USS Augusta (1853) - Civilian Operations

Civilian Operations

Redocumented as Magnolia on 23 December, the steamer was completely reconditioned and then operated out of New York to Charleston and Florida ports. In 1872, Garrison sold her to the Central Georgia Railway and Banking Co. for whom she continued to operate on the same route. Two years later, this corporation organized the Ocean Steamship Company as a subsidiary and gave the new firm all of its ships including Magnolia.

On 27 September 1877, Magnolia departed Savannah and headed for New York. Two days out, a severe storm arose imperiling the ship. Before dawn the next morning, the vessel began taking on water faster than her pumps could expel it. Soon the engine room floor collapsed and, by 8:00 a.m., rising water put out the boiler's fires. After a futile struggle to pump out and bail out the ship, the master ordered the crew to abandon ship. No one was lost or injured in the sinking.

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