Columbia's Last Tour From Warnings Ignored by Fred Freitas and Dave Ball
"The Columbia had gone on station outside Boston Harbor a few days before the gale hit. At the beginning of her duty, four pilots were on board in addition to her crew of five. On Saturday, only pilot William Abbott, had yet to be placed on an incoming vessel.
”The Columbia came upon the steamer Ohio which was nearing Massachusetts Bay from England. With Abbott aboard the Ohio, the Columbia was now "manned out." When Abbott left the Columbia, Harry Petersen was in command. Abbott would be the last to see the Columbia crew alive.
”Being far off shore, the Columbia may not have been fully aware of the approaching disaster, but certainly by midnight Saturday the Columbia's crew knew they were in trouble. The howling northeast winds demanded that sails be reefed, but soon the wind tore loose the reefing lines and the sails were quickly tom to shreds. When that happened, Peterson lost all ability to maneuver the Columbia in the ever building seas.
”Hour by hour the Columbia was driven closer to the Scituate shore. At some point during the storm Columbia dropped both anchors hoping the ship could avoid the inevitable. That is a known fact because both chains were found extended after she beached at Cedar Point, but when did she actually smash ashore? Was it during the morning tide, or did she manage to stave off her tragic end until the evening tide?”