The steamboat Imperial arrives in New Orleans from St. Louis, the first since early 1861
With the recent surrender of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, the Mississippi River was once again open to peaceful traffic and the steamboat Imperial left St. Louis, Missouri on July 8, 1863 bound for New Orleans with a full cargo. She arrived at the dock in New Orleans after an uneventful voyage demonstrating that the river was open to commerce for the first time since the war broke out. (By John Osborne)
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.