Washington, DC Arsenal Explosion, June 1864



The excitement attendant upon the terrible explosion and loss of life at the Arsenal yesterday was kept up throughout the entire day. An excited crowd of relatives of the laboratory employees, parents, brothers, sisters, anxious as to the fate of those dear to them, thronged about the outer gate leading to the Arsenal, and the scenes here were heart-rending. In the early part of the afternoon, in order to prevent confusion inside the grounds, an order was issued restricting the number of persons permitted to enter. A few females and those outside gave vent to their feelings in bitter wailing very distressing to hear.
In the immediate vicinity of the accident, inside of the Arsenal grounds proper, the charred remains of those who had perished were laid upon the ground and covered over with canvass.
Many inquiries were made for missing parties, and by these inquiries we learned the names of the following as sufferers and dead:
SALLIE McELFRESH, badly burnt, and taken to the hospital, and has since died.
ANNIE BATES, also in hospital, and badly burnt.
MISS CARR, Northern Liberties, supposed to be among the killed.
MRS. SCOTT, G Street South, leg badly burned.
MILLIE WEBSTER, who lives on 6th Street, Island, was reported killed, but we have subsequently learned that she was not at work yesterday, and is consequently safe.
MAGGIE YONSON, 7th Street, between E and F, is among the dead.
MELISSA ADAMS, 7th Street, between G and H, dead.
MAGGIE ECKLOFF, had her back slightly injured by jumping from a window, but is not otherwise injured.
EMMA KNOTT, had her back, face and hands badly burned.
JOHANNA CONNOR, who lived on English Hill, was among those burned to death, but her remains were subsequently recognized by a portion of dress which remained upon her unconsumed. The whole top of her head was, however, gone, and the brain was visible; and but for the fragment of dress it would have been impossible to recognize her.
JULIA McKEWEN, corner 4 1/2 and F Streets, Island, supposed to be among the killed.
ELLEN ROCHE, also supposed to be killed.
REBECCA HULL, badly burned about the head; taken home, corner of 5th and K Streets North, and subsequently died.
BRIDGET DUNN, East Capitol Street, supposed to be killed.
Search was made for MARGARET CUSHMAN, who lives on the Island, but it is now positively ascertained that she arrived at her home safe.
MRS. TIPPETT, living at corner of 4 1/2 and G Streets South was among the burned.
KATE BREENAHAN, C Street, between 3rd and 4 1/2 Streets and SUSAN HARRIS, who lived on the Island, are supposed to be among the killed.
MINNIE MITCHELL was badly burned about the face and arms, but was taken home, and will probably survive.
The scenes while the fire was in progress was truly heart-rending. Those who could, jumped from the windows, and many of them fainted as soon as they alighted on the ground. By the heroism of some persons present, some of the girls who were enveloped in flames, were saved from a frightful death. One young lady ran out of the building with her dress all in flames, and was at once seized by a gentleman, who, in order to save her, plunged her into the river. He, however, burned his hands and arms badly in the effort. Three others, also in flames, started to run up the hill, and the upper part of their clothing was torn off by two gentlemen near by, who thus probably saved the girls from a horrible death, but in the effort, they too were badly injured. Thirteen girls ran upon a tug at the Arsenal wharf, and were carried around to the 6th Street wharf, where their friends took them in charge.

The Inquest.
Coroner Woodward having been summoned by a dispatch from Major Benton, arrived a little after four o'clock, and summoned the following jury of inquest, viz: - Asbury Lloyd, foreman; James Lawrenson, Thos. E. Lloyd.

The Evening Star Washington DC 1864-06-18