Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Brown's Island Munitions Explosion-- Part 3

Elizabeth Young, 25, died in a rented room at Oregon Hill "after a severe pain of twelve hours."

Only three of the dead were men.  The Rev. John H. Woodstock was supervisor of the room.  James Curry, 13, died that night.  Samuel Chappell, 16, lingered five days.  He was found wedged against a wall with a crushed skull from the collapse of the roof.

It is estimated that the room had in it, at the time of the explosion, some 200,000 musket caps, 2-3,000 friction primers and 10-11 pounds of gunpowder.

There were many jobs going on in the room at the time as well.  In addition to finishing friction primers, sewing cannon cartridge bags, boxing musket caps, workers were also filling Williams cartridges and taking apart defective cartridges to separate the gunpowder and lead.

As a result, there was a lot of gunpowder dust in the air.  This was a major accident just waiting to happen.

And, It Did.  --Old Secesh

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