May 22, 1862
The Steamer Mariner Destroyed.
Yesterday afternoon, about two o’clock, during the heavy storm of wind and gain, the steamer Mariner, Capt. Carner, bound from Pittsburgh to Louisville, ran upon the bar near Eoff’s Landing, within the city limits, and while lying with her bow up stream, her cabin was blown off and broken into a thousand pieces. There were about 140 soldiers on board, most of whom being on the boiler-deck, were uninjured.—In the cabin there were about twenty-five passengers, among whom were several ladies. All of them, except such as clung to the hog chains of the boat, and other fixtures, were carried overboard with the wreck, and thrown into the water.
The accident was witnessed by many persons from the landing, and in less than five minutes hundreds of people were crowding about the boat. At first it was supposed from the appearance of things, that there must be a large number of passengers beneath the wreck, but at the time of the present writing no one is known certainly to have been lost. The ladies were assisted to the shore in a very distressed condition—most of them having lost their clothing and other baggage.—They were provided, however, with soldiers’ overcoats with which they managed to cover their disheveled heads until they could be provided for.
Mr. Ahl, the Pilot of the boat and Mr. Ezra Little, the mate were rather seriously injured, but not dangerously.
Capt. Carner is also slightly injured having received an ugly wound in the neck.
Mr. Geo. Henry of Kittaning, Pa., was also slightly hurt. His wounds are principally punctured and are not at all serious.
There were doubtless many others slightly wounded by the names could not be ascertained, owing to the great confusion which prevailed. It is possible, too, that some were drowned, but in the excitement necessarily attendant upon such a disaster the facts could not be ascertained. Had the accident occurred in the stream, instead of near the shore, the loss of life must have been very great. The soldiers were recruited for the regular service and were on their way to Cairo, in command of Lieut. Talton.
After the cabin was carried away the boat caught fire, and an alarm brought a fire company to the rescue, but the crew succeeded in extinguishing the flames by lashing buckets of water upon the burning wreck.
The German Lutheran Church Blown Down!
Several School Children Killed and Wounded!
Yesterday afternoon the German Lutheran Church, on Market street, opposite the new German Catholic Church, Centre Wheeling, was partly blown down by the violent wind which prevailed. The roof of the building, and about half of both the northern and southern walls were blown down, the greater part of the bricks and heavy timbers falling upon the Church floor. In the basement of the building were some thirty or forty school children, and the floor giving away, with a terrible crash, beneath the weight, the whole wreck fell upon them. The greater number of the children managed to escape, and gained the street in safety, but some three or four were killed and as many wounded and crushed in a terrible manner. Hundreds of citizens were soon at work removing the wreck and the killed and wounded were taken out one by one. Agonized groans of the helpless children could be heard as the work of removing the wreck was in progress and the distress and suspense of doubting parents, brothers and sisters was enough to move the stoutest heart.
Mr. Mann, the teacher, when the wind was at its height, went into the church-yard to tie a young tree, which he feared might be broken by the storm, and as he was doing so the building fell. His place in the school was where most of the bricks and timbers fell, and had the disaster occurred a minute later, he would have certainly been killed.
A little son of Mr. Reighter, of Ritchietown, was taken out of the wreck dead.
A lad named Henry Falsing, son of Henry Falsing, of Fulton, about 11 years of ago, was alive when taken out, but died a short time afterwards.
A son of Mr. Zeigler, of Ritchietown, was taken out so terribly injured that he cannot survive.
A lad named Bischopp, also of Ritchietown, had a leg broken, and as otherwise hurt, and a boy named Spears, of Caldwell’s Run, was slightly injured. Some eight or ten others were injured, but not at all seriously.
The Church building is quite an ancient one, and does not appear to have been very substantially constructed.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: May 1862