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With the Mississippi River open again to traffic, the steamboat Imperial departs St Louis for New Orleans

The steamboat "Imperial" docking at New Orleans, Louisiana, July 16, 1863, artist's impression, detail
07/08/1863
With the surrender of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, Louisiana a few days earlier, the Mississippi River was once again open to peaceful traffic and the steamboat Imperial left St. Louis, Missouri bound for New Orleans with a full cargo, the first since the outbreak of the war.  She arrived July 16, 1863 at the dock in New Orleans after an uneventful passage, demonstrating the great commercial riverway again open for business.  (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
Benton Rain Patterson, The Great Stemboat Race: The Natchez and the Robert E. Lee and the climax of an era (Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Co., Inc., 2009), 98.