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At Marengo in Illinois, an explosion at a patriotic celebration kills one and injures several others

Fire and Earthquake Disasters, iconic image
04/04/1865
In the small Illinois town of Marengo in McHenry County, a sizeable crowd gathered to celebrate the Union's capture of Petersburg and the fall of Richmond.  Makeshift cannon, with hollow metal anvils substituting for the real thing were loaded with gunpowder near the Stewart House in the center of town.  Unfortunately, one of the anvils was cracked and when the gunpowder was ignited it exploded.  One man was hit in the side with a large piece of metal and died four hours later.  Another thirty-six pound fragment struck the leg of an elderly lady, requiring its amputation. (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
"Terrible Accident at Marengo," Chicago Tribune, April 7, 1865, p. 2.  

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