Lake Erie

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Lake Erie was a commercial link between Canada and the United States. In 1864 Confederate spies planned to capture the only Union military vessel on Lake Erie, the USS Michigan, and free Confederate prisoners in the prisoner-of-war camp on Johnson's Island. Although the Confederates captured and sank the vessels Island Queen and Philo Parsons, they failed to capture the USS Michigan. The Confederate raiders fled to Canada when their plot failed. Other vessels were lost on Lake Erie in accidents and storms.

Amily. Canadian. Screw steamer. Sank in October 1864 off Long Point, Ontario. (EAS, 234.)

Belle. Canadian. Schooner. Foundered in November 1864 off Long Point, Ontario. (EAS, 236.)

B. F. Bruce. Union. Screw steamer, 168 tons. Built in 1852 at Buffalo, N.Y. Burned in August 1862 at Port Stanley, Ontario. (MSV, 16, 244.)

Cataract. Union. Screw steamer, 393 tons. Built in 1852 at Buffalo, N.Y. Burned on June 16, 1861, at Erie, Pa., with four killed. (MSV 31, 248; EAS, 238.)

City of Buffalo. Union. Screw steamer, 2,026 tons. Built in 1857 at Buffalo, N.Y. Sank in November 1864 off Long Point, Ontario. Was probably raised but was lost in 1866. (MSV 37, 250; EAS, 239.)

Euphrates. Union. Screw steamer, 587 tons. Built in 1856 at Buffalo, N.Y. Was stranded in May 1862 at Sandusky, Ohio. (MSV, 67, 259.)

Fox. Union. Steamer, 102 tons. Built in 1851 at Buffalo, N.Y. Burned in October 1863, near Newport, Mich. (MSV, 75, 261.)

Illinois. U.S. Screw steamer, 530 tons. Built in 1849 at Buffalo, N.Y. Sank following a collision with the Dean Richmond on June 28, 1865, near Pelee Point, Ontario. (MSV, 100, 268.)

Island Queen. Union. Side-wheel steamer, 168 or 173 tons. Cargo of 30 tons of pig iron. Built in 1855 at Kel-ley's Island, Ohio. Carried 125 unarmed passengers and 32 Union soldiers. Captured on September 19, 1864, at Middle Bass Island by Confederate raiders in the Philo Parsons. They had planned to capture the USS Michigan, the only Union military ship on Lake Erie. The vessel's engineer was shot in the face and 1 passenger was cut with a hatchet. The captured crew and passengers were left on Middle Bass Island. The Island Queen was towed to deep water beyond Ballast Island, and sunk on a shoal. Was later raised and converted to a barge. (OR, 39:2:427-28; 43:2:128-29, 226-28, 234, 236-37, 239, 244-45; MSV, 104; CWC, 6-282.)

Ogdensburg. Union. Screw steamer, 352 tons. Built in 1852 at Ohio City, Ohio. Collided with the schooner Snow Bird at Fairport, Ohio. on September 30, 1864, and sank. (MSV, 161, 286; EAS, 257.)

Philo Parsons. Union. Side-wheel steamer, 221 or 222 tons. Carried 40 passengers. Built in 1861 at Algonac, Mich. En route from Detroit to Sandusky. Captured by 18-25

Confederate raiders in civilian clothes on September 19, 1864. The Confederate raiders wanted to capture the USS Michigan and free Confederate prisoners at Johnson's Island off Sandusky, Ohio. The Confederates boarded the Philo Parsons at Malden, Ontario, and later captured the Island Queen. The crew and passengers were put ashore on Fighting Island on September 20, 1864. The Confederate raiders cut the pipes and scuttled the Philo Parsons at a dock at Sandwich, Ontario, on September 20, 1864. The Confederates intended to burn the vessel but did not. (OR, 43:2:128-29, 226-28, 234-39, 242-45; MSV, 172; CWC, 6-282.)

Pocahontas. Union. Screw steamer, 426 tons. Built in 1846 at Buffalo, N.Y. Was stranded on May 27, 1862, at Long Point, Ontario. (MSV, 175, 290.)

Racine. Union. Screw steamer, 157 tons. Built in 1856 at Cleveland. Was burned on August 10, 1864, at Rondeau, Ontario, with thirteen killed. (MSV, 181, 292.)

Return. Schooner. Foundered in 1863 off Long Point, Ontario. (EAS, 261.)

William S. Bull. Union. Screw steamer, 16 tons. Built in 1861 at Buffalo, N.Y. Foundered on August 20, 1863, about 40 miles from Erie, Pa. (MSV, 232, 307.)

Winslow. Union. Screw steamer, 265 tons. Built in 1862 at Cleveland, Ohio. Collided with another vessel on November 1, 1864, and sunk at Cleveland, Ohio. (MSV, 210, 307.)

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