Steamer Greyhound, Or What's Probably Left Of Her? November, 1864

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
letter mai4l4 butler dredge boat greyhound.jpg

Someone with a better understanding of steamers will be able to identify which small portion of one this was, LoC, identifed as " Butler's dredge boat ". Miscommunication somewhere.

You know how something will finally make sense? This! Been looking at this LoC image for a lot of years- " Butler's dredge boat sunk Thanksgiving Day 1864 ".

Had no idea what would be a " dredge boat ", why it would sink OR why it was apparently a collection of cracker boxes glued to popsicle sticks. Thought it was some obscure Civil War naval thing and only idiots didn't know about them. Greyhound, a 500 ton steamer, was considered Butler's dispatch boat- may have been one of those " Anyone know what this writing says? " moments in an office somewhere.

WELL it could be the dredge ( dispatch ) boat is what's left of steamer Greyhound. At any rate, for the same general to have lost 2 boats, on or near the same day is awfully unlikely. Transpires it's a terrible story, just nothing to do with dredging anything. Or at least I'm pretty sure? Greyhound was another steamer making the City Point round, no wounded thankfully but horses and generals and mail this run.

Article from Nov. 28th, 1864
letter mail butle steamer.JPG
letter mail butle steamer greyhounds.JPG
 

Ole Miss

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What an intriguing thread! Great topic and one that draws more interest to the point where I had to look for more information about the Greyhound. I view this vessel as the status symbol of a general such as Lear jets are today!

On this site, listed below, there is a brief descritpion of this vessel.
"It is stunning to see a machine in the Civil War that embodies all the elements still used in dredges today. The vertical timbers are called spuds, which are lowered to the bottom to hold the machine in place. There were three of them, one at the stern (right end of photo) and two port and starboard at the bow, only one visible. Same as today. The angled timber at the left is the dipper stick, which has the bucket or dipper at the other end. Note the gear teeth for the bucket crowd."*

The ironclad in the upper right corner is thought to be the USS Onondaga.
I am intrigued by 2 facts cited in the article: 1) a dredge boat is a working boat hardly conducive to the comfort a man like Butler would demand in a boat; 2) the vessel in the picture shows no signs of having had a fire aboard, that I can see.

Further more, Admiral David D. Porter, is quoted as describing Butler's ship the Grehound:
" While I was at Dutch Gap, General Butler came up to see me in the Greyhound, which was his headquarters when afloat. This vessel deserved her name, for she was a long, lean-looking craft, and the fastest steamer on the river."^ The full article about the sinking of the Greyhound is well worth reading.
Regards
David
Here is a painitng of the noble Grehound
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**
*https://www.shorpy.com/node/6833
^https://www.beyondthecrater.com/res...k-excerpts/explosion-greyhound-porter-nov-27/
**https://www.beyondthecrater.com/new...s-ago-today/150-18641127-greyhound-explosion/
 

mofederal

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Jun 27, 2017
Location
Southeast Missouri
I found the following online. The upright timbers are called spuds. They are lowered to the bottom of a river, to hold the machine in place. There were three of them, one at the stern (right end of photo) and two port and starboard at the bow, only one is visible in the image. The angled timber at the left is the dipper stick, which has the bucket or dipper at the other end. Note the gear teeth for the bucket crowd, which is a steam shovel. This is the same arrangement as is used today on dredges. Below is a picture of a later dredge, but it has the some of the same elements as above.

  • dipperdredge3-6.jpg
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Interesting, had NO idea- so it WAS a dredge boat!! Had no clue or what on earth it would do! The image just didn't make sense without THIS, thank you!


I found the following online. The upright timbers are called spuds. They are lowered to the bottom of a river, to hold the machine in place. There were three of them, one at the stern (right end of photo) and two port and starboard at the bow, only one is visible in the image. The angled timber at the left is the dipper stick, which has the bucket or dipper at the other end. Note the gear teeth for the bucket crowd, which is a steam shovel. This is the same arrangement as is used today on dredges. Below is a picture of a later dredge, but it has the some of the same elements as above.

Out of all the various steamboat disasters, exploding boilers, collisions, etc.- anyone know if this kind of thing happened if not on a regular basis at least was not unheard of? " Fire doors blew open and scattered coals....". You do hear of fires on board steamboats, always assumed it was a function of old wood, shellac and maybe careless smoking.
 
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