Scores die when a Mississippi steamboat explodes and burns near Cairo, Illinois

At one o'clock in the morning, the steamboat Ben W. Lewis, bound for St. Louis from Memphis with eighty-five passengers, burst a boiler at the confluence of the Ohio and the Mississippi near Cairo, Illinois.  Fire quickly engulfed the vessel, considered one of the speediest of the Mississippi fleet.  Passengers and crew took to the river and despite the efforts of other boats in the area, between forty and fifty lives were lost.  (By John Osborne)  
Source Citation
Francis Vincent, Vincent's Semi-Annual United States Register.... 1st of January and 1st of July, 1860 (Philadelphia: Francis Vincent, 1860), 684. 
Date Certainty
Exact
Type
Crime/Disasters
How to Cite This Page: "Scores die when a Mississippi steamboat explodes and burns near Cairo, Illinois," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/32324.