"we fired one Gun at the Fort just as she was sinking I saved 2 Revolvers and most of us saved something-some of us saved our bags some hammocks some all and several saved nothing except theirselves" — Excerpt from the diary of George Roberts Yost, 15-year-old Crewman
As there was very little time for saving personal belongings, thousands of personal items were abandoned to the river as the gunboat went swiftly to the bottom of the muddy Yazoo.
The crew had to abandon things such as U.S. brass belt buckles and silk Cairo hat bands, and shaving gear that included razors, shaving cups, and brushes. Other personal accessories found included soap dishes and different glass ink wells used by the sailors, as well as toothbrush handles, mirrors and hard rubber combs. All but two of the combs were found in the Quarter Master's storeroom, evidently not issued to the men. The combs are stamped U.S. Navy on one side and I.R. COMB CO. GOODYEAR'S PATENT MAY 6, 1851, on the other.
Did You Know?
The USS Cairo was only in service for 11 months before making history as the first U.S. marine vessel to be sunk by an electronically detonated mine.