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Allegheny Arsenal explosion, September 17,1862.

bdtex

Administrator
Staff member
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:

https://web.archive.org/web/20150720184655/http://civilwarwomenblog.com/allegheny-arsenal-explosion
 

bdtex

Administrator
Staff member
At the time and in the years afterward,the explosion 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.
 

bdtex

Administrator
Staff member
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.
 

Zam-Zam

Governor
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:

https://web.archive.org/web/20150720184655/http://civilwarwomenblog.com/allegheny-arsenal-explosion

Interesting bit of mostly forgotten history. I did find this piece in the Pittsburgh Gazette:

https://www.post-gazette.com/life/lifestyle/2012/09/16/Allegheny-Arsenal-Explosion-Pittsburgh-s-worst-day-during-the-Civil-War/stories/201209160145
 

bdtex

Administrator
Staff member
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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