Gulf Coast Shipwrecks

Eliza Battle

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ElizaBattle-NYT-12mar1858.jpg (86185 bytes)

Side-wheel steamer
City of Jacksonville
similar to Eliza Battle

Report on the disaster
from The New York Times
12 March 1858

The table below provides specifications and historical data on the vessel. Some of the information may be incomplete. If you have additions or corrections, please e-mail our editor at the address listed below.

Shipwreck Data

Vessel Name Eliza Battle
Other Names  
Vessel Type River Steamer
Owner Cox, Brainard & Company
Length / Beam / Draft (feet)  
Tonnage 315
Hull Construction Wood
Propulsion Steam / Side-Wheels
Cargo Passengers, crew and cotton bales (about 1,400 bales)
Built 1852 at New Albany, IN
Date of Loss March 1, 1858
Reason for Loss Caught fire at night, burned and sank
Fatalities 33 fatalities (per NYT article above), another report says 80 to 90 fatalities.
Location One report says that the wreck is located in the Tombigbee River, west of Linden, AL, near the Route 114 bridge. Another says she sank 1/4 mile above Naheola Landing - approximately 42 miles below Demopolis, AL
Coordinates (Lat/Lon)  
Coordinates (Loran C)  
Water Depth (feet) Approximately 30'
Typical Visibility (feet)  
Wreck Condition  
Diving Considerations  
Other Information The Eliza Battle was on a run from Columbus, MS to Mobile, AL on a cold and windy night.  Around 2 AM, an onboard fire was reported. The fire spread quickly, and all on board had to either take to the water, or die in the fire. Approximately 30 people lost their lives in the terrible disaster. For a detailed account of the Eliza Battle disaster, see Rufus Ward's book Tombigbee River Steamboats - Chapter 6 .

More information on the Eliza Battle disaster can be found in this article on Riverboat Dave's website .

Attention Divers
The information on this page was obtained from a variety of sources. Although we have attempted to make it as accurate as possible, it may contain errors.  For your personal safety, use extreme caution if you plan to dive this wreck.

For more information on this wreck's location and history, and water and diving conditions in the area, contact local dive shop personnel, dive charter boat operators and local fishermen.

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