Friday, March 15, 2013

Brown's Island Munition Explosion-- Part 6

Brown;s Island was not the first disastrous munitions explosion during the war. 

On the same day as the Battle of Antietam in 1862, there was a gunpowder explosion at the Alleghenny Arsenal in Pittsburgh that killed 78.  Another one in Jackson, Mississippi, a few weeks later killed40.

Josiah Gorgas issued new regulations after the Brown's Island explosion.  Friction primers and percussion caps (for rifles) would no longer be brought into a room that had loose gun powder until the primers were bundled for packing.  Rooms where loose powder was processed would not have more than ten people in them at a time.

Even though Mary Ryan was the cause of the explosion, she was not responsible for its severity.  Too many activities were taking place in the confined area.

By the end of March, work had resumed on the island.  Women were waiting to apply for the dangerous job as it paid well for working-class women.

Old Secesh

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