I have been writing about the wreck of the Army Transport SS General Lyon in my Saw the Elephant: Civil War Blog. I came across the name in connection with an Illinois soldier by the name of James O'Roarke from Rochelle, Illinois, who was a member of the 92nd Illinois Infantry Regiment and was returning northward from Andersonville Prison.
The Gen. Lyon was also carrying 205 members of the recently discharged 56th Illinois Regiment. Of that number, only five survived. It is estimated that at least 500 perished when the ship sank on March 31, 1865.
And, the ship had a Fort Fisher and Wilmington connection. It had carried Union troops during both attacks on Fort Fisher and had been busily ferrying troops between Wilmington and Fortress Monroe and New York during February and March.
This was a huge disaster, and sadly, one that is not too well known.