The S.S. General Lyon Disaster

The S.S. General Lyon Disaster Historical Marker

The marker is located on the grounds of the Gen. John A. Logan Museum, 1603 Edith Street, Murphysboro, IL. 

Jackson County

Their term of service being up in February 1865, 205 members of the 56th Illinois Infantry chose to muster out. Before doing so they fought at Bentonville, North Carolina, the regiment’s final engagement. Their journey home began March 29th, 1865, aboard the S.S. General Lyon in Wilmington, North Carolina. Two days later the ship caught fire and sank in rough weather off Cape Hatteras losing 500 lives. Two hundred of the 205 veterans from the 56th Illinois died. This was the greatest one-day loss of life in the Civil War from Gen. John Logan’s former Ninth (“Egyptian”) Congressional District.