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Thread: Allegheny Arsenal explosion, September 17,1862.

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    Allegheny Arsenal explosion, September 17,1862.

    September 17,1862 is best known as the date of the Battle of Antietam in the Civil War. Some folks call it Sharpsburg. It was the bloodiest single day of fighting in the Civil War.

    Something else happened in Pittsburgh,PA that day. As in later wars,a lot of the jobs in factories/mills/plants etc. producing Civil War supplies were performed by women and children. One such place was the Allegheny Arsenal in Pittsburgh. Among other things,it produced cartridges for Union rifled and smoothbore muskets. It exploded on September 17,1862 killing 78 girls and young women. Most suffered horrible deaths from the force of the explosion or burns. About another 150 workers were injured. Found this about it in 2016 in a Civil War blog that no longer exists but is archived at the WayBack Machine:

    Allegheny Arsenal Explosion
    Last edited by bdtex; 09-17-2019 at 09:30 PM.

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    First I've read about that incident. Thanks for the link.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oberon View Post
    First I've read about that incident. Thanks for the link.
    At the time and in the years afterward,it was overshadowed by events at Antietam that day. I visited the site of the Allegheny Arsenal in July 2016. It is in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh. There is a school there now. Nothing but an old cannon and a plaque on one of the maintenance buildings commemorates what used to be there. During landscaping and utility improvement projects at the site,they still find relics and artifacts from the Arsenal. There is a display case of Arsenal artifacts at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh.
    Last edited by bdtex; 09-18-2019 at 06:42 AM.

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    in 1862 the north no longer produced lead musket balls. these were produced in camp as most would use a combo of three 24 caliber balls plus nine 7 caliber balls.
    units using muskets at that late date for the union were very few.
    sic semper tyrannis

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    Quote Originally Posted by jirqoadai View Post
    in 1862 the north no longer produced lead musket balls. these were produced in camp as most would use a combo of three 24 caliber balls plus nine 7 caliber balls.
    units using muskets at that late date for the union were very few.
    As the link says,most of the killed and injured women and young girls were cartridge makers. I'm not a weapons expert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdtex View Post
    As the link says,most of the killed and injured women and young girls were cartridge makers. I'm not a weapons expert.
    Rifled muskets fired 'minie-balls'. The 1861 Springfield was a rifled musket, and produced in large numbers.

    Civil War Muskets, Rifles & Carbines, Enfield & Springfield

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    I didn't know it at the time I was in Pittsburgh,but close to the site of the Allegheny Arsenal is Allegheny Cemetery. Some of the Arsenal explosion victims are buried there and there is a monument to the victims of the Allegheny Arsenal explosion victims there. There are also 7 Union Generals buried there along with many other Civil War veterans. I hope to make it back to Pittsburgh some day and visit the Cemetery.

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    There were 2 similar arsenal explosions during the Civil War. One was in Richmond,the other in Washington,D.C. Recently bought a book about the 3 arsenal expolsions that is next in my reading queue.


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    Last edited by bdtex; 09-19-2019 at 10:37 AM.

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    Sorry about the double image y'all. Can't figure out how to edit it and remove an attachment.

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