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Allegheny Arsenal Explosion Victims
Tombstone Inscriptions

The explosion of the Allegheny Arsenal in 1862 represented the greatest civilian casualty of the Civil War.

Read Tribune Review account by Arthur B. Fox and John Carnprobst
Arthur B. Fox is a Pittsburgh free-lance writer and historical archaeologist
John L. Carnprobst is an expert on ordnance and the Allegheny Arsenal

In addition to these graves in St. Mary's Cemetery, there is also an Allegheny Arsenal Explosion Monument
in Allegheny Cemetery on Butler Street, adjacent to St. Mary's Cemetery.
That monument memorializes the women, girls and boys who were killed in the arsenal explosion Sept. 17, 1862.
A total of 75 workers died in the explosion, making it the worst industrial accident associated with the Civil War.

The Carnegie Public Library Site Offers A Photograph Of The Arsenal
A List Of All Persons Injured Or Killed In The Explosion
Along With The Following Newspaper Article:

Explosion Heroines Honored

From an unidentified Pittsburgh newspaper, possibly in 1913.
To Erect Memorial to Women Who Lost Lives in Arsenal.
Large Granite Boulder.
Will Be Placed Near Scene of Allegheny Arsenal Disaster.

The unsung heroines of the Civil War, women of that fatal Magazine explosion which shook the city on the afternoon of September 17, 1862, when almost a hundred lost their lives in the Allegheny Arsenal, are at last to be recognized. These unknown martyrs are to be immortalized by the erection of a suitable memorial placed near the scene of the fatal accident. A large granite boulder from the quarries of Maine, weighing over five tons, will shortly arrive in this city and will be set in place. A bronze tablet, the design of which was conceived by the New York artist, Albert Dreyfus. Over 300 pounds of bronze will be used in casting it, and will bear the names of the unfortunates with the inscription "Dedicated to the Heroines of the Civil War."
Congressman James Francis Burke, who was instrumental in securing the presentation of one of the cannons used in the fatal strife of almost a half century ago, has succeeded in procuring two more cannons which will flank the sides of the granite boulder. The first cannon was used for producing souvenirs, which were sold to defray the expenses of the monument.

Dedicated on Anniversary.
It has been decided by the committee that the dedication of the monument will be held on the anniversary of the accident, September 17. Suitable arrangements will be made for the unveiling, which occasion will be a holiday for the Lawrenceville district.
The erection of the monument is due to the untiring efforts of Dr. A. J. Lewin of 3703 Penn Avenue, the secretary of the Arsenal Monument Association and his band of women, members of the G.A.R. committee, who are: Mesdames Margaret McGraw, George M. Paisley, Elizabeth Moore, Battie Lincoln, Lizzie Cargo, Margaret Burns, George Krapp, John M. Brown, Henrietta Gerwig, Grundmar and Nichelson. Dr. Lewin has also issued a notice to all those parties who know some of the names of the unfortunates who were forgotten since that time. It is thought that many more than the records show were injured and died.


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SURNAME      FIRST NAME         DEATHDATE     CEMETERY AND SECTION    OTHER
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BAXTER       HANNAH             18 Sept 1862  St. Mary's Lvl, Sec B   Arsenal Explosion - Source - Bill Reynolds                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
BISHOP       BARBARA            18 Sept 1862  St. Mary's Lvl, Sec L   Arsenal Explosion - Source - Bill Reynolds                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
BLUMMER      ELIZABETH McSLAIN  30 Apr 1930   St. Mary's Lvl, Sec P   Last survivor of the Arsenal explosion - Source - Bill Reynolds                                                                                                                                                                                                
BURKHART     CATHERINE          18 Sept 1862  St. Mary's Lvl, Sec P   Arsenal Explosion - Source - Bill Reynolds                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
DILLON       CATHERINE          18 Sept 1862  St. Mary's Lvl, Sec I   Arsenal Explosion, CIVIL WAR - Source - Bill Reynolds                                                                                                                                                                                                          
DONNELLY     MARY A.            18 Sept 1862  St. Mary's Lvl, Sec P   Arsenal Explosion, CIVIL WAR - Source - Bill Reynolds                                                                                                                                                                                                          
DOUGAN       CATHERINE          18 Sept 1862  St. Mary's Lvl, Sec D   Arsenal Explosion, CIVIL WAR - Source - Bill Reynolds                                                                                                                                                                                                          
McBRIDE      KATE               18 Sept 1862  St. Mary's Lvl, Sec K   Arsenal Explosion, CIVIL WAR - Source - Bill Reynolds                                                                                                                                                                                                          
McKENNA      ELLEN              17 Sept 1862  St. Mary's Lvl, Sec D   Arsenal Explosion - Source - Bill Reynolds                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
McKENNA      SUSAN              18 Sept 1862  St. Mary's Lvl, Sec B   Arsenal Explosion, CIVIL WAR - Source - Bill Reynolds                                                                                                                                                                                                          
MURPHY       MARY               18 Sept 1862  St. Mary's Lvl, Sec P   Arsenal Explosion, CIVIL WAR - Source - Bill Reynolds                                                                                                                                                                                                          
ROURKE       CATHERINE          18 Sept 1862  St. Mary's Lvl, Sec K   Arsenal Explosion, CIVIL WAR - Source - Bill Reynolds
St. Mary's Lvl = Saint Mary's RC Cemetery Penn Ave & 45th Streets Lawrenceville, PA 15201


A SPECIAL THANKS TO BILL REYNOLDS
BILL IS A MEMBER OF THE DAVIS STAR CAMP
(SONS OF THE UNION VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR).

Civil War Veterans Tombstone Inscriptions, Allegheny County Pennsylvania

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May 13, 2000
Last update March 11, 2008

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