matters. The cotton throughout the parish has been much injured.

The Baton Rouge Comet, of the 6th, says:
The mail stage from this to Clinton, La., is cut off by the storm of Tuesday. From the terminus of the plank road to midway on the Port Hudson road, there is a network of trees across the highway, which it will require a week or ten days, with all the force to be had, to cut them out and clear the passage. The cars, for the same reason, have been forced to stop on the railroad to Port Hudson.

The Vermillionville Echo, parish of Lafayette, of the 6th inst. says:
The cotton crop, which was very poor at best, is nearly a total loss. The cane crop, which was almost a complete failure, previous to the storm, was blown down and almost leveled with the ground. Our town on Wednesday morning presented a sorry aspect.

The Feliciana Democrat of the 6th, published at Clinton, has the following:
In our town, shade trees were uprooted, covering the streets and the yards of private residences, chimney tops carried away, some frame buildings moved from their foundations, and in one instance, the blacksmith shop of R. J. Bowman, completely prostrated.

From every part of the parish we hear of great injury, the crops being almost entirely destroyed.

A letter dated Albemarle Postoffice, Assumption, Oct. 6, says:
The damage from the storm has been immense, and scarcely any plantation has entirely escaped. The cane is generally flat and has lost so many leaves that it will be greatly injured by cold weather. The warm weather and moist atmosphere will cause the exposed eyes to sell and put forth the long shoots. But for the time necessary to repair damages a great deal of it could be rolled at once, as the cane is generally sweet, but unfortunately there are many planters who will be forced to rebuild in whole or in part before they can turn a wheel.

The Gale in the [Ital] . . . [paper torn]
The most disastrous gale which has visited our parish since 1812, (says the Messenger of the Parish of St. James) took place last Tuesday, between 12 and 4 o’clock P. M. A great number of sugar houses have been entirely or partially destroyed, sheds, dwelling houses and chimneys thrown down, and in many cases carried to a great distance by the violence of the storm. “Even St. Michael Church, Jefferson College, and the Convent of the Sacred Heart have had their roofs injured, notwithstanding the solidity of those buildings, which was thought to be proof against anything.”

Many of the sugar canes are laid on the ground, to rise no more; the trees, at least the tufty ones, have been uprooted or twisted, and as to the fences, there is not one left standing. As a proof of the irresistible strength of the storm, the Messenger relates that a raft, belonging to Mr. Emile Jacob, broke its chains and its lines, and was carried up the river as far as the Messrs. Jourdans plantation, six miles distant from the first place. However, no lives have been lost; but the total loss in the parish of St. James cannot be less then $500,000.

Submitted by Nancy.  Thank you, Nancy!

       

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