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Save on your favorite magazines - Magazineline: Since 1974

April 1974:
Coca-Cola Company Rescues

In April of 1974, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company bought out Overseas National Airways, consequently saving the refurbishment of the Mississippi Queen. The boat, which was under construction by the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, had enormously overrun budget estimates. Projected costs for the construction plans were about $27 million. In addition, parent company Overseas National Airways had suffered two catastrophic plane crashes. Coca-Cola's purchase of the company ensured plans for the Mississippi Queen would be carried out.


From site visitor Bill King:
I am searching for info on the MORGAN NELSON that plied the Mississippi and Ouachita Rivers from New Orleans up to Camden, Arkansas and the Red River up to Grand Ecore, near Natchitoches, LA during the period 1860-1865.
Can you possibly help me, as I can find nothing of the NELSON, other than the description taken from Ways Packet [Directory]! Would really like to have a photo of the MORGAN NELSON if one is available.

My Gr. Gr. Gr. Granduncle, Agustus "Gus" Levan Witherington, was said to have been co-owner of the NELSON with Capt. Robert Withers . I have family data that tells the very interesting stories of Capt. Bob and Gus enlisting a company of men at Champagnolle, AR and going down to New Orleans to join the troops there. However, the recruiting officer, persuaded (?)Gus and Capt. Bob to use the MORGAN NELSON in the service of the CSA [Confederate States of America] in ferrying foodstuffs, munitions and troops from New Orleans up into Southern Arkansas.

Shown below is a letter written by General Kirby Smith, CSA, which makes reference to the MORGAN NELSON also serving on the Red River in Louisiana during the war.

The family lore says, and your web page seems to confirm, that A. L. Witherington also served as Captain of the DR. BUFFINGTON out of New Orleans. Gus was married to Amelia Finch, who he met on one of his trips to New Orleans. Amelia was teaching piano to the children of Dr. Buffington when they met.

From Chuck Jackson - St. Louis to Bill King
February 1999, Re: Morgan Nelson, CSA Marine Service

Bill - found mentioned in a letter to General Buckner from General E. Kirby Smith. I think this letter answers the question as to the role of the MORGAN NELSON in the Civil War and why I could not find Withers, Witherington, nor Finch in the Civil War books. Headquarters Trans-Mississippi Department.
Shreveport, February 27, 1865.

To: Lieut. Gen. S. B. Buckner,
Commanding District of West Louisiana

Major Buckner's communication from Monroe of 21st February with your indorsement is just received. The steamer BARKMAN was burned in the Bartholomew. The FLETCHER and MORGAN NELSON have by telegrawph to Camden been ordered to Monroe, where they will be at the disposition of Major Buckner for the purpose of procuring corn. The Ouachita country above the Louisiana line is absolutely stripped of forage. To maintain that line the garrison at Camden is compelled to supply itself from the lower Ouachita and its tributaries. It is of vital importance for the protection of Northern Louisiana, as well as the planting interests in the Red River Valley, in the District of Arkansas, that Camden should be held by us. General Magruder estimates that 30,000 bushels of corn will meet his necessities and enable him to maintain the line of the Ouachita until the coming crop can be gathered. The boats will at the disposal of your officers, and I wish you would instruct them to use dispatch and energy in securing and removing the corn from the Boeuf. What is not needed for the District of Arkansas and your cavalry on the Ouachita can be transported up Little River to within sixteen miles of Alexandria, and be made available for the troops in the lower portion of your district. As the wants of the garrison at Camden are pressing, I wish the first load of the FLETCHER sent to that point. You can afterward, as your necessities will allow, increase the amount of corn sent to Camden to 30,000 or even 50,000 bushels. The boats will remain under your control, and General Magruder instructed that he can depend upon your officers forwarding to Camden the corn necessary for the support of that garrison.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. Kirby Smith,
General, CSA

Also see information on Capt. Witherington

Excerpt from
The Journal of Paul Haralson, March, 1848
Sent in by site visitor Tommy Booker

I have a journal written by my ancestor Paul Haralson in 1848 on a trip from Stone Mountain, Ga. to central Texas. Paul mentioned several steamboats.
Below is an excerpt describing the steamers Montgomery & Montezuma on the Alabama River. I have some info on others as well. You can make this public if you want to.

Tuesday March 21, 1848,
Arrived in Montgomery about four o'clock & took the Exchange Omnibus to the Steam Boat "Montgomery" which was then nearly ready to sail- I had hardly got on board the boat before I was met by Alonzo Haralson, who greeted me with that warm-hearted cordiality so characteristic of the Haralson blood- Son is a noble fellow. He is reading law in Montgomery but promised to take a recess sometime during the Summer & make me a visit- He told me of the cause of the fight between G. W. Jones of Tennessee & his Uncle Hugh in the House of Representatives.

At 5 o'clock we sailed for Mobile, in the beautiful and splendid Steamer Montgomery- The Montgomery is a new boat & put upon the River this season in place of the old boat of the same name. She is 235 feet long with an upper & lower deck. Can carry 3000 bags of cotton & can comfortably entertain more than 250 cabin passengers, besides Deck & Stearage. On board this boat we had a splendid array of beauty, fashion, Wealth Glory and ambition with now & then an occational touch of the oposite extreme from the wise to the otherwise from the palace to the hovel & from the Mexican War-Dogs to the willing worshiper of the God of Peace.

Here I met with Leornard H. Sewell Son of the old Judge of N.C.; with a brother of Hardy Croom, with James Gilmer, who owns the Rich Cotton Plantation on the Red River below Dr. Vance with all his family etc. etc. etc. This night after the boat got under way & feeling the need of some rest. I took State Room No. 16 and in a few minutes travel passed through the land of Nod and was soon in the pleasant and happy Country of Dreamland, where without anything to distract my peace and comfort I enjoyed myself until breakfast the next morning.

Wednesday 22nd, March
I this morning arose at the ringing of the breakfast bell. had a pleasant wash & a fine breakfast & came out on deck & found that in a few minutes we were to be at Cahawbe, near where I supposed Em Browning lives: as the boat took in wood & freight at this place, I went on Shore & enquired for my friend. Met with Warren Holcomb who is here with negroes for "sale": found that Em lives six miles from Burton & learned that Monroe Blann was fiddling & dancing in Mobile. Returned to the boat again & spent the day pleasantly.

Thursday 23d.
Rose and found the morning beautiful, with the promise of a pretty day. We traveled very slow, having to take in landing & freight at almost every point on the River.

Today had a pleasant conversation with my friend Sewall & Gilmer on the physical resources of Georgia, as compared with those of North Carolina and Lousiana.

As we passed down the river today saw an Aligator sunning himself on a log, and landed in Mobile about 5 o'clock just too late to witness the great Ball play between the Choctaw Indians who live in the neighborhood of Mobile on the one side and a band of the remnant of Cherokees who live in Sumpter about 200 miles from this place. The contest had been advertized for some time in the Mobile papers & the play came off today at three o'clock for a wager of $20 a side in the presence of a great crowd of Spectators. Ten on a side, from what I understand it is something of the character of Bandy- playing, in which they use sticks about two feet long with a cup at one end to catch the ball & throw it, instead of using the old-fashion Bandy stick to strike & roll the ball: they were the victors. Soon after arriving at Mobile I transferred my baggage from the Montgomery to the Montezuma, which sails tomorrow at eleven o'clock. I registered my name on board the Montezuma & took lodgings there-Visited the Town, but found no acquaintances-

New Orleans, Sunday 26th March 1848
After Breakfast and paying a Bill of $1.50 I went to the Steam ShipPalmetto & took State Room No. 1. Soon afterwards Judge & family arrived. And at 9 o'clock we sailed.

The Scene and beauties of this beautiful River out to the Gulf I have once before in my life attempted to describe and I now feel that any effort of mine in that way would be ludicrous if not perfect mockery. The Grand & Majestic River. The Rich farms, the Stately palaces, the Orange Groves. The ships in full sail, laden with the rich productions of the earth, from every country and clime.

The battle ground where Lord Takenham fell to gratify British ambition with his thousands around him under the unerring aim of the American Rifles, all these & and many more, are more than I shall attempt to describe, but all those we here see & witness as we pass down this Great Father of waters.

We arrived at the Bar which opens into the Gulf just as the sun was setting, and as soon as we got into the Gulf the ship commenced heaving and rocking under a severe Gale, which carried me to my State Room as usual. I suffered the sufferings of the sickest of the sick. With me night passed away with one unremitting heave & Monday-came and went I know not how, for really I felt (prepared or unprepared) that I was willing to die.

Tuesday The 28th. March, 1848
This morning about daybreak, I felt the ship stop and only now and then rise & fall again as a heavy billow would roll under her. I opened my State room door & asked what was the matter & the Capt said that he had to anchor until day light as the sea was running so high he was afraid to cross the Bar before light. I begged him to risque it for I had rather be stove than to suffer as I had done another day. he told me to be patient for in four hours he would be in Galveston. And never did the words of Salvation come to the Heathen with more joy than did those words from the Captain. In an hour we weighed anchor again & was soon over the Bar & into smooth water. When I got up and striped naked & paid the Steward to pour six pails of fresh water over my head and body - Which cured me-. We arrived in Galveston at 9 o'clock and put up with Mrs. Reese, Step- Mother of Kellar Reese, who is keeping a private boarding house in this place.

In Houston, Wednesday 29th March, 1848
I rose early this morning and in company withe John Hughes, went down to the warf to engage a passsage to Houston. had a long and pleasant walk. Visited the Market & heard a Dutch quarrel, and after breakfast paid my bill and went ($1:00) with Judge Hughes to his office, and from there to the Steam Boat Reliance which sailed at 9 o'clock. Genl. MQueen came on board as one of the passengers- we had a pleasant trip-As we passed up the Bayou Buffaloe to day we saw a good many water fowl of a peculiar species called here the Water Turkey. A different bird from any thing I ever saw before. We were also pointed out the famous battle Ground of San Jacinto where Santa Anna was made a prisoner in the Texas Revolution, and where the Hon. Sam Houston acquired an undying fame- Arrived at Houston at 7 o'clock and put up with John O'Bracken who married Durrit Richard's Daughter of Milton . .

Extracts from journal of Paul Haralson, April 1848
In Shreveport,La., Sunday 16th April, 1848
Came early this morning to the camp & eat breakfast & finding no respect paid to the Sabbath day, as the stores generally & most of the other shops were open, I walked about town & more than once was bantered for a trade.-In the evening on the arrival of the Steam boat Caddo, a young gentleman came to camp & told me that he wished to buy my horse Bravo- That he was himself a Methodist, but was there without a horse & must have one.- That man was not made for the Sabbath but that the Sabbath was made for man, and as he was from necessity compeled to leave town and had no mode of getting away except by buying on that day, He hoped I would regard it as no sin to sell, as a precedent had been set by the Saviour in taking the sheep from the mire on that Holy Day. And all that thing and that sort of thing etc. until he pretty well convinced me from the force of his reasoning of the propriety of the measure-

In Shreveport,La., Thursday 20th April 1848
Came to camp this morning intending to put Susan on board the Steam Boat Satona & send her home. Saw the Capt. (Smoker) & made a bargain with him to carry her to New Orleans & give her into the hands of Capt Kelly of the Montezuma. Who was requested to send her to Mobile & place her in the hands of Alonzo Haralson, who would pay her rail road & stage fare to Atlanta& then old Brother Kelsey was to send her home-Wrote all the letters necessary & put her on board & gave the money into the hands of the Capt who was to send it along with Susan. And then intended to lay in some provision & leave Shreveport, and try my luck through the country- by Bellvell, Minden etc. as occasion & prospects would offer- -
After buying my provisions & getting getting ready to start, I concluded that I would wait until morning to see the boat (which was to carry off Susan-) start.
So in company with a Mr. Guild who lives on the Brazos & a young Gentleman by the name of Ramsey, we visited the french settlement & Garden etc. & afterward took a fishing spree but caught nothing. I left my hook standing out, well baited for a big Cat.

In Shreveport,La., Friday 21st April 1848
This morning at 8 o'clock the boat Satona sailed, & I went to camp with a view of starting, but met with a gentleman who told me that his name was Owen of Titus County Texas. That he was a merchant & on his way to New Orleans- & was waiting for them Steam Boat Victoress. Which had been expected down for several days, that on that boat there wee two gentlemen who owed $2000- & that if I would wait until the arrival of that boat & if when they came he could get his money- He would give me the $2000 for my three boys. I told him that he had too many "ifs" & conditions in his proposition & that I could not consent to wait. Just at this time Tillmon came for me & told me there was a gentleman in town who wanted to buy Jim. I hunted him up found his name to be John R. Taylor of Upshur County Texas. Offered him Jim at $600. & he told me that he had but $500. which he would give & no more.I could do no better, & I took his offer & sold him Jim, which is the first & only negro I ever sold. But I have the consolation to known that I sold him to a good man & one who will treat Jim well.

My hook which I set out last night, caught a cat that weighed 42 pounds.

April 25, 1838 150-Ton MOSELL Explodes on Inland Waters

In one of the most tragic early episodes on inland water, the boiler of a new steamboat, the 150-ton Moselle, exploded after its departure from the Cincinnati public landing. The boat was making a short stop at Fulton, which was a landing just up the river near what today is known as Lunken Airport. The explosion blew the pilot across the river into Kentucky. Low in the water, the Moselle was down with only the chimneys and a small portion of her upper works showing. The tragedy took 85 lives and injured many more. Captain Perrin had been the skipper of the Moselle, and was reputed to have taken great pride in her speed. He was rumored to have resorted to a number of tricks to increase the power and speed of the boat, liberally feeding resin into boiler fires. Necessary landings were often made with great haste, and in most cases, Perrin would hold onto all of his steam instead of allowing the excess to escape at the safety valve. After the Moselle explosion, a Cincinnati editor courageously admitted the responsibility carried by news media for the disaster. He wrote, "·we plead guilty, in common with the other presses to having praised the speed and power of the boat, which doubtless goaded the captain and owners to excell others in rapidity. The press must change its tone. Safety is better than speed."

This information quoted from an article on Tall Stacks On Line web site.


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