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Bertrand (steamboat)

Bertrand (steamboat)

Blair (NE), 68008, United States

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Description The steamboat Bertrand, carrying cargo up the Missouri River to Virginia City, Montana Territory, sank on April 1, 1865, after hitting a snag in the river north of Omaha, Nebraska. Half of its cargo was recovered 100 years later. Today, the artifacts are displayed in a museum at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa. The display makes up the largest intact collection of Civil War-era artifacts in the United States.HistoryThe Bertrand was launched in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1864. It measured long, with a beam of ; its total burden was reported as 251 tons. A shallow-draft vessel, it drew only 18in when light, and perhaps no more than twice that when loaded.Sources differ on the ownership of the Bertrand, but it probably belonged to the Montana and Idaho Transportation Line, based in St. Louis, Missouri. The firm was owned in part by John J. Roe of St. Louis.On April 1, 1865, under the command of Captain James Yore, the steamboat struck a submerged log in the Desoto Bend of the Missouri River, about upstream from Omaha, Nebraska. In less than ten minutes, it sank in of water. No people died, but almost the entire cargo was lost; the estimated value of vessel and cargo combined was $100,000.

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