69th Indiana Infantry drownings

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The 69th Indiana Infantry drownings occurred at Matagorda Bay, Texas during preparations for the invasion of Texas by the Union Army during the American Civil War. Troops of the 69th Indiana Infantry Regiment were ordered to assemble at Matagorda Island on the Gulf Coast of Texas in preparation for a march north to Tyler. To move from their inland camp at Indianola on Matagorda Bay to Matagorda Island, it was necessary to cross a 300-yard stretch of the bay using a ferry made up of pontoon boats tied together in a raft. The raft could carry about three companies at a time.[1]

On Sunday afternoon, March 13, 1864, the regiment began to cross. On the raft's third trip, while carrying companies B, G, and K together with their camp followers, the raft was swamped by a swift incoming tide. Two officers and 21 enlisted men drowned, with many others carried over a mile away before they could be rescued.[1]


  1. ^ a b Adams, Henry C. Jr (1911). Indiana At Vicksburg. Vicksburg National Military Park Commission. pp. 344–345.