Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Another Lake Disaster
Albany Evening Journal (Albany, NY), 18 Nov 1863
Full Text
Reported Loss of the WaterWitch with all on Board -- Brig Gen. Worth Sunk at Saginaw.
From the Detroit Free Press

The propeller B. F. Wade, in Chicago and Sarnia line, arrived in the city Monday evening, and reports the loss of the Water Witch, another propeller in the same trade. The Captain of the Wade states that he left Chicago two days after the Water Witch, touching at Mackinaw. At the latter port he received information of the Water Witch having been there and left for Sarnia. Near the entrance to Saginaw Bay he passed the upper works of a propeller floating in the lake, which is supposed to be the cabin of that vessel, as she had been due some days at Sarnia. There is also another vessel, that reports passing the upper works of a propeller, undoubtedly the same mentioned by the Captain of the Wade.

The Water Witch was a new vessel and commanded by an experienced navigator--Captain George H. Rider, formerly of the steamer City of Cleveland, and one well acquainted with the lakes. It is supposed all on board perished, as no information exists of their having reached any port. No doubt can exist but that a sad disaster has befallen some unfortunate vessel, and the fact that the Water Witch is overdue, leads to the belief that it is her. No particulars of any reliable character can yet be obtained, but the probability is that the next boat down will bring some.

This vessel was owned by E. B. Ward, and was considered a staunch craft. Whether it was swamped, blown up or sunk by collision is not known, but the fact of her being a new vessel would lead to the belief that it was neither of the two first.

The brig Gen. Worth was also sunk at Saginaw in nine feet of water. A despatch of Strong & Munson reports it in a bad position.

Media Type
Item Type
Date of Publication
18 Nov 1863
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 41.85003 Longitude: -87.65005
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 45.84918 Longitude: -84.61893
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 44.4168646075866 Longitude: -82.80970640625
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.97866 Longitude: -82.40407
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Another Lake Disaster