MITTIE STEPHENS . The loss of the sidewheel steamboat Mittie Stephens took place on the dark night of February 12, 1869, in Caddo Lake near the Texas-Louisiana border. Sixty-one people perished out of 107 passengers and crew members. The vessel was built in Madison, Indiana, in 1863 and served as a Union naval transport and packet during the Civil War . She took part in the failed Shreveport campaign as a part of Adm. David Porter's fleet. In 1864 she was sold into private ownership and ran on the Missouri River and then in the New Orleans-Bayou Sarah trade. In 1866 the Mittie Stephens began serving on the New Orleans-Red River route. At that time Jefferson, Texas, was the head of navigation via Caddo Lake due to the great log raft that obstructed vessel traffic on the Red River . The riverboat traffic was quite heavy; 226 steamboats called at Jefferson in 1872.

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