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St. Louis Post Dispatch
St. Louis Post Dispatch
Contributed by Gigimo

Description: Come Back From the Dead. Strange Story Respecting One of the Soldiers of the Ill-Fated Steamer "General Lyon."

Date: May 21 1875

Newspaper published in: St. Louis, MO

Mr. G. B. RAUM writes a letter from Harrisburg, Ill., to the Chicago Inter-Ocean, under date of May 10, in which he gives a strange account of the fate of one of the soldiers who was on the steamer General Lyon at the time she was burned off Cape Hatteras in March, 1865, while on the way from Wilmington, N.C. It would add something to the probability of the story were the name of the island given which is asserted to have been his home for ten years. This is the story: "You, perhaps, have not forgotten the loss of the ill-fated steamer General Lyon, and the brave men who perished with her at sea, March 30, 1865. Many soldiers lost their lives in the burning vessel, while others sought refuge in the relentless waves and there found a grave. Of the many hundreds who were about the General Lyon but twenty-eight were known to have been saved. They were picked up by the steamer General Sedgwick four hours after the burning of the Lyon. The non-vetersns of the fifty-sixth Illinois volunteers, 205 in number, were passengers on board the General Lyon. Five of these were saved by the Sedgwick, and they reported the balance of their comrades as lost. After the lapse of more than ten years, however, one more of the passengers of that ill-starred vessel turns up at Guy's Hospital, London, England, and writes to his father, near Golconda, Ill., giving an account of himself. The name of this man is Henson G. RAINS. He belonged to Company K, Fifty-sixth Illinois volunteers. After his term of service expired, he and his comrades were started home for muster out, and were furnished transportation on the steam General Lyon. Very soon after sailing, the vessel encountered a storm off Cape Hatteras, and in the midst of it took fire and was totally destroyed. RAINS escaped into the sea, and with Lieutenant BUTLER, clung to a cabin door. They drifted upon the billows for four days without food or drink, and, more dead than alive, were picked up by a schooner and left on an island, where BUTLER died, and RAINS remained for ten years. In March last he escaped aboard the British man-of-war, Vengeance, and was taken to London, and, being sick, was placed in Guy's hospital. Application has been made to the secretary of war to have our minister at London requested by cable to have RAINS cared for, and funds furnished him to return home.

Submitted: 04/26/10

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