This letter, published in the S&D Reflector in Dec 1969, was written by the mayor of Pittsburgh to recognize six steamboat captains and their vessels for their service to the country.
Feb 19th, 1862
I desire that the captains of the following
steamers be placed on record for the patriotic
and liberal (volunteering) of their services
and boats, without renumeration, to proceed
immediately to the Cumberland River to relieve
the sick and wounded soldiers: Rocket, Capt
Wolf; Clara Poe, Capt Poe, Horizon, Capt
Stockdale; Emma, Capt Maratta; Westmorland,
Capt Evans; Sir William Wallace, Capt Hugh
B. C. Sawyer, Jr., Mayor.
My search for the original letter has failed to date. To whom the letter was addressed is unknown. What words were replaced? The subject of the paragraph in the S&D Reflector was salaries of the captains of the steamers during the war. Apparently, boats and crews who worked for no salary were not uncommon especially when pressed to service.
The letter was also interesting from the steamer point of view. Three of the applauded boats were destroyed during the war. While running at night without lights, the Horizon collided with the Moderator near Vicksburg on 1 May 1863. In Jan 1865, the Emma collided with the Louisville ferry. Both vessels were disabled and both floated helplessly over the falls. A dramatic ending for the Emma. The Clara Poe, bound for Nashville with supplies, was burned by rebels on 17 Apr 1865 along the Cumberland River. That date was curious. Hostilities in the west continued for about thirty days after Appomattox.
All six boats were built and manned from the Pittsburgh region. The Clara Poe and the Horizon were owned and operated by my guys from Georgetown, PA.
Another description of the impact of the Civil War on river commerce is found in a brief editorial on the The Golden Age of Steamboating.